‘Fast’ Food

How long should this take?

How long should this take?

I don’t ask much of  fast food. I only ask that, in fact, it be fast.

I don’t expect that this kind of meal to be either satisfying or nutritious. Frankly, I don’t even expect it to be food. If they’re serving me an amalgamation of processed chicken lips bound together with some kind of recycled and reconfigured (though deliciously flavoured) cardboard mash…well, it’s my choice to eat it. But they’d better get it to the counter in a hurry, that’s all I have to say.

Yesterday, in the middle of the afternoon, I walked into a fast food joint (something relatively rare for me) and became quietly agitated at the pokey service. These people were slow. And there was barely anyone in the place. I don’t know if they speed up during peak periods but I doubt it. I watched one employee methodically delaminating a stack of cheese slices and her pace was positively Darwinian. The clock is always ticking for me in any kind of lineup. These folks finally got the food to me mere moments before my discontent became verbal.

There is a famous family incident where I once lost my temper at a fast food restaurant. It was at one of the ‘biggies’ and it must have been at the end of a particularly frustrating day but the slowness of service caused me to crack…right at the counter. I launched into a Shakespearean-like plea to surrounding patrons. “How can they call this fast food?”, I projected clear through to the dishwashing pit. “I could have gone home and cooked myself a fine meal in the time it has taken you people to scrape together this pathetic excuse for sustenance!”. My wife, who was standing beside me, was mortified. I believe she tried to ‘shush’ me…which only increased my agitation. ‘This is not fast food”, I continued. “This is slow food. If I’d wanted the benefits long cooking, I coud have stayed home with my crock pot!” The manager..probably someone named Skipper..was unable to douse the flame of my frustration. I stomped out of the place (still hungry) much to the relief, I’m sure, of the staff and the everlasting embarrassment of my spouse.

If you work in the fast food industry you should be hustling. It’s as simple as that. Get it out there hot and get it out there in the here and now. Don’t ever let the customer catch you sleeping. And the standard should be that if it takes more than 5 minutes before the food (or what passes for it) is in my hands and into my mouth….I get it for free.

Somehow I don’t see a franchise in my future.

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6 Responses to “‘Fast’ Food”

  1. Brian Baker Says:

    Hi Dave, I went gluten-free back in December so all I really have to say about this post is…GOD, THAT BURGER LOOKS GOOD!

  2. I don’t have much to say in response to your post. I am a health food person. But I agree about lack of good service or speed I should say in getting our food quickly. Very funny post though.

  3. gailcarey Says:

    LOL………….I did the very same years ago. We were in the big one with the golden arches on a Sunday morning. The place had only been open about 15 minutes. The staff looked like they were hung over or zombies from another planet. I placed my order and waited, and waited and waited………..you get the idea. I have worked in a fast food franchise myself and I know how you are supposed to treat the customer and how you are supposed to ‘hustle’ as you say Dave.

    I lost it. I yelled out ,’Am I invisible here? I’ve been standing here for 10 minutes!’. It was probably more like five minutes but it felt like twenty. That got them hustling. My husband just disappears at times like that. He would have no doubt stood there for a good half hour before saying anything. I know this because I’ve sat and waited at the table while he stays at the counter and places the order. That’s probably why he tells me to go and get the table. LOL. I never realized this until this very minute.

    That episode was about 15 years ago and I probably would not yell now but I would still speak up. I try the nicer approach these days. The ‘you get more flies with honey than vinegar’ theory. Can’t say it works any better but at least my blood pressure doesn’t rise up like an active volcano.

  4. This is what “Corporatism” has done to society today. It has churned out mind-numbingly repetitive min.wage cookie cutter jobs that people take out of necessity, not choice. There’s no ownership on the part of employees hence SERVICE suffers. Gone are the good ole’ days of Ma & Pop shops; joints that were family owned with GREAT SERVICE or their business would suffer.

  5. Great start to my day, I’m all fired up, just waiting for someone to make me wait – the best part here is about Angie being mortified – I have had the “pleasure” of being shushed – didn’t like it when I was shushed, however I have felt like saying “shush” but thought about freedom of speech and chose not to – I have felt that embarrassment of being witness to something that I would have preffered not to – I’m thankful that there have not been someone to take a video of me on these events, that’s the day we live in, sometimes that is a good thing, most times, not – a good family story is one thing, a video, now that’s something else – I’ve also heard the staff in my local coffee shop say “oh, oh” when they see me walk in the door, btw – I think it’s funny though, they now know what I like (and pay for) – I’m not paying for 2nd rate or wrong altogether, and they know it, thankfully that curve is over, till the next intern arrives & needs to be taught

    • There is the problem now of someone recording your meltdown and throwing it up on YouTube. Even your public embarrassments aren’t private anymore.
      This is particularly troublesome, of course, if you make your living in the public eye. Nice world we live in.

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