Respect seems to be a trait many people lack nowadays. It does not matter where you are or who it is-parents, teachers, the elderly, even young adults- respect is absent.
I have been working in the fast food industry, specifically McDonald’s, since I was fifteen, and one thing that continues to shock and frustrate me is how rude customers can be to those fast food workers.
Now I am not writing this to complain about my job. I have noticed this trend when I have visited fast food establishments as a customer, and I have heard my friends tell my similar stories.
Yes, we are fast food employees; it is not the most glamorous job or a job that requires an extreme amount of skill or years of schooling. Yes, the strikes for $10 are a bit absurd, but one thing we DO deserve is your respect.
In my three years of working at McDonald’s, I have had customers scream at me, be rude to me for no apparent reason, and make degrading comments towards me. I have also seen my fellow employees deal with similar situations, and some have even had food thrown back at them in the drive thru. We have also had people deface our bathrooms- it is absolutely ridiculous to think that people purposely wipe feces on the wall, miss the toilet, or stick change down urinals (yes this has actually happened) to cause problems for employees.
A lot of people stereotype fast food workers as lazy, unintelligent, irresponsible, and the “lowest of the low”. For many of the people I work with, McDonald’s is their main source of income, or it is one of several jobs. Many of my coworkers are working to support families, to support college expenses, or to have extra spending money while in school. Many of the people I work with have college degrees, or have some sort of business experience. Many of these coworkers work close to 40 hours a week, five to six days out of the week, every week.
Given these circumstances, it is not right for fast food workers to be disrespected as much as they can be. If there’s a problem, ask us politely, and we will be more than happy to fix it for you. I can guarantee you, you are going to have a much more positive experience if you calmly tell us what’s wrong, rather than storm up to the counter, demanding for a refund or new food because of a mistake we made.
Please do not yell at us for price changes, extra charges for certain items, or if we have to park your order. We are just the employees; we do not make the rules, we just follow and enforce them because this is what we are taught to do.
Let me put this in a different perspective for all of you- no matter whatever your job is, imagine you were treated like a lot of fast food workers are. How would you react if someone came in and treated you like you were stupid or if they started yelling to your face? You wouldn’t appreciate this type of treatment, so what makes you think it is okay to treat others that way? Follow the saying, “treat others the way you want to be treated”; you never know when the tables could turn on you.
I feel like some positivity is in order to end this article, as well as to shine a light on the customers that do go above and beyond to brighten your day. Along with the negative experiences, there are just as many positive ones.
In my three years of working at the same establishment, you learn to get to know the regular customers, and they get to know you. They’re always there to cheer you up, joke around with you, and commend you for a job well done.
Personally, my favorite experiences are by customers just passing through the area. One of the most memorable experiences for me was when a couple from Harrisburg left us a note on a napkin stating they always stopped by our store whenever they passed through because of the great customer service.
Strive to be the person that makes someone’s day. Respect all of those around you, because in the words of Dr. Seuss, “A person is a person no matter how small”.