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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Drive Thru, Please (Part 3)

I'm going to open this blog by announcing that I am in no way racist and I mean no disrespect to the foreigners who come to America to live and work among our society. I embrace diversity with open arms and feel that the future of the world depends on it.

To expand on that idea, let me share with my latest drive thru frustration. Last night, my wife and I took a short detour from our new diet plan as it was getting late and cooking would have just had us eating even later. We pulled into the drive thru and were met with a quick and indecipherable greeting by the employee working the section. I gave him my order and I was asked a few questions, none of which I understood clearly. I pulled through and was quoted a total that I also didn't understand but the change was 59 cents. I was given 4 dollars and a dime for change. I'm not a rocket scientist but I know that out of a dollar, 41 cents is the remainder from 59 cents so I'm not sure why I was given a dime. We pulled forward and thoroughly checked our order and by some miraculous event, it was right.

Before I go any further, let me just say that I have visited this establishment before and have perfectly understood other employees so this was not a simple case of a broken intercom. The problem here is very simple: the manager is an idiot. Why would you put someone in a position where they are taking orders and reading them back to people if their native tongue isn't yet capable? It's one thing to put someone new in that position even if they speak the most perfect English you've ever heard; that won't matter if they don't know what buttons to push to create the order as it was called out. Even worse, putting someone who speaks very incoherent English in a position where communication is the most important factor is just irresponsible. Therefore, before you accuse me of calling out a foreigner for making my drive thru experience unfavorable I'm declaring that I place the blame not on the man who did his best to take my order but to the lame manager who put him there.

I have been a manager for food service, as you may have read about in previous posts. I know how important it is for the customer to feel like his or her order was taken properly and they can simply receive their order and enjoy it. If you look at the requirements for management these days, you'll see the expectation of degrees and experience, unless of course an employee has worked up the ladder and been internally promoted, as I was. Either way, you would think that some level of intelligence would be displayed by the person who is running the place. Even if the teenage idiot employees don't know what the hell they're doing or most likely don't care, the manager needs to be the equalizer to ensure that the customers are taken care of.

You'll notice I mentioned in the beginning that I embrace diversity and I support the people who come to our great country to live and work. This is true, but I think it's the responsibility of the managers and those in charge of hiring these people to make sure we integrate them wisely. To put them in a position that will highlight their early stages of adjustment will only fuel the debate that they should not be allowed to come here in the first place and that's not that America is all bout. So, if you're placing an order at a food establishment, either by drive thru or the counter, and you're faced with someone who is difficult to communicate with, give them a break and then call for the manager and let them know how much they suck for making both parties feel uncomfortable. If you think these foreigners enjoy the fact that people ask them to repeat what they've said because their accent is too strong, you are mistaken.

1 comment:

Denise said...

I was sure I was going to love this blog from the very second I read the disclaimer... everything that starts with a disclaimer is usually opinionated and yumm! I definitely agree with you... and the only thing worse than that is 2 people, both with different heavy accents attempting to communicate with one another... I can't help but think that something is seriously being lost in translation.