We are aware that instances of customers being impolite towards fast food workers occur every day. But to witness the disrespect makes you wonder if these individuals were raised with proper ethics. I want to share a couple of these instances that I recently parted from which left me disappointed that there are people who exist who do not have enough empathy.
It is not about looking down on them, feeling bad, or having pity because they are fast food workers. That would be worse. But common decency is simply treating them with the basic kindness you would execute to any other stranger. There is a difference between asking about something for your order versus demanding it. Then making unnecessary comments to make the workers feel bad? Such people are in the wrong here, not the employees.
What I Witnessed At Tim Hortons
My friends and I ordered inside the store. While we were waiting for our orders, a woman after us received the box of Timbits she ordered. When the fast food worker handed it to her, she asked for a “sleeve.” The employee did not understand her the first time so the customer tried to further explain but still mostly used the same words. So the employee turned to a person who looked like the manager (I assumed because her uniform was different). However, the manager also did not understand. She said “sorry?” a couple times with a confused face and even looked around on the counter if she could figure out what supply the customer wanted.
From the second explanation of the customer, my friends and I could understand what she was looking for but we did not want to get involved as we could already tell the woman was getting more upset. Finally, the fast food workers handed the customer what she was asking for, which is one of the pastry bags they put baked goods in. The woman then exclaimed with attitude in her voice, “Gosh I didn’t think it would be that difficult!” As she said this, she looked over at my friends and I, kind of like a sign that she wanted an ally; someone to back her up, agree with her.
My friends and I did not respond to her glance or snarky remark. The woman exited and soon after, my friends and I got the rest of our orders, thanked the employees and left. We talked about the incident when we reached our cars.
It was one of those moments where we could tell that because of how busy the fast food workers were and how much they had to multitask it just did not click right away what the customer wanted. But it did not help that she kept using the same words over and over again to describe what she was asking for. Perhaps she could have tried explaining with different words but instead she was repeating and getting angrier by the second. Lastly, she did not have to say something to belittle the employees. It is understandable that she got a bit frustrated, however, she could have kept it to herself and still thanked the fast food workers for their services.
What I Witnessed At Popeyes
I ordered in-store at a Popeyes the other day with my mom. We were waiting for our order and so was another man. We were the only customers inside plus one fast food worker taking and preparing the orders and a chef who was cooking. The man was quite distanced from my mom and I but decided to pull down his mask to his chin while talking to someone on his phone. He did this while pacing around. This was already a sign of bad manners. Especially when there was a big sign on the wall saying to social distance and keep your mask on.
The man received his order before ours because he ordered a meal for himself and we were waiting for a family meal. He was watching the fast food worker finish packing up his order and asked her to put extra gravy on the poutine. Okay, no problem, people ask that all the time. Again, we were the only customers in-store, far apart enough but still able to hear the conversation.
The employee was very thorough. You could tell it was for her sake and also the sake of the customer. She would announce the food as she packed it so nothing would be forgotten and the customer could see. The fast food worker handed the man the bag with his order and said, “Have a good day.” The man asked, “Did you put napkins in there?” The employee handed him some. The customer then left without saying thank you.
My mom and I looked at each other and talked about how rude the customer was. It was possible for him to kindly ask the employee if she could put napkins in his bag. But even with his choice of words he could have still said thank you and yet he did not.
Please Be Kind To Fast Food Workers
I get it, nobody is perfect, some people are nicer than others. Maybe those customers did not care how they spoke because their mentality is that they are just one customer out of hundreds that the fast food workers serve and interact with. But I remember working in customer service and even a little rude thing is bothersome.
These fast food workers work just as hard as anyone else. People who think fast food workers are beneath them tend to be unlikeable. At the same time it is not right to “be nice” just so “they don’t spit in your food.” Mistakes happen and if a mistake is made in your order there is a way to handle it calmly. 99% of the time, the mistake is never done on purpose. It can be corrected and the employee(s) apologize.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you have a habit of being unnecessarily rude to fast food workers, I hope you can change your ways.
Graduate from Ryerson University & Lead Content Writer at Parting Stories.