Working the drive-thru can be a tedious and stressful job. People are barking at you through a headset, and you have to make sure you do everything correctly. Sometimes though, it's not just people barking orders on the other end of the headset. The people in the following stories share the weirdest and rudest things they've ever heard at the other end of their headset.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Another strange thing happened when we had an accidental discharge of the fire suppression system for the grill. We had to shut down the store, and I put a sign directly over the speaker informing people that we had a ‘fire’ and would be shut down until further notice. Naturally, as it was lunchtime, we had a crowd of people trying to come and order. When they obviously didn’t read the sign, and I’d inform them we had a fire and couldn’t serve them, I had one lady say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me, this is the worst customer service I’ve ever had!'”
“I was taking an order at Chick-fil-A. Customer starts with what sounds like, ‘I’ll take a cooowww meeeal.’
What? I said, ‘I’m sorry, could you repeat that?’ I turn the speaker on to get some extra volume because the headset is kind of crappy. The girl operating the cash register at the window behind me also turns to listen.
‘I’ll take a cooowww meeeal.’ Exact same enunciation, only louder. I turn to my coworker, who also has a confused look on her face.
‘Did she say ‘cow meal’?’ She asks.
‘That’s what I heard.’ I think she might be joking with me seeing as Chick-fil-A has a long-running ‘cows against burgers’ ad campaign. I respond to the customer, ‘I’m sorry, did you say ‘a cow meal’?’
HUGE mistake. Cue immediate screaming. ‘How dare you make fun of my accent!’
‘Sorry, ma’am. Could you please pull around?’ I tuck my tail between my legs, ditch the headset, and leave my coworker to deal with her. Not something I’m proud of, but it was a long night, and I was done.
It turns out the woman was saying, ‘child’s meal’ in the thickest, most cartoonish Southern accent I have ever heard in all my years of living in Virginia.”
The Drive-Thru Is Not A Brothel
“I worked at Taco Bell about ten years ago. We were getting slammed, non-stop cars. Suddenly the cars stopped coming, and we were all wondering what was going on. Someone was at the menu board but wasn’t talking, but we could hear some heavy breathing. We looked out the back door and saw about 20 cars backed up behind this car. My manager walked up to the car to see what was up. The guy has his lady friend going down on him. The manager told them to order or leave. They left.”
No One Understands How The Speaker Works!
“I worked at a relatively well-known burger franchise in Australia for three greasy years. Apart from the usual wasted people screaming/howling/barking down the speaker, I had a few (hundred) weird interactions.
One time on the late-night drive-thru, a car pulls up and I ask for their order. The guy starts speaking, then another dude yells over the top of him about me sucking his man bits. Silence. I sort of pause, and go, ‘Sir if you won’t calm your passenger down I’m not going to take your order with him speaking to me like that.’
The guy driving goes, ‘That wasn’t my friend, a naked guy just ran in front of the speaker and yelled that.’ I take his order, and he drives around, and yes, his car is empty except for him. I did see a dude running around in the nude a few minutes later – I obviously kept the window and doors locked.
Another time I have a car pull up, and there is so much noise coming out of it over the headsets we assume it is a car driven by a mom (who is doing the ordering) and four noisy teenage boys. It is school rush, so this wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary. This woman is shouting down the speaker asking basic questions (‘What’s on this burger?’ There’s a picture right in front of you on the menu board!) for a good five minutes. She rolls forward, drives round to my window and turns out it’s just two old women in a tiny car with the radio blasting. It takes over ten minutes to get them out of the drive-thru as I’m fairly certain they have been drinking. At 3 p.m. That’s a whole other story. It is one of the strangest things my coworker and I have ever heard as we are both sure it was going to be four teenagers and their mother.
Our restaurant didn’t sell fried chicken, the only separate chicken product we had were chicken nuggets. Another time some woman drives up and says, ‘Can I have a whole fried chicken, please?’
I answer, ‘No. We don’t sell fried chicken. We have chicken burgers and nuggets, but not chicken parts.’
The woman says, ‘Oh, can I have two half chickens then?’
‘…No, we don’t sell fried chicken. We have chicken burgers and nuggets. We don’t sell like, chicken by itself or drumsticks or anything like that,’ I say.
‘Oh,’ the woman says in an annoyed tone. ‘Well, then can I have four quarters of chicken?’
‘Ma’am we do not sell quarters of chicken. We sell chicken burgers or nuggets.’ I look at the manager who is raising his eyebrows at me. ‘Look, if you want chicken, there’s a KFC down the road.’
The woman bafflingly replies, ‘But I want chicken. Can I have-‘ I decide just to have her drive through so I can explain at the window that we don’t sell whole, half, or quarter fried chicken, and there is a charcoal chicken in one direction, and the KFC in the other. Then, all of a sudden, she just swears and drives off. People are weird when they’re hungry.
Last, a coworker and I were working drive-thru together and the guy ordering at the speaker asks us if he can have a minute. He sounds nice and smooth and charming. We say, ‘sure,’ and turn our microphones off so we can chat together, but of course, we can still hear him. In the next ninety seconds, he proceeds to have a phone conversation (perfectly civil, like a business kind of call) but every second word is swearing. It was just incredible, perfectly fine little chat, just more swearwords than your average Tarantino rant. Finally, he finishes talking. Dead silence then,’Hi? Hi, I’m ready to order.’ Finally.
I shake it off and go, ‘Hi, yeah that’s fine. Um. Just so you know, we can hear everything you say over the speaker box,’ and then he swears again and apologizes. It was just the most consistent, unbroken swearing stream either of us had ever heard, hence our surprise. He was a great customer.”
The Ghost Of The Drive-Thru
“I used to work at a 24-hour Burger King. One time at the drive-thru in the pitch black, I heard someone ask for a Tendercrisp Sandwich and a little girl in the background crying screaming, ‘I can’t breathe!’ In a raspy voice.
The dude (I think the driver) said something to the girl like, ‘Shhh, the bleeding will stop; just keep quiet.’