Newbie Narratives: The Language Barrier


This story was originally posted on November 26, 2009


Carolanne argh 1From Chicken Flinger

So I recently got a job at a well known fast food chicken place.

I can leave it up to you to decide which one.

I was working the lobby cash register the other night and we were experiencing a rush. You can see where this is going, right?

So, of course, at the beginning of the line is a man who seems to speak no language whatsoever (no, he was not deaf, he just didn't seem to have a comprehending of any language we tried speaking to him).

He kept pointing at the menu, saying he wanted "that".

Me: Which one?

Him: That. *points*

Me: Where?

Him: One on the bottom. *points again for emphasis*

Me: The 4-piece individual meal?

Him: Yessss!

Jason ArghMe: Original, extra crispy...?

Him: No no no, I just want chicken.

Me: *hits original just to save time* What else can I get for you tonight?

Him: I want that one too. *points above my head*

Me: You want the football box? Which one? We have 5 different kinds.

Him: No no no, I just want that one.

Me: Yes, but which one are you pointing to?

Him: At the top!!

Me: Okay, do you want that in original, extra crispy or grilled?

Him: No no no, I just want chicken! Like in picture!!

Me: *looking up I notice the picture is grilled, so I put that in my computer. as I review his order...* So I have a 4-piece original with mashed potatoes and coleslaw and a football box with mashed potatoes and coleslaw?

Him: I never order a 4-piece! I just want that! THAT! *points violently*

Me: The PICTURE? You want what's in the PICTURE? *he nods* The family meal or the individual meal?

Him: ONE AT BOTTOM. I want exactly like picture!

Freddy frustration 1Me: Okay, so that's a TWO PIECE ORIGINAL with mashed potatoes and coleslaw-

Him: But I want the SALAD in the PICTURE!

Me: That's coleslaw sir.

Him: Fine, give that.

Me: TWO PIECE ORIGINAL with mashed potatoes and COLESLAW and a football box with TWO PIECES GRILLED chicken with potato wedges and COLESLAW. Anything else for you tonight?

Him: I got the one in picture? I only want one in picture! *points again* What is the two piece?

Me: *resisting the urge to walk into the fryer and put my head in it* Yes sir, you got the one in the picture. The one in the picture is the TWO PIECE. Anything else for you tonight?

Him: No that all. *pauses* I got one in picture?

I've only been working this job for about 3 weeks and this was the first truly frustrating customer I've had to date. We spoke to him in a couple of languages and he seemed to understand none of them!

I'm sure I will have more tales from the fryer in time!

Greasily yours,

--Chicken Flinger


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Retail Hell Memories: Fast Food Hell - "I Don't Like How It Looks"


This story was originally posted on March 03, 2010


Fast food hellFrom Emoo

Hey RHU,

I'm one of the nice website stalkers you guys have. Even though I'm out of Retail Hell (temporarily--I'm getting back IN after spring break to save money for college), I have a story I wanted to share.

I worked at a quick-service restaurant where the mascot is a cow and the meat we sell is chicken. Not going to lie, I actually enjoyed my job. Managers were awesome, except the one I was terrified of, and the woman who managed it all in place of the actual owner/operator man is the sweetest woman I've ever met.

That said, even the custys weren't so bad. Most of them were your run o' the mill college town folks...minimal screaming and douchebaggery here (not counting the students of course).


I'd been working for about half a year here, gotten used to the filling of orders and where the hell everything was, and it was a busy afternoon. I should also mention that it was a football day. For my town and basically anywhere else with a college football stadium, the custys were here in full force, line is out the door.

Naturally, I'm completely freaking out on the inside (first jobs tend to make you do that), but handling it pretty well--I didn't knock anyone over that day.

So this black lady comes in, and already I smell trouble. She has the Louis Vitton-Prada-Coach-Versaille designer crap all over.

First thought: Why the HELL are you coming in here if you're so bloody rich?

Next: "Welcome to Chick-fil-Cow, how may I serve you today?"

Her order is to-go. Fine. Meal meal meal meal--meal with wacky changes that have to be keyed in by hand--what? You want FIVE shakes? Right now? To GO? AND you want five freakin' cherries in all of them? *cue panic attack* Shakes take for-bloody-ever.

Luckily, Jay, the awesome MegaManager makes four of them for me, and I just have to deal with the one (I HATE making shakes). I go back up to the register, put it in the craptastic cardboard drink holder, and get ready for the next custy. No dice.


THEN, she looks at the strawberry shake, and TAKES THE BLOODY LID OFF.

To anyone who makes shakes--True or False: When you make a shake with that fancy dome lid, it tends to end up a little fuller than the lip of the cup. So naturally, the whipped cream, shake mix, and cherries start to fall out.

Bitch woman pushes it away like it's diseased (please note that she didn't even put the lid back on, so it's still oozing everywhere).

"I don't like how this one looks. Make it again."

What. The. HELL.

Your order was incredibly crazy to begin with, you make us put in 4 extra cherries--which we are not supposed to do, by the way--and then you and your stupidity ruin its "looks"--and you want me to help you more? Ugh. Have I mentioned that the line is still out the door?

I run over to the shake machine, get a weird look from Jay--til she sees the woman I'm helping. Jay pats my shoulder and makes the shake again for me. Finally the bitch leaves, and I can take care of the other, less awful customers.

I hate morons. I especially hate arrogant, rich, entitled morons who think the world revolves around them. She pretty much fits the bill.

I've got more, to be sure, but this one was my first major experience of fast food hell. Thanks for letting me get that out to someone who understands. Also, I just realized that my nickname for myself matches my place of former employment.

Til I get my next hell job (I'm actually HOPING for a retail position, isn't it funny?),



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Fast Food Hell Crazy Customers: Cherry Coke Lady and Oreo Shake Guy



From Fast Food Survivor:

So I used to work at a popular drive-in that shares the name of a blue Sega hedgehog.

The regular (or shall I say, irregular) custys at this place should have been in psych wards. 

The first one I met was known as the Cherry Coke Lady.

Every day - yes, EVERY day - she would show up at the drive thru for her cherry coke.

When I had the pleasure of meeting her, I was taking down orders for the first time.

I stated our usual greeting and asked what she wanted.

Her answer? 

"Give me my usual."

Yeah, as if I can see who you are or even remember if we've met before.

Fortunately, my manager came over and made her order for me, whilst explaining this custys' "usual." 

She must always have an extra large (44 oz) coke, with extra cherry. And a DISCOUNT, just for bitching at us every day.

However, the worst is yet to come.

We keep a bucket of ice up front by our drink fountain for easy access, but she wanted the fresh ice. From the back. How the HELL she could tell the difference is beyond me. If the ice did not come from the "fresher" selection in the back, she would go ballistic. I think she has secret video cameras in that restaurant.

Next is the Oreo Shake Guy.

He would come in occasionally, order an Oreo shake, and while we attempted to mix it perfectly, and have the exact size Oreo bits, and his perfect blend of ice cream and soft serve, he would take a sip, yell at us about how he owns ten of these restaurants (not ours, though, which makes you wonder why he wasn't focusing on them) and that we always do everything wrong.

My managers, eager to please, would force us to make him another immediately, free of charge. And this is only the beginning of the craziness. 

On a lighter note, one night, a car full of teenage boys dressed as superman, batman, spiderman, etc. visited the restaurant. My coworker brought their food to their car and, smiling, asked if it was for a costume party or something. Batman then proceeds to lean out of the car window, and say angrily, "Excuse me, but we, like, protect your city."
Made my day. :)

Anyway, I'm very glad not to be working there any longer, but wish me luck as I begin a new job at a bookstore soon.

--Fast Food Hell Survivor





Fast Food Hell: Rainstorm Bitch


Cwindow From Q, January 2010:

I work for a fast food restaurant and after reading your site for ages, I finally had to submit. 

I deal with all sorts of people, some of them ruder than others, but this woman topped the cake enough for me to want to submit.

At our restaurant, due to how it's positioned, we have two drive thru lanes, and thus two speakers to take orders from. 

A lot of times, when you're on the 2nd shift, we don't have enough people to have one ordertaker per speaker, so we oftentimes end up having one person taking orders on two speakers and taking money. 

So last night, I'm doing just that, which I don't mind doing, except that it was raining hard.  Now, due to how the speakers are positioned that water bounces off of them and can get someone wet, but I consider that the price that someone has to pay for thinking they're going to get their food faster by going through drive thru instead of coming into the store (It's actually not faster).

People who come through the drive thru line are typically regulars and they understand and get over it. 

Not this woman. 

So I'm attempting to take her order, but I get interrupted by a person at my window. 

Stupid idiot who thinks that a female fast food worker isn't worth listening to and who just read the pre tax total of their order and wanted to complain about it. 

Yah, well, next time actually listen to your freaking drive thru attendant.. no, I'm not important, I only have to make sure that your food is even rung up right to begin with, lest you annoy me and I ring it up wrong out of spite. 

Anyway, I get interrupted and lost track of this woman's order, so I apologize and ask her to try to repeat it. 

She gets increasingly agitated and pissy over the speaker, and whines about how she's getting all wet. 

Finally, she has enough and asks, "Do you want me to go to another (restaurant name)?" 

My response? 

"Ma'am, that's your choice, I get paid all the same."

So she drives off, but not before driving around to my window and bitching me out there. 

She made herself out to look like an ass, because I had the next 3 customers ask me what the hell was wrong with this woman. 

I almost would have had sympathy for this woman too, because I know what it's like to have to sit there and get wet (thanks to people not turning off their windshield wipers when they get to a drive thru window-- thanks everyone!) but she had to go and act like an ass and then try to get the final word just to make herself feel superior. 

I swear I hate drive thru customers.




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