Fast Food with a SMILE!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009
Late Sunday night, I made it home from a two-week, blissful trip abroad. Since I had nothing in the fridge and nothing in the cabinet, I couldn't pack my lunch for work as I normally do. That meant I had choices for dinner on Monday evening.

I was producing the FOX newscast and didn't want to be gone too long so that meant picking up something quick and heading back to the station. As I drove down the hill, I just couldn't muster the energy to go grocery shopping and then prepare something after I got back to work so, fast food was it. Looking to see if anyone would recognize me, I slid my Jeep into the drive-through at Taco Bell, hoping to get in and out quickly. Not a chance.

At the drive-through:

Operator: GOOD EVENING!!!!!! Welcome to TACO BELL. Hope you are having A GREAT NIGHT. HOW ARE YOU??????
Me: (Leaning away from the screen, a little scared.) Um, fine, thanks.
Operator: THAT'S GREAT TO HEAR!!!!!! I'M READY TO TAKE YOUR ORDER whenever you are ready - but there's NOOOOOOO RUSH so you can TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!
Me: (Still shocked...) May I please have a Cheesy Bean burrito and a small Coke?
Me: (Looking around to see if this is a joke..), thank you.
Operator: YOU'RE WELCOME! Let me just get your total for ya...hang on a sec... THAT'LL BE JUST $2.68!!!!!!! You can just drive on up to the first window. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TACO BELLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

Whoa. What was that? I think to myself: this woman is clearly on crack or something but that's to be expected, I'm eating fast food for goodness sake. The worker turns out to be a young woman who is just as CHEERY and LOUD when I pull up to the window. Mind you, I did take the time to dig out exact change before I approached her because frankly, I was a bit afraid.

I don't mean to sound ungrateful for your energy and friendliness but please, don't be so cheery when I roll through TB, I feel guilty enough already.


Anonymous said...

After living in Chicago, I am so thankful for any sign of friendliness or manners that I would have been THRILLED for that girl. Instead, I usually feel the need to apologize for being such an imposition when I order my junior cheeseburger.


Ted Stryk said...

I was at Wendy's last fall and the lady at the drive through acted a lot like the person you described (although she looked like she was in her late 40s). I was so impressed that I called the customer service number on the receipt to compliment her.

Michiel Willems said...

Nicely written, hilarious almost. Can imagine she so got on your nerves. Think she pops in some pills every morning, how else can you keep smiling and being so happy while you work with burgers, fat and in sweaty kitchens?
It reminds me a bit of Christina Applegate in 'Don't tell mum the babysitter is dead', if you remember that movie. She has a summer job in one of those creepy fast food joints with clowns and cigarette smoking burger flippers.
The manager is a ridiculously happy (lithium? lol) and over the top guy, scrapping spitballs off the drive-thru window “with a really fun squeegee!” Everything he comes by he is like 'Smmmile, we are a happppy restaurant'.. simply awful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Denae -- I was watching a movie the other night at home (State of Play)..and who should pop up on the screen...but you.
What a surprise!
Judging from your blog, all appears well with you.
Congratulations on your marriage.

Gene Patterson

Denae said...

Gene! It is wonderful to hear from you. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It made my day.

Anonymous said...

The forced friendliness thing that managers make their poor employees do is so embarrassing. I enjoy the general surliness here in Hungary, it feels more authentic.


Denae said...

Angelica - exactly my thoughts. I prefer a balance.