Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Dumb Chatter You Hear ©2011 by Joe Sixtop all rights reserved

     I waited on some suits from the McDonald's® Corporation recently. They seemed to have a good experience but I didn't. I wanted to tell about that (and I probably will someday) and also a little about what my Mickey D's-working buddy has to say about his job, and somehow it devolved into this. Enjoy!

     Nice couple, decent tippers. In their early sixties I'd guess. I haven't seen them in about five or six years, since I moved away, and I'm totally unable to recall either of their names. They seemed to like me pretty well because they'd usually only come in on nights I was bartending. When I'd get a few spare minutes or on a slow night, they liked to talk to me. Not the dumb chatter you hear from some clients; it was usually pretty interesting. They were both professional pilots.
     They owned an airplane and for the right price you could ride in it or they'd fly over an outdoor stadium during an event with your advertising banner in tow. That's about all the wife was licensed to do with airplanes but the husband claimed he was qualified to fly a Boeing 747 full of passengers if Southwest Airlines or whoever would only give him a job and I have no reason to doubt him. Most of their income seemed to derive from his flying Lear Jets for corporations whose regular pilot had called in sick.
     The wife was licensed to do one thing the husband wasn't: fly helicopters. He'd tell me that except for a few things common to aviation, such as the lingo from Air Traffic Control, or knowing what an altimeter is, I was just as capable of flying a helicopter as he was.
     That's kind of how I look at so-called "fast food" employees. If you're a server at Ruth's Criss™ or Bob's Big Boy®, or like me, somewhere in between, you and I are both servers, however very little that's worth to either of us. If you work at Burger King™ say, or Wendy's®, I think there's no collegiality between us whatsoever and you probably agree. Not that there's anything inherently wrong with either hustle, of course. They're just way, way different. Except for a few commonalities, like Health Department regs, we're like helicopter pilots and airplane pilots.
     I have a friend, my neighbor Jakey G, who cooks and works the drive-thru at McDonald's. I asked him his thoughts on the subject—like most people, he's totally unaware of These American Servers™— and he doesn't consider himself in any way a server or our respective jobs very similar.
     How do you feel about it?

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree - I especially hate going into a fast food shop, cafe or sandwich place where I order from someone behind the counter, they give me my food [or in the case of a coffee shop, my coffee] and I am responsible for my own drink from the dispenser, BUT there is a tip jar! Wait, I just did all the work a server would do, except make the food which is the counter person's job. Remind me again WHY I am supposed to tip an employee who gets a regular paycheck instead of making $2.31 an hour like a waiter? I appreciate they probably don't make more than minimum wage and tips are nice, but min. wage is almost 5 dollars more an hour than what a waitress makes. The title is "barista","counter person" or "sandwich maker." Not "server." Completely different. So, I agree with you Joe.

    With that said - I am a sucker and always leave a bit in the jar, but I just wish they weren't there to begin with in those instances.