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Tales from Chick-Fil-A: “Am I Done?” June 14, 2009

Posted by eric22222 in General.
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It was one of those nights at Chick-Fil-A. You know the kind. The night when every minute goes by slower than the last. The night when five consecutive cars want the exact same obscure item. The night when Murphy’s Law is in full effect.

In short, a typical night at the chicken hut.

I had been on headset for about four hours. I was offered the chance to swap to the register for the last hour, but the idea of feigning a smile for an hour straight wasn’t all that appealing. I stuck to the headset. Cars were coming in waves as they tend to do, but we were finally down to one car at a time. It was here that the backstory ends and the story proper begins. A middle-aged woman in a minivan pulls up to the speaker.

“Good-evening-and-welcome-to-Chick-Fil-A-my-name-is-Eric-how-may-I-serve-you?” I gave the usual pleasantries in my usual sincere tone. Only my exhausted expression and hunched posture would have betrayed my vocal façade.

“Um… yes… let me get…” She began with several filler words, implying she was unprepared to order but unwilling to ask for a moment to think things through. After a lengthy “um” that would require more letters to phonetically spell than I have available, she began the order. It was heavily fragmented. Let me explain, as it’s crucial to the story.

Languages all have most of their meaning hidden beyond the words themselves. The inflection, tone, context, they all can completely change the idea being expressed. If you were to forget all definitions and grammar, the English language would sound like a song unsung. The rising and falling tones of sentences let the listener know what to expect. For example, when someone gives you a long number (be it a phone number or some kind of account number), you can hear whether or not there are numbers left. A phone number is usually split after the third number. Say your number aloud, and listen for the difference between the third digit and the last. Do you hear it? The third number “hangs.” The remainder falls.

“I need a number two with Coke…*”

She paused.

“…a number four, value sized with Sprite…”

Another hanging tone. You could actually hear the ellipsis in her voice.

“…number five, eight count, value sized with Dr. Pepper…”

Seconds pass. Hurry up. Please.

“…number five, twelve count, value sized with Diet Coke…”

Man, this order is getting big. How many people are in that car, anyway? Or maybe she’s just really hungry.

A full thirty seconds pass. Sometime before the full minute mark:

Wait. Is she done ordering? She definitely pitched it as though there’s another meal. I guess I’ll just give her a little push. But should I use “go ahead” or “anything else tonight?” Or maybe “what else can I get for you?” Or maybe I should s-

Her tone was genuinely uncertain as she broke the unusual silence: “Am I done?”

“I’m… not certain.”

No, but seriously, those were my exact words. Probably ranks up there for the most ridiculous things I’ve done at Chick-Fil-A. Other ridiculous things I’ve done:

  • Used the word “nestled” to describe our Cool Wraps.
  • Sang a line of “Danny Boy” to a customer at the window. (Tammy can vouch for this one)
  • Ran across the neighboring parking lot to deliver coleslaw left out of a customer’s bag. (Caught her just before she pulled onto Kingston)

The end.

*No, I don’t remember the exact orders you silly people. But what kind of writing style is “and then she ordered another thing?”

Annoying or otherwise bad work experiences provide material for the funnier posts on the site. For other such Chick-Fil-A related posts, click here.

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