Monday, October 30, 2006

Where is everyone?

No seriously. Where my peeps at? (Heh. I've always wanted to use that).

I was attending a co-worker's birthday party at a bar last weekend when amidst the smoke and the most atrocious techno soundtrack ever (I swear, they had it on repeat), it dawned on me that I have been working at the Golden Arches for exactly one year now. Normally, I'm not the kind of person who makes a big deal out of anniversaries and the like. I skipped out on blogging about my 100th blog post, I forgot about my mum's birthday this year (nice save, Gill), and I turned 19 while in transit from Costa Rica to Aus alone and away from family, save one friend; just the way I like it, no pomp and circumstance. But since I've been wanting to write this post forever, I shall use this occasion to blog and commemorate my one year at Mickey D's:-

How to conduct yourself when ordering at McDonald's
1. Always, ALWAYS state the size of the meal you want first when ordering. Having to ask a hundred fifty plus customers if they want that in small, medium or large takes up extra serving time and is annoying as hell. Go like this, "Can I have a s/m/l whatever-you-want, please?" We're silently thanking you.

2. Be polite to your server. Saying a casual "hey" and using your Ps and Qs while ordering give us a much better impression of you. Sounds simple enough but the amount of people who lack basic politeness is mind-boggling. If a mute customer can say thanks (true story), there is absolutely no excuse for all you other folks out there.

3. When ordering grills, that is either taking or putting extra ingredients in your food, be mindful that it will take a while, usually three minutes on average, longer if it's during rush period. You want something done fresh for you? No problem. Just don't wait for one minute and start bitching about how you've been waiting for ten. We're not dumb. We're looking out for you too, pal. Which leads me to my next point.

4. If your food is taking extra long to come over, please don't start screaming at us for being lazy and stupid. We, the front counter servers are just that; in charge of the front counter. We don't deal with the back crew or food preparation. We don't know why it's taking two extra minutes to get your fresh Quarter Pounder over. Yelling at us and accusing us of not doing our jobs is only going to achieve the goal of making you look like a total ass. But if you ask nicely we can go check it for you, and not just run to the back and start bitching about you.

5. People tend to associate people who work at fast food joints as slack-jawed yokels who can't tell their thumbs from their asses. Most of us are just students who couldn't be bothered finding a better job cause we love the people and friends we work with. If we ask you to repeat your order, don't roll your eyes and call us incompetent. We're only asking cause you were being a dick and mumbling/rattling off your order to begin with. This especially applies to people who order grills. Why give us the stink-eye? We just want to make sure we get your order right so we don't have to deal with you coming back to rant about how you wanted no pickles, not no onions on your Quarter.

6. If you have a problem with the server, whatever you do, do not start yelling and cursing at your server. It makes you look like a total douche, and we will blackmark you, especially if you're a regular. Hell, I guarantee even the guy behind you in line thinks you're a total douche. Take it up with the manager and explain in a calm manner what the server did wrong. We will actually take your complain seriously and take action regarding the server, and not just lable you a 'Bitchy McDoucheBagCustomer' and pawn off the service to the newbie the next time you come in.

7. This is for the tourists or the out-of-state folks. Don't lament to us how your country/Macca's does it better. We don't really care. I'm sorry if we don't carry frozen cokes or an extra large cheeseburger duo meal, but you pestering us why there isn't one on the menu isn't exactly going to make it magically appear okay, bud? And for fucks' sake, we don't carry beer! Not one store in the world does, you blind drunk!

8. Flush the damn toilet. You use it, you flush it. It's not fair that anyone else has to deal with your shit (literally), especially the person who is on dining room duty.

9. If you spill something, please do us a favour and tell us that you did. Often during rush, we won't have the time to do a dining room check so we won't find out about the spill till much later. By telling us you're ensuring that we get on it pronto and therefore you and the other patrons can enjoy your meal in as close to cleanliness as Macca's gets.

10. Don't ask us if it's true if our milkshake is made with pigfat. WE DON'T KNOW. Neither do we know if there are any hooves in our beef patties or if our burgers are a diabetic's nightmare. We just serve, m'kay? We weren't briefed about the ingredients in our food during training. And honestly if you thought that was remotely true at all, why are you still ordering food here?

11. Please realize that McCafe isn't Starbucks. For one, we're cheaper. Also, we don't serve any of those Free Trade beans and play lounge music for our customers. But mostly, we don't carry chai drinks. So stop giving me the ol' stink-eye when I tell you that we don't have a chai latte. We're not the Bucks, m'kay!

And just for fun, here's a list of some of the people I've had the chance to encounter during my time at Macca's.

- Bitchy McDoucheBagCustomer who screamed at me for forgetting her happy meal toy. She really brought it all out; the ranting, the pointing, the crazy eyes. Too bad this list wasn't written up yet or I would have pointed out rule number six. To top it all off she's a regular. And everybody hates her. Just this weekend she yelled out at a newbie, one of the better ones infact, for some insignificant reason. Isn't she just lovely?

- A really creepy old guy who went asked what he wanted to order replied, "I like looking at girls" in the lewdest tone I have ever heard. My reply? "Uh huh. Great." Then I went to the back to hide out until he went away. Thank god I don't work nights anymore.

- A guy who I was serving passed out when I had my back turned to get the drink. When I turn back to get the money, I was like "Where did he go?" until I looked on the floor. His friend with him was like, "Where did... oh wow." See folks, dehyration is bad m'kay? Drink up during summer please so you won't scare your friendly Macca's server.

- When I went to do a bathroom check I saw a couple walking out of the females bathroom, and they had that look, the "I just got laid" look, so bad that I think the little single cell creatures in Mars got it. At what point does a bathroom, and not just any but a McDonald's bathroom, scream 'romantic'?? Is it the harsh fluorescent lighting, or the vomit-coloured tiles on the wall? No really, someone enlighten me please?

- I've blogged about this before but I'll bring it up again cause she was one for the books. At McCafe, a customer asked for her cappucinos to be extra hot. We heated the milk up to 75 Celsius. She said it wasn't hot enough. We heat it up to 90, and the lady still wasn't happy. Seriously, I still maintain her tongue has gone bad. Ninety freakin' Celsius. We've got people coming to tell us that 60 is too hot as it is. Crazy nut..

- And though this isn't really one for the crazy customers book, I just had to add this in. A customer comes in and asks for thirteen sugars in her coffee. I try not to pass judgement especially cause she's nice and all, but when she added one more "for the road", I couldn't help it anymore. That's fourteen sachets of white sugar in all. Lady, diabetes is on the rise in Australia and being a diabetic does not quite mean that you're 'sweet as sugar', m'kay?

- This one time I headed upstairs to do a bathroom check, I saw a girl collapsed on the stairway. She couldn't speak English very well but when my manager was dealing with her, she let out that she hadn't eaten anything all day and her stomach was in pain. See kids, extreme dieting is bad, m'kay? Those acids in your stomach will retaliate if they don't got nothing to chew on.

- And then another time a male customer comes down from the bathroom and in a really wigged out tone tells us that there is a guy who was dead in the male bathrooms. Apparently he wasn't moving and hadn't moved at all in over an hour. We find out later that he's just another druggie stoned out of his mind who had shot up in our bathroom. See guys, drugs are bad m'kay? Man. I should stop doing that but I've got Mr Mackay on my mind. Damn South Park!

- One night while training, I was teaching a newbie how to serve and get everything. When I ask the customer how he would like to pay he tells me that it's rude to cut in and that he was carrying on the transaction with the newbie. I took it all in stride and went, "alright then." Of course he couldn't leave it be, and had to get the one up, so while waiting for the newbie to get his food he starts lecturing me about how he's a corporate executive at McDonald's and how he should get me fired for being so rude. I gave him my full name and Macca's ID no and told him to get right to it. Look mate, rule number one. If you're going to threaten people, don't overreach alright? I'll say it again, people who work at Macca's are not dumb. Corporate exec, you say? For starters, I don't think corporate execs look like aging rockers who never quite saw their hey day, and also, the exec types tend to at least say hie to the managers when they come in, ya moron. Up yours, dude.

- A family of four comes in and youngest kid throws a tantrum cause his dad didn't allow him to get a Happy Meal. The dad responds by slapping the kid HARD on the face. While the kid goes suddenly quiet, everyone around the family stopped and stared. To which the father oh-so-eloquently replied with a, "Fuck you c--ts". How charming.

I'm not even going to get started on the regulars. Most of them are nice, but still weird in their own way. That's another story for another day.


On a side note, I know how to play roulette now. Oh, Crown Casino, we are on! Also, while walking down the street and (not) admiring Melbourne City Council's attempts at reminding us it is spring, hail and cold winds be damned (re: picture above), I thought up the most useless superpower in the world. Imagine this tagline:

"Super Billy! Now with the superhuman power to watch paint dry!"

Yeap. Worst superpower in the world in my books.

And remember this folks: 4 seconds. That is the time it takes for the novelty of walking in hail to wear off. Trust me on that one.