Thursday, December 23, 2004

Obserlizations and Generavations

After having worked at Taco Bell for over two years now, I feel like I am pretty well qualified to make some generalizations of certain types of customers that I have noticed. Please remember that I mean no harm by these and that they are simply for entertainment purposes. If at any point you find yourself being insulted by my words, please punch your monitor in anger and get over it.

There are at least four major ethnic groups that come to Taco Bell. I'm sure there are more, considering the fact that Southern California is home to what seems like approximately 20 billion different races, most of which have either eaten or worked at McDonalds. You know it's getting bad when you pull up to a drive-thru restaurant and see things like "Baba Ghanoush" or "Khau Kalash" on the menu, and you are asked if you would like some hummus with that.

The four major ethnic groups that I see in the drive-thru are:
  1. White
  2. Black
  3. Asian
  4. Mexican

Let's start with the whitey-tighties. White customers span a broad range of the social structure, from rich to middle-class to poor to Wal-Mart Employee.

Many times, white drive-thru customers are distracted by many things, including kids, cell phones, driving, eating, putting on makeup, trying to find the location of their wallet/purse, trying to remember to ask for more mild/hot/fire sauce than they'll ever use, etc...

Cell phones, however, seem to be one of the main distractions for most white male and female customers, as you can see by this fictional dialogue of a customer pulling up to the drive-thru:

Customer: *talking on cell phone* Yeah honey, I'm on my way to pick up your industrial size pantyhose...I'm at the drive-thru right now...I'm at Taco Bell...No I didn't pick up Timmy yet...No I don't think you look fat...Honey, really, I've gotta go now...I have to order my food...No I'm not getting you twenty tacos...What do you mean it's just a light snack? That's enough food to last me a week!...Yes, I know it's glandular...Ok, I need to order now...BYE!

Me: *sleeping*

Customer: Hello? Hellllllo? Hello?!?!

Me: Hi, welcome to the Taco Bell Phone Booth, how can I help you?

Next, we have our black customers. One thing I've noticed that is almost always true about them is that they love anything that is not good for them. They will ask for extra meat, extra cheese, extra sour cream, extra everything. Sometimes I think we should offer little packets of Crisco instead of taco sauce for those people who just aren't getting enough cholesterol in their diet.

Also, black customers will often ask for fruity sodas, like Fruit Punch, Hi-C, Lemonade, Orange, Purple, OranguTang, and other sugary drinks. So basically, black customers will typically order the most unhealthy, cholesterol-filled, and/or sugary food they can get their hands on.

Coming in at number three are the Asian customers, or should I say, Asian customer. For some reason, many Asians do not pronounce the letter "s" when it used at the end of a word to show plurality. This can make it especially hard for the person taking their order, because on top of the lost "s", Asian accents are not the easiest accents to understand sometimes, so this oftentimes results in some greatly botched orders.

Fictitious Example:

Customer: I want two taco, three burrito no onion, two cheese "qwessadilluh", and two coke.

Me: Ok, what size Pepsi's did you want?

Customer: No Pepsi! Coke!!

Me: We don't have Coke.

Customer: Ok fine, two medium Pepsi.

Me: Ok, so I have a taco, a green burrito with no onions, a quesadilla, and two medium Pepsi's.

Customer: NOOO!!! Two taco, three burrito, two quesadilla, two Coke...or Pepsi!

Me: Ok, would you like any hummus with that?

Last but certainly not least, we have our good friends, the Mexicans. Oftentimes, Mexican families are very big and have a lot of mouths to feed, so they come to the drive-thru looking for a lot of food, and even more hot sauce. And since they are coming to a Mexican restaurant, many times they are under the false impression that the drive-thru order taker can speak fluent Spanish. Take myself for example. I can speak enough Spanish to take most orders, but when they start using really complicated vocabulary and phrases, sometimes there can be some problems.

Customer: Me da tres burrito supremes sin cebollas, un taco con crema, dos tacos suaves con pollo, y dos Cokas medianas sin hielo. (Give me three burrito supremes without onions, a taco with sour cream, 2 chicken soft tacos, and two medium Cokes without ice.)

Me: Algo mas Senorita? (Anything else Ma'am?)

Customer: Yo soy un hombre!!! (I'm a man!)

Me: Lo siento Senor! Me encanta su perro! (I'm sorry sir! I love your dog!)

Customer: Mande?!? (What?!?)

Me: Me gusta bailar. (I like to dance.)

Customer: Da me mi comida! Andale! (Give me my food! Hurry up!)

Me: Salud! (Gesundheit!)

Lastly, I have one pet peeve that I have come to realize over the years, and it isn't specific to any particular race of customers. I hate it when people lick their fingers in order to separate their money. I mean, I can understand how it does help, and it's fine if people can do it while controlling the amount of saliva they are spreading around that dollar bill which I am going to have to touch. But what I hate is when people generously lick their thumb, as one would do if there was some spilled BBQ sauce on it, smear it all over the bill, and eagerly hand it to me as if they think I'm just waiting to touch their dinero drool.

In fact, I'd prefer that they smear BBQ sauce on the money instead. At least that way I could have something to eat while I'm waiting to go on my break.

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