We've all done it. You're at the Supercenter with your kids, their best friends and at least one kid that no one really knows waiting for you to entertain them with after school snacks, a slumber party, or weekend feast. You race down the aisles with visions of the other "resident adult" permitting any number of unacceptable things to occur including a tea party with heirloom china or burning down the house in an attempt to pop popcorn.
You toss a roll of ground chuck in to your basket. 'We'll do tacos.' Turn the corner and see corn chips '...and frito pies. What's a party without nachos? ...and sandwiches?'
You avoid crashing to someone's grandpa on a mobile cart while wondering what will they drink. 'Definitely not my Chamomile Tea?' You pass over a case of over priced Cokes and opt for fruit punch.
You arrive at the registers flushed and frustrated at the sight of 32 registers and four cashiers. You survey the lives of the rich and infamous littering the covers of magazines as you start to have a change of heart.
'Who's going to go home and cook for a house full of ingrates? I could swing by The Bell and feed all of them for just under a small fortune. I'd also be gaining an evening of relaxation out of sight and out of mind.'
You arrive at the the drive thru speaker and order and order a couple of combos and several complicated twelve packs. Seems like this should be a cake walk to those who do this for a living and expect $15 an hour to toss around some meat and veggies for a living.
You accept the items from the Ms. High-school-student and speed into your evening of relaxation only to arrive home to great disappointment from missing part of your order. How could this have been avoided?
1. Arrive on purpose with clear intent.
Often people wander the streets on errands and find themselves in line at the speaker because they want something hot, quick, and tasty, without giving much thought to what exactly they have a hunger for. A little thought goes a long way because the cashiers and line cooks are on timers to have your food to you, usually in less than four minutes. If you can place a well composed order, you can expect much better service.
2. Be concise.
It's acceptable to ask a few questions about ingredients of items. If you've ever had to item before be careful not to request that items that don't naturally come on the item be removed. For example, if you order nachos and hate onions. Don't ask for 'No onions.' Sometimes this can have the undesirable effect of onions being added to your order accidentally.
3. Be friendly but not talkative.
Remember that these workers are sometimes mothers or fathers, but they are always somebody's child. They are not robots who are deaf to your sharp comments and immune to your attitude. Always respond to their questions even if it's only to ask for a moment more to collect your thoughts. Also, you will generally find a bit of polite straightforwardness goes a long way when a problem occurs.
4. Always check your order twice.
Check at the order confirmation board and again as you receive it through the window. If you have special order items or a large order, it is a great courtesy to pull forward to check your order for specific requests. Consider that these items are compiled as you ask for them. Make any adjustments as you order. It is unwise to double back and ask for modifications after completing your entire order. Often by the time you complete a large order half of it is already in the bag by the time you get your total. If you come back with: 'I want no beans or sour cream on anything' much of your order will have to be remade.
If employed, these helpful tips will solve many of the problems that we encounter regularly. There is no quick fix for those who pull up to the speaker and have to call home, and ask around to see if anyone in the house wants anything especially if we hear them reading the menu to them. Be mindful, if you are undecided, carry out though the dining room is always an option.
Feel free to leave a tip if you have learned anything that could have made your last experience better.