You’ll never convince me that fast food employees deserve $15 an hour. Why? Because interactions like the following are not even remotely rare in my town.
Wendy’s is offering their small Frosty for 50 cents at the moment. Money is squeaky-tight, it’s hot as Hades out, and Tuesday is the one day that all three of the younger kids are away at school. So today felt like a good day to grab a cheap frozen snack on the way home.
When we pulled up to the drive-thru speaker, it was silent. I wasn’t sure if I should say “Hello?” or “Is anyone there?” because I’ve heard that if you’re pushy, they’ll spit in your food. So we waited.
In silent, hot, hungry anticipation, we waited.
Actually, I lie. The speaker was silent. My youngest was whining that this was “taaaaakinnggg toooooo lonnnnngg” and the other two were bickering over something that I can’t even remember.
“Are you ready to order?” The demanding voice smacked my eardrum. I could’ve understood her irritation had she already greeted me and I was just sitting there. But there had been no pleasantries exchanged at all.
“Yes, I’d like four small chocolate Frosties and two small vanilla Frosties.”
Silence. Another LONG silence.
“OK. So that’s….four small Frosties and three small fries.”
“No, I only ordered Frosties. Six small Frosties. Four chocolate, two vanilla.”
“NO, you SAID…” and then her attitude-drenched voice tapered off. And then I turned to my kids and whispered, incredulous, “Does this person really think she is going to TELL me what I said?!”
They laughed. Because they know their Mama and what happens to them if they try to tell me what I said when I KNOW what I said.
Silence. Another LONG silence.
“OK, that’ll be $7.42. Drive around.”
“Um…aren’t Frosties 50 cents each?”
“YES. I will take off the coupon at the window!”
I’ve done this before and there wasn’t any mysterious coupon to be configured, but hey, whatever.
So, we finally crept up to the window. AND…no one was there.
She finally sauntered over. “I took off the coupon. Your total is $3.75.”
Now, mind you, I’d been sitting there since 1962 holding three ones, a quarter and a penny in anticipation of a $3.21 total. Tax is 7%, so the total for six items at .50/each plus tax should be $3.21.
And I told her this. And I’m going to pat myself on the back because I smiled AND used my nice customer-service voice instead of the sarcasm-coated utterances which usually flow freely when teenagers irritate me at home.
She didn’t smile back. “Oh, hold on…” and she vanished again.
Is it just me, or should getting some discounted ice cream not be QUITE this difficult?
The crickets were chirping again before two girls appeared at the window.
The (manager?) glared at me and spoke slowly, seeming quite certain that I was too dumb to count, much less drive a car.
“This total is right,” tapping the screen. “You ordered seven Frosties.”
“No…I ordered six.”
She snapped around, told the girl, “You got seven on here!” Then the manager fixed the order and stomped off.
Defeated, she told me, “OK. That’s $3.21.”
I quietly handed her the cash and kept my mouth shut even though I wanted to shout, “I know that! I’ve ALWAYS KNOWN THAT! All 476 years that I’ve been sitting at this @#$% window I’ve known that I owed you three dollars and twenty-one cents!”
She just stared at my quarter and penny in her palm. She kinda poked them around with her long fingernail, looking utterly bewildered.
She keyed in the amount and when she got the change out of the drawer, it’s like a light bulb momentarily flashed as she realized that I wanted one nickel back instead of four pennies.
At least, I hope she realized that was the reason behind The Great Mystical Combination of Coins.
She thrust the nickel and the receipt at me, saying nothing. The girl at the next window silently passed me our Frosties.
I kinda wondered if someone might’ve spit in them.
So, yeah. Minimum wage for minimum skills. Which if pay were really based on skills, this girl should be making about $1.51 an hour.
Maybe round that up to $1.55 so she doesn’t get confused.