Monday, June 5th, 2000 #66
George's Summer Job We All Know This Guy and We've All Wanted to Do This
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During 11th grade in high school, I worked for nine months as a cashier at a Burger King. I opened and closed, I worked lunch and dinner rushes, I washed dishes and bathrooms, and I helped clean the grease trap (which was often the highlight of my day (seriously)). Aside from actually making the food (which I did do once or twice), I think I have a pretty good idea what it's like to work fast food. But what I could never figure out is how anyone would want to work fast food, much less make it a career. Which is probably why I always thought the managers were complete losers.

The store manager was a perfect example. He was always giving us these idiotic pep talks, to motivate us or something. In particular, he kept saying that "Quality" was our top priority. Of course, we all soon learned that "Money" was our top priority. He didn't give a shit if the food was high quality, as long as it was fast and just good enough to get the customer to come back. I never understood the purpose of having a timer at the drive-thru. Yes, we want the food to get out there fast, but do we really want employees to be more concerned about getting the customer the hell away from the window than whether or not the customer was satisfied with their purchase? I don't think an extra five seconds of courtesy to one customer is going to make a huge difference to the customers in line behind them.

That's not to say the customers weren't sometimes to blame. The customers I hated the most were the fat, white trash that would waddle in with their dozen kids, ask for some huge order, then return at the end of the meal to demand a full refund because they claimed we gave them the wrong food, which they've already eaten. Look, it's store policy to repeat back your order to you, to make sure we got it right. If you confirm that we heard you correctly, what grounds do you have to complain later? Especially when we KNOW you're lying? But, of course, the managers won't take your word for it; no, the customer is always right, even when they're lying. And if you try to defend your actions and tell the manager the truth, they don't care. All they care about is that those fat losers will be back another day to spend more money and try to cheat the store again.

I've worked a lot of crappy jobs in my day, and one thing I have never understood is why people expect me to be happy about doing a shit job. You don't like my attitude? You think I'm making too much noise banging pots around while I frantically try to keep up with the never-ending barrage of dishes coming in from nearly every student on campus by myself? Of course the solution is to yell at me about it. God forbid you hire someone to help me. What's that? Oh, you can't afford to? Then get the hell out of my face and let me do my job. I guess my point is that if you have a shit job and you don't interact with the public, who gives a shit whether you have a good attitude about it?

That being said, I personally think everyone should work at least one shit job sometime in their life, preferrably in their teens. It just seems to me that if everyone had spent a little time on the other side of that fast-food counter, they might be a little more understanding and patient when their burger is a little slow getting to them, especially when you can see that all hell is breaking loose for the employees.

Anyway, the Tom in this comic is a caricature of my little brother, who worked at Burger King during high school and actually enjoyed it. If he hadn't decided to join the Army, he'd probably be a store manager somewhere by now.
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