The Minimum Wage Etiquette Any Decent Human Being Should Know
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The Minimum Wage Etiquette Any Decent Human Being Should Know

I thought we were all adults here, but so many strive to prove that wrong.

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The Minimum Wage Etiquette Any Decent Human Being Should Know
stekelbes / Flickr

I didn’t think I’d have to write this one. I thought we were all adults here, but so many strive to prove that wrong. We encounter them every day, and if you’re reading this, you might be one of them: a minimum wage employee.

For transparency’s sake, I too am one of those; I clock-in at seven in the morning, run a register at a local gas station, and clock-out when the closer arrives in the afternoon. If you saw my resumé or corporate hat collection, you know I’ve done worse in the past. The jobs themselves are usually bearable given the blessings of friendly and sane coworkers or an empathetic manager. But that’s not how it works at all. No, it is you, dear customer, who is making this exchange of goods and services more difficult than it needs to be.

After observing some recent customer service interactions, myself an active party in more than one, I have decided it is time to lay out some ground-rules. You didn’t ask for it, but you’re getting it. Enjoy.

You’re ordering pizza wrong.

We live in the golden age of pizza. Entire orders can be summoned with little more than your finger-tips with an ever-expanding set of topping combinations. But we must heed the words of Uncle Ben, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” The introduction of the pizza app has largely solved the issues associated with ordering over the telephone (another app on your phone), but in case you wanted to do it the old school way, here’s how: delegation and preparation.

Chances are there are a few mouths to feed and someone is being picky about the sauce or a couple may even be having a meltdown over pineapple. Generally, the person with phone in hand will have to assume the position of leadership and must take all requests into consideration.

Do the math, be democratic about the toppings on each pizza. If the party requests to divide the toppings into thirds or fourths, the other end of the line has every right to hang up. These steps must be met prior to dialing, write them down if you must. When ordering, understand the employee is most likely folding boxes and waiting to make a delivery while taking your call and efficiency is appreciated.

State the order clearly, repeat the toppings that are to be halved, and for the love of pepperoni, have your wallet ready.

Dinner is just an oven cycle and short drive away, as soon as you relay your address to the driver. I’m not saying this is you, just know that it has happened to me on more than one occasion... but you must know your own address! Whether you just moved in or left the kids behind with a twenty-dollar bill, have that oh-so-vital information accurately memorized. The employee, who is still waiting to make that double run, by the way, does not need to be waiting on hold as you find yourself lost in your own home. Not a problem? Great. Now all that remains is the bill. But wait, the math doesn’t seem to check out, you seem to be almost five dollars over.

That’s a delivery fee, sir/mam.

No, this is not a tip, and no, this does not go towards the driver in any substantial way. The way it shook out at my Dominos franchise was this: each delivery made by a driver is compensated by a fraction of the fee, 25 cents for one delivery and 50 for any number of deliveries above that. Not 50 cents per extra run, half a dollar total, even on a quadruple-run. If you pay with a card, tip on the receipt when you sign or pay in cash. This is the golden age of pizza, not the bronze age, tip your driver well. Also, note that these strategies are applicable to most delivery food options beyond the local pizzeria.

Table Manners.

I’m not your mom, but neither is your server. Chances are, they only have two hands or less and an entire section to serve. Ever wonder why it takes so long to get a seat anywhere during a rush? Maybe it’s the little league team destroying the back section, but maybe it’s also the state of the table left by the previous customers.

Now, the staff are usually well prepared to handle indecision and the splitting of a check three-ways, what takes a while is cleaning up after a well-used table. Treat the table with the same dignity as your kitchen sink and overfilled counter; stack plates with utensils piled on top or in a glass, move glasses to their own zone, mop up your spills as well as possible, and leave the check on a dry and sanitary portion of the table.

It takes two minutes and gets more butts in more seats at a greater pace.

Fueling up.

I don’t know exactly where they keep coming from, but lately, at my station, people attempt to fill their vehicle before paying. What I have deduced thus far is that drivers don’t have a clue as to how much it takes (in gallons, liters, or dollars) to fill their fuel tank. If you want to pay in cash, it is immensely helpful if you have an estimate or gut-feeling as to how much fuel your thirsty car requires. Here’s a free tip: let your gas gauge fall to the slash, maybe even get the needle to drop below “E” as in empty. Roll into your regular station and fill with a card. The pump will display how much fuel you have pumped, and since your practically empty, the display should reflect the tank’s size. Now you know what it takes and how much cash to hand the attendant when your below E or at half a tank.

The etiquette of pumping gas is quite simple, especially for places like Oregon that do not allow customers to fill their own tanks (which is starting to make sense to me now). Written in bold and often in red, right there on the pumps are three simple warnings.

1) Do not smoke or have an open flame while fueling. I can’t believe I had to say it.

2) Do not operate a cellular device or create any static while fueling. You’re slinging gas here, it’s worth paying attention to and not scrolling your feed while lounging on your nylon seat-covers.

3) Turn off your engines. This applies to you as well diesel operators. I won’t get into flash-points and compression versus spark ignition — accidents happen, spills happen, and your engine is growling mass of hot metal, electricity, and friction. Pull out the step-stool, dismount from your lifted quad-cab, and listen to your gas attendant. Truck not cooled down enough? Too cold outside? Turn off the ignition, grab a coffee from inside, and chill. And why is it every truck I have encountered seems to have a bad starter or battery? Is that excuse really warranted in a potential gas explosion? Most stations will have the ability to get you on the road again, but hey, that doesn’t sound like their problem either.

One final tip, it is customary for fuel price display boards to list the cash price for fuel. Most stations will apply a ten cent charge per gallon to your debit or credit card. And no, the employee in the shop with the red hat does not control the geopolitical climate or corporate fees. So, stop asking.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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