Dawson told me to write an article about my time at Mcdonald’s explaining how people can sometimes be the absolute worst customers so here ya go. First off you know I can’t tell a story without some background. So I graduated high school early in December of 2019. My parents’ rule is that if you are not going to school you need to get a job and pull your own weight around the house. Totally agree with that and it’s probably why I have the work ethic that I do. So it is February of 2020 (right before COVID hit) and I get a job at Highway 55, work there for 2 days and my manager stole all my tips so I quit real quick and got a job across the street at Mcdonalds carrying on the family legacy (my mom worked there during college).
I started off making biscuits and doing dishes meaning my shift started at 4:30 AM and didn’t end until I was done with the dishes which could be 12 or it could be 2. Eventually, they had me train a few new hires on biscuits and dishes and I got moved to the front counter. This was probably in April of 2020. And yes I worked throughout the height of COVID. This is when the change sorted had started to hit and for all y’all saying “there wasn’t a change shortage what are you talking about” I am not lying when I say I was lucky if I had 1 penny, 1 dime, 1 nickel, and 1 quarter when I opened the front each morning. It was truly awful. And people were very hateful about it as well.
Eventually, I got moved to work the second window handing out food and drinks and this was when I started dealing with the rudest customers ever imaginable. The first time a customer threw something at me is something I will always remember. I had made her a smoothie and she didn’t like the taste of it, I offered to make her something else that was the same price, but she didn’t want anything else, I offered her a refund, and she didn’t want a refund. So I asked her very politely (even though I was fed up with her entitlement at this point) what I could do to make things better. As soon as those words came out of my mouth, she called me a b****, threw her smoothie at me, and then drove off. The second time someone threw something at me it was hot coffee and thank god it had cooled down with the creamer or I would’ve been very badly burnt. Fast forward to when I am 19 and start working at Mcdonald's in the town where I go to school. People are a tad bit nicer than they were at my old job but still ridiculously rude.
Something people don’t really understand anymore is that even at businesses, such as fast food chains, our technology fails us. This sometimes means our card readers go down for about 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes our machines stop working, and sometimes we don’t have enough change in our drawer when we first open to give you $99 in change. (Seriously one of my pet peeves is someone ordering a coke which is about $1 and some change and handing me $100 3 minutes after we open.)
I have always tried to be polite in letting people know when they pull up to the speaker if something is broken, especially our card readers. And I understand how frustrating it can be to go to a fast food place to get something you are craving and not be able to get it. But when you pull up to the speaker outside and I say “Thank you for choosing Mcdonald’s, this is Sydney, I just want to let you know that we are cash only because our card readers are down right now” does not give you a window to curse someone out. It is out of the worker’s control. I am getting paid between $8-10 an hour (depending on where I was working at the time) to help you, take your order, bag your food, make your drinks, and give you your change when you pay. I am not paid to take your abuse.
Also, my BIGGEST pet peeve is asking someone to pull up to wait for food and they go “no I’ll just wait right here”. Okay let me explain something… whatever you ordered is not ready… I have the ten orders behind you ready… but because we ran out of something you wanted and are waiting for it to cook you are making everyone else’s day harder. You are the bane of my existence quite literally, especially during rush hours.
And besides that my least favorite was the ice cream machine. WE DO NOT TELL YOU IT’S BROKEN IF IT’S NOT BROKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!! That machine is the most finicky thing in the world….ever. It will be working PERFECTLY fine for 6 hours and then all of a sudden shut-off and not turn back on for like a week. But what I don’t understand is why y’all customers get so mad at us drive-thru people. Like I am not a licensed mechanic…sorry but I don’t know how to fix it and it’s not my fault that it’s broken in the first place.
The moral of this story is to be nice to fast food workers, if they ask you to pull up to wait for your food just do it. And if you’re scared that they will forget about you (which happens to be 1% of the time, I’ve done it twice in the 3 years I worked that job) OFFER TO GO IN AND WAIT! If they tell you the ice cream machine is broken, go to three other places that serve ice cream…Dairy Queen, Wendy’s, or Sonic. If the card readers are down and you don’t have cash, go somewhere else. If you want a Big Mac that bad go to Burger King and get a Whopper it’s basically the same exact thing if you don’t have the cash to pay for your order. This article is to spread awareness to people to stop being entitled jerks when they go to fast food places. It is not a lie to say we are underpaid and understaffed 99% of the time. We don’t make $60,000 a year we make like $15,000. Be nice, it doesn’t hurt you to spread some kindness. And always remember the golden rule… “Treat others how you want to be treated” and my personal motto is “I am going to treat you and talk to you how you talk to me”
And with that this article has concluded… if you don’t agree with it well then don’t read it I don’t care… but if you made it this far thank you, please come back, and spread some kindness to those around you!
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Sydney Brooke Haywood