Workin' the Drive-Thru

I wrote a guest post a few weeks ago for Knox McCoy about working the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I thought I'd share some more from that blessed year and a half.

You know how annoying it is when you pull up to order at Taco Bell and they ask if you'd like to try a specific item on special, but all you want them to do is shut up and let you order a #3 and get the heck out of Dodge?

The dude on the other end of that horrible speaker system is just as annoyed as you are, my friend. We were required to ask if you'd like a [fill in item costing above $2 here]. I always stuck with the Burrito Supreme. A great standby; nice and reliable.

But I knew you'd ignore me, no matter what I asked you.

Me: Welcome to Taco Bell, would you like to try a Burrito Supreme?
You: Uh, no thanks. I'll just have the Burrito Supreme.

So I started having fun.

Me: Welcome to Snickerdoodle, would you fry plate a mean canteen?
You: Uh, no thanks. I'll just have the Burrito Supreme.
Me: Pkksh, shhh, shh. KKsh, frish kish?
You: Uh, no thanks. I'll just have the Burrito Supreme.
Me: Welcome to Target, would you like to try some asbestos?
You: Uh, no thanks. I'll just have the Burrito Supreme.

Management took this up-selling opportunity very seriously. Once the district manager drove through for an inspection. The item I tried to up-sell him on wasn't above the $2 mark, so he got ticked off. He pulled around, came in and read the store manager the riot act.

The store manager, who shall remain nameless, was a huge man. I had nowhere to hide when he came for me a few minutes later. He picked me up by my shirt collar and shook me like a rag doll. I think there may have been some growling as well, but I don't remember exactly since I was whimpering with my eyes closed while my feet dangled helplessly in the air.

Although he apologized later, he actually did me a favor. To this day, whenever I have a bad day at work, I think "Well, it could be worse. At least Marshall didn't shake me up like a champagne bottle after the World Series."

What job-related shenanigans do you remember?



Russ said...

I worked at Taco Bell during college for 5 years--3 at a store in a strip mall on campus and 2 at a regular store.

The 3 years on campus was like a tour of duty. We were right outside the village with all the bars, and we were open until 5AM. Bars closed at 3, so the last two hours were the worst. Like clockwork every Friday and Saturday night, at 3:10 we would get slammed and it was like total anarchy out in the dining room: people fighting, people passing out, people setting off the emergency exit alarms... and you wanted to look out there to see what was going on, but you were so buried in orders that you didn't have time to see.

By far, the worst customers for me were the picky eaters and the vegetarians, because I would try to work ahead to keep up with the crowd, and then I would look up and see some kind of crazy order like 1 BUR SUP +BN +LET +TOM +ON +SCR +GUAC +GRN -MT -CHZ -RED, have to decipher that mess, and then communicate to the stuffer what they needed to know.

Or some frat guy would walk in with his buddies and buy 40 tacos at once. You would hope for an easy night, but then those orders would just randomly come in and your heart would sink.

Ricky Anderson said...

You were a lineman, huh?

They never let me work the line. I made food that looked like the pictures. Surprisingly, this takes a while. Turns out people go to fast food joints for 'fast' food, not pretty food.

I was only allowed to do the drive-thru. To this day, I twitch at the Taco Bell ads where the bell gongs at the end. Conditioned response.

Russ said...

For some reason, working the line was one of those things that was looked up to in our store, and then when I got there, it was nothing but sweating over the table and wearing a gross apron that somebody had sweat in a couple of days before. There wasn't regular maintenance done on those things. But, I wasn't usually up front with the drunk customers then, so I guess maybe it was a trade-off.

Sgt. Wolverine said...

I never worked fast food, but I did once spend four days working in a recycling plant.

...Actually, now that I think about it, those may not be all that different.

Anyway, I stood at a conveyer belt picking non-paper/cardboard objects out of the paper/cardboard. I lasted only four days because it turned out I wasn't exactly built to spend eight hours on my feet, but because they let us keep any worthwhile stuff we found in the recycling (probably because it wasn't that common to find worthwhile stuff), I did come away from that job with a good pair of combat boots with only one small rip in one of the seams.

And then, after I let them know the job wasn't for me, I went home and took a nap.

Of course, now I'm a photographer, which means my job is to wade through other peoples' moments and pick a few to recycle in my photographs. I CAN'T GET AWAY FROM RECYCLING.

Rick Knowles said...

Back in the early 90's when Pizza Hut introduced the Bigfoot pizza, I took a phone complaint from someone that claimed to have found a hair in their pizza. I replied "Well, it was modeled after a big hairy monster." I thought I was hilarious, but the other end of the line was dead silent. I said "I guess you didn't see the comedy in that, did you?" "Nope," he replied. I apologized and made it right, but I still think it was a great line.

Laurielizard said...

You didn't mention the Golden Taco award....

Ricky Anderson said...

Gotta have something for Part III, Sis!