Odd but true, I was compiling a list of pet peeves about fast-food drive-throughs when the story about the woman getting punched out in the parking lot of an Atlanta McDonald’s came through.
Wow. Now we do have, at least, a benefit to using the drive-through at a burger joint. Unless the clerk simply comes through the window at you, you’re likely to be out of arm’s reach in the car.
In this case, a woman brought her two autistic children inside with her service dog. A female store manager, off duty at the time, was upset about the dog, followed the customer outside and hit her. The restaurant issued a statement about respecting their customers, etc., according to a report by the Associated Press.
Back to pet peeves, yes, physical violence on the part of the restaurant employee would be near the top of our personal list of peeves. Right after, say, “poisoning.”
So, here, in no particular order, is our list of peeves at the drive-through, including some from a few friends who wanted to chime in.
1. Those microphones at the ordering station:
It’s childish to get irritated at an electronic device, and we, as adults, know that. So, we get irritated at the person talking through the microphone, who simply will not speak clearly. Or loudly enough. Or too loud. Surely technology has advanced so that microphones could be improved. (Or clerks could get lessons in enunciating clearly.)
2. The upselling:
Yes, this is a marketing strategy and the restaurant certainly has a point in using it. Still, if you know what you want, and a biggie fry and the combo are not it, you shouldn’t have to say so twice. And, maybe not even once.
3. Other customers (ahead of you):
I think you know what I’m talking about here. If I pull into a drive-through line and ahead of me is a Suburban with so many kids inside that the vehicle is rocking like a boat at sea, I leave. Not only will the ordering process and filling process be lengthy, but the parent (having learned from previous bad experiences), will check every item to be sure every single kid gets what they ordered. And, of course, in the meantime that child will have changed his or her mind and back through the window goes the bag.
4. Other customers (behind you):
You pull up to the ordering station, roll down your window, you look up at the menu and the driver behind you honks his horn. That’s when my car suddenly, and inexplicably, wants to go into reverse. Fast.
5. The absence of expected items in your bag:
We’re talking about napkins, straws, maybe a salt packet or two, the sandwich, the drink. Whatever. We know, human error. Still, annoying.
6. The drip, drip, drip of that drink you ordered:
Here it comes, ready or not, thrust through the window at you. You grab, at the same time noticing that the drink has overflowed and your hands are now sticky with Dr Pepper. Napkins in your bag? If you’re lucky.
7. Getting iced tea with sugar in it when you know you hollered “no sugar” five blinking times:
I think that says it right there.
8. Clerks getting impatient when you are putting away your change.
They have given you your drink, drippy or not. With it your receipt and change. You have one hand in which to grab all this and .25 seconds to set down the drink (and in some cases put the lid on because they didn’t), and put the change into a reasonable place, like your purse or wallet. All of this happens while the clerk is now shaking the bag meaningfully at you while glaring. I have learned to look them in the eye and say, “I’ll get the bag as soon as I put the change in my purse.” It generally doesn’t help, but at least I tried.
9. Driving away, then having to go back.
You’ve checked your order and things are missing. Or, that tea is sweet. Or, you didn’t have a chance to count the change and it is wrong. I have learned that it is best to ignore the impatience of the clerk and the guy behind you honking while at least tasting the tea right after it’s handed to me.
10. That view into the messy area in which they are preparing your food.
Again, not much else we can say here, except, is it really better knowing where your food came from?