Sunday, July 29, 2007

Can I get a little service?

Somebody please tell me WTF ever happened to service?

I don’t ask for much at a fast-food place, really. I want a modicum of cheerfulness, a decent price, decent food, and no hassles if I do happen to have an issue or if I ask for something different like no onions or extra pickles. I do however expect a wee bit more at a sit-down establishment, like please don’t let my sweet tea run dry and if there’s a problem, please fix it without spitting in my food. I actually tip well for good service because I know that service staffs have a tough job.

This said, why oh why am I besieged constantly with surly teen (and adult) assclowns who act like doing the fucking job they were hired to do is simply too much to ask? I’m talking to YOU, the snotty mumbling kid at Subway who doles out veggies like the Soup Nazi and acts like a few extra olives are coming straight out of your paycheck. I’m talking to YOU, bitchy Arby’s manager who won’t make a wrap out of fried chicken fingers instead of grilled, and act like an extra cup of honey mustard from the kitchen is gonna bankrupt the corporation. I’m talking to YOU, money-hungry owners of the Greek place across town who have the cherries to charge $2.50 for a shot glass worth of extra dressing and have the audacity to print in the menu that you expect us to leave at least a 15% tip. That’s balls. That’s 15% on an overpriced ball of cheese with 2 drops of sauce that you dared to call a pizza, and still let the Cokes run dry.

Look, people, don’t go into the service industry if you aren’t prepared to give service. That’s sort of the central core of the job, no? I know it’s midnight on a Sunday at Steak & Shake and you don’t want to be here, but put down the cell phone and get me some more tea, please. I’m thirsty. And if your sole function is to ensure that the breakfast bar at a hotel is fully stocked, then dammit make sure there’s food on it till you close and at least try to manage a fucking smile. And hey, learn a few more words in English too while you’re at it. The majority of people in Orlando, tourist or not, speak English. Yes, I’m talking to you.

I absolutely dread going to a drive-thru anymore. Invariably the sullen minimum-wage shitbird in the window is gonna mumble incoherently into the speakerbox (I had to learn that “Dry Roww” meant “Thank you for your order, please drive around.”) And then they fuck your order up so bad that it’s just smarter to go inside. This past Wednesday was a perfect example. My co-worker went to the drive-thru at McNasty’s to get lunch and when he got back to the break room he found that not only did they not put any ranch on his McRanch McChicken McSammich, they had instead used like 2 drops of McMayo and gave him no extra packets. Again, people act like a couple extra packets of ketchup or an extra sweet and sour sauce for your McNugz will collapse the World Bank and usher in Chaos and the Apocalypse.

There are, however, a couple notable exceptions. The crew at the Sonic that I go to are always chipper and happy to accommodate. And I don’t think I have ever had a bad experience at Chik-Fil-A anywhere in America. Most of the crew on duty at any given time are polite church-goers barely past their 16th birthday and are unfailingly polite. Not once has any of them given me just cause to want to drag one of them across the counter for a tune up. They are well-spoken, well-groomed, pleasant kids who all seem like productive members of polite society (perhaps in Stepford) as opposed to oxygen-wasting sacks of protoplasm whose sole brain cell died of loneliness as they pondered today’s episode of Maury.

If you hate your job, get a new one. In the meanwhile, do your job. And can I get a couple more napkins, please?

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