Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Call to Courtesy

I work at a fast food restaurant. I make minimum wage. That does not make me less of a person simply because I am the one working in a horribly greasy environment just to make the food you eat. In fact, if it weren't for me, you would have to go home and make your own meals.

I think the stereotype of fast food workers is that of irresponsible teenagers or adults who couldn't find a better job so they had to settle for what they could get. That is not exactly the case. Many fast food workers are like me, college students who have a college bill to pay. We go to school full-time, and most "respectable" employers don't want to work with our class schedule. Others are adults with families who, in the present state of this economy, lost their jobs; they are simply trying to work to provide food and shelter for their family rather than taking money from the government. Yes, some are high school students, but I give them a lot of credit for working a job to earn money instead of bumming it off their parents.

Fast food workers are subjected to a lot of mistreatment by our patrons. We are often made to feel like second class citizens just because we happen to be on the opposite side of the counter. Many times it seems as if people vent the frustrations of their bad day on us...hey, it's not our fault you had a rough time at work. Oh, another thing, if you move tables around in the dining room, fine, but please put them back where you got them from! And for goodness sakes, we aren't a full service restaurant which means that if you make a mess, clean it up! If your order is messed up, please be polite about it. We aren't perfect and sometimes, especially when we are busy, we try to get your food out so fast that mistakes are easily made. We will correct it, I promise, the nicer you are to us in the process, but nicer we will be inclined to be to you.

Working fast food isn't exactly the easiest job, but it can be enjoyable. Having courteous customers makes our life easier. If people would just relax they would realize that dealing with us can be rather pleasant. It is our responsibility to try our hardest to be nice to our customers, but it's much better when our patrons are decent in return.

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