is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


My Life in Fast Food

Jeff pointed me to this humorous article about a customer complaint thwarted by an employee. It's funny, sure, but it also reminded me of something that happened to me while I was working a summer job at Hardees, a truly wretched Southern/Midwestern fast food joint that specialized in, well, nothing. People tell me their horror stories all the time about working fast food, and I find I'm always able to sympathize because I too made the same food that they did. Burgers, fried chicken, fish, salad, you name it, I made it. And since people of any degree of competency are extremely rare in this industry, I quickly learned each job in the store and was asked to perform these jobs depending on who didn't show up.

My favorite job was always doing Drive Thru, for several reasons. One, either someone will help you put together orders or they leave you alone completely. Either are fine options. Two, you can entertain the people on the other end of The Speaker and yourself, as well, if you have the gumption and aptitude. Three, it was close to both the Drink Dispenser and the Ice Cream Dispenser, so cold beverages and tasty treats were always available. I'm glad the show Jackass wasn't on, however, so stuff like this never happened.

Anyway, about my story. On one particular occasion, I was working Drive Thru, and our (worthless) manager Angel tells them to shut down the chicken making at 8:30 instead of the announced 9 pm. She figured that the two whole chickens that were already made would last until 9, and she wanted to break down the chicken station so that she could get a head start on the closing process. I protested feebly, but I really didn't care, since I wasn't closing on that particular night. Well, wouldn't you know it, we had a run on the chicken and within ten minutes all of our chicken was gone. At 8:45 a very snippy woman pulled up in the Drive Thru lane and orders a lot of fried chicken. Now, I was a very friendly Drive Thru Service Oriented Employee (DTSOE), and I informed her we were out and offered a wide selection of tasty entrees to whet her appetite for our other delectable offerings. She was having none of this, and demanded to be served chicken. An abridged version of our conversation follows.

"It says on this menu that chicken is served until nine o'clock. I'm here fifteen minutes before that, so get me some chicken!"

"I'm extremely sorry, ma'am, but our chicken station has been disassembled for the evening, and that won't be possible." (I mean, why lie? Hardees' doesn't pay you enough to lie for stupid managers.)

"WHAT? You morons! You're incompetent, stupid, and your advertising is lying! I think you're lying, too!" Ok. Now she's done it.

"Look, lady. If you want to blame someone, blame my manager. You think the guy working the Drive Thru has enough clout to affect the chicken making decisions? You're wrong, lady. And frankly, I don't think I deserve your abuse. Why don't you get out of my Drive Thru and go home. If you have further complaints about me or the restaurant, call management from there. Good bye." (I then ignored her until she left. A few honks from the more civil patrons was all it took)

Fifteen minutes later, the Drive Thru had gotten a bit quieter, so when the phone rang, I was the closest, least busy employee. Sure enough, it was our Fried Chicken Lady, calling to complain. Here my story diverges with the Onion article, because I went to get Angel. "Hey, Angel," I said. "Here's that lady that you pissed off with your boneheaded decision about the chicken counter. Have fun!" The big difference, I guess, is that I knew as the only person working at Hardees' whose head wasn't entirely located up my ass that my job security was untouchable. Sure enough, she didn't really even attempt to chastise me. The moral of this story: Never complain. It does nothing.

Random links and obligatory LAPI

I stumbled upon this piece about drugs, airports, and El Debarge. Oh, and Ernest movies.

The new drug detecting device is called The Itemiser (right), an instrument normally used to detect explosives that's being modified to find drugs - much in the same way Jim Varney (above) modified lanterns into deadly projectile missiles in Ernest Goes to Camp, or how he and a small group of streetsmart campers turned two ordinary crates of turtles into unstoppable biting paratroopers. Infact, most of our government's best ideas and propaganda are based on Ernest movies. That's why Malaysia laughs at us.

This is a real Must Read: a reprint from a 1939 New Yorker about the tradition of the Beefsteak dinner. I often think about if I could be transported back in time to any point when and where I'd go. We have a winner. After women got the vote, they were allowed in to these things, and it just went downhill:

The life of the party at a beefsteak used to be the man who let out the most ecstatic grunts, drank the most beer, ate the most steak, and got the most grease on his ears, but women do not esteem a glutton, and at a contemporary beefsteak it is unusual for a man to do away with more than six pounds of meat and thirty glasses of beer.

Ok, even the "debased" version as described in this article still seems like heaven on earth. Via the superb PCJM.

Finally, apparently the way you deal with your first love affects your future relationships. I know, not a real LAPI, since no T&A. Get that fix elsewhere.


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