Since I am a frequent fast-food buyer, I can’t help but notice the hilarious antics at local eateries. I’ve referenced these before and can’t help but realize why so many managers want to throw their employees through a brick wall. Take for example this gem which I witnessed firsthand at a local Dunkin’ Donuts:
On a long morning rush-hour line, I stand to place my order. There are distinctly two lines running to handle the crowds, yet none of the lines are moving.
Customer (entering) – Is this two lines?
Me – Yes.
Customer stands behind other customers next to me on the right-hand side line. I’m on the left.
Customer (agitated) – Why isn’t this thing moving??
Me – I know right?!
A group of women are placing a large order and have infiltrated both lines to do so. After awhile, I figure it out, but wait anyway. I have next…
The groups leave and I walk up and order a number 2. The number two is clearly depicted as a coffee with a bagel.
Attendant – Do you want coffee with that?
Me (laughing to myself) – Yes.
Attendant – A small or a large?
Me – A large.
Attendant – Anything else?
Me – Yes. My sister would like a plain bagel with cream cheese.
Attendant – Toasted?
Me – No. Just a plain bagel with cream cheese, please.
Now this is where the hilarity begins. Everyone who worked at this particular Dunkin’ Donuts were related because they all looked exactly alike. They also had to be related because of a very distinctive behavior that they shared: looking busy without actually doing anything. Just imagine that there are, like, 25 of them behind a ridiculously small kitchen area behind the counter. The cramped quarters kinda made it look like an old Keystone Cops episode where all of these workers (in black and white film) engage in this art-form. While one took orders from the Drive-Thru window, another placed a cold croissant in a microwave. However, the microwave never gets started. Instead, that same person who just placed the croissant in, takes it out and performs the task again and again. Another young woman took pleasure in picking up the same napkin, placing it in its same spot while bumping into the other girls to grab a stirrer straw only to go back again and continue fussing with the napkin.
Over and over I marvelled at how little food was getting out as these OCD rituals were being performed by the Osmonds. Florav, my sister was easily getting impatient and kept muttering things like, “How long does it take to slap cream cheese on a plain bagel?” This question was soon answered when she saw the attendant, whom I had just placed an order with, scurry past the group of repetitive automatons with her own magical work. Like a time-consuming artiste, she lifted the bagel (presumed to be Florav’s) and placed it in the toaster oven and just as she was about to hit the COOK button, she recalled that the order was for an un-toasted bagel. She did this habitually for about 5 minutes while my sister and I looked on in amazement. The same nonsensical fluttering about occured with my “coffee” and my bagel: thankfully untoasted. We witnessed workers picking up sugar packets and putting them down again. We witnessed the mistique over the contraption called, The Toaster Oven. We even saw the complete confusion of one girl who had mysteriously gotten an entire order correct for someone who didn’t exist. Yes, ladies and gentlemen…believe it or not.
Hope you enjoyed our tale. I wouldn’t believe it myself if I hadn’t seen it firsthand. May your food forever be fast and your employees first-rate. Otherwise, we’re screwed America!