So I'm standing in line at Subway (which, being only 5 people long at lunch time was pretty amazing in itself!). Anyway, so 30 seconds into her wait in line, this lady in front of me turns to me and goes "Why are they slow.. its only a sandwich.. how long does it take?" I just smiled because I did not want to be rude. Anyway, so she's at the counter soon enough and when the girl asks her what bread she wants, she yells at her saying "just normal bread". Umm, hello.. what is "normal" for you? Anyway...moving on, with lots of crankiness in between for being asked "what cheese?", "what salad?" etc she reaches the end of the line and tells the guy she wants chilli sauce so he asks her "Hot chilli or sweet?" And man, she just lost it yelling at all of them and telling they were totally incompetent for not even knowing what chilli sauce is etc etc.
Amusing lunch, yes.
The reason you are asked, what bread, what size, what drink, what salad etc at a fast food restaurant is because different people have different choices and I bet, if people weren't given a choice they would complain even more. Ordering at Subway is all about making choices and I like that - you don't just get a standardised sandwich, you can pick what you want in it. Whether or not this lady had ever been to Subway before, she had no reason to treat the staff so badly. I felt so so so bad for them.
I used to work at McDonald's...for about 3 months in 2007. Anyway, I didn't hate my job as much I hated the people I served because like this lady, some people would just be cranky and yell at you for no reason. I also worked at an Italian restaurant for over a year and though infinitely better than Macca's, cranky customers can really ruin a day for you. I know, from experience, that no matter how many other trouble free customers that Subway gets today, the staff there is going to be cranky about this lady until end of the day. I know Macca's is "fast food" but the word is "fast" not "instant" and I remember some people would get sooo irritated just because they had to wait a couple of minutes to get their burger. Now I am not saying Macca's is perfect.. some of them have really bad service but the one I worked at had amazing managers and it was a very efficient team so a customer seldom had to wait too long, even in the middle of lunch hour.
My point is, why do people unleash their wrath on some hapless fast food server? Does that really make you feel better about yourself?
Human nature is strange... the moment people realise another human being is "serving" them, they automatically feel superior and seem to have this urge to treat them badly - whether its a maid, a waiter or a shop assistant. Its mean and its petty but you will notice some people thrive on it.They do not believe these "servers" deserve common decency and a basic respect. It's disgusting.
On the other hand, having worked in hospitality now, I think I sometimes I am overly polite to waiters and retail staff...and I think people may find that a bit strange too. But better strange than rude right?