29 July 2008

Opening A Can Of...Garbage?

Our family of six went to a local burger joint tonight. That's not news but by the time we left the place I was THISCLOSE to bludgeoning an employee. Instigating a severe mood change in me takes skills; to have me happy going into the place but bent on deep-frying murder on the way out?

Someone should get an award. A Customer Service of The Year Award.

It was a dark and stormy....okay, just a dark night, and being a fairly quiet one in the restaurant, the employees were busy at clean up. My brood bellied up to the counter and I caught a glimpse of an employee from the back. This Employee of the Month was dragging in the garbage cans from the back door. Apparently, she'd just been outside dumping the cans only to stop briefly to set aside her task and help us at the register.

Can you see where I am going with this?

We ordered. She smiled politely and handed us the drinking cups. With her bare hands.

I'm a little bit of a germaphobe. What good parent isn't? Kids get dirty. Absolutely, and yet I draw the line at nose picking, bathroom breaks, licking the grocery store floor, the ebola virus......and garbage handling.

For a split second, I considered waiting to complain when we were on our way out. I'm fairly easy going but I couldn't let it go, watching her touch my kids' drinking cups. I had to pipe up.

"Ma'am? Excuse me. I don't mean to be a problem, but you did just handle those garbage cans and now you are handling my kids' cups?"

Mr Coffee looked over at me. I can see he's thinking, OH, Lordy, here we go. The man wanted a meal, not creative indigestion. As I suspected, Hamburger Lady got defensive, also confirming Mr Coffee' worst case scenario. We wouldn't be hearing, I'm sorry.... or Ooops, I'll be right back! Instead she would be serving us spit burgers.

"FROM. the. bottom." She glared and enunciated each word. Her outstretched hand held up a cup to demonstrate her innocence and prove her point.

Gee, pawing something from the bottom with filthy hands absolves people from hand washing? I'll remember that next time I change a diaper.

I corrected her but politely, "Pardon me. I could see you were pulling them apart from the top and handing them to my kids." Ms Happy Pants shook her head at me disparagingly.

Translation: I don't freaking believe this.
I should have just asked her to wash her hands but I didn't. She continued whining, "I DON'T touch the garbage cans. I just drag them from the front to the big dumpster. (with your teeth?) It loads them up automatically. I don't touch them at. all. but I'll wash my hands if it makes you feel better."

And who knew Those Health Dept. People overreact so when it comes to poo and garbage.

"Thank you," I replied with a strained smile. Ms. Happy Pants washed up at the kitchen sink and in grand gesture, angrily threw the cups into the garbage cans. She continued taking our order as curt as you please. I ended up walking away to herd the kids while Mr Coffee finished paying. She began to get more and more agitated with Mr Coffee who, by the way, has the patience of a saint. He finally asked her after she nearly threw him a pen to sign the receipt, "Was her asking you to wash your hands that big of a problem?" He smiled, hoping to make light of her mood.

Ms. Happy Pants snipped, "SHE didn't ask me to wash. My hands are cleaner than an 8 year olds."

Poking at my kids? She wanted to die.

Mr Coffee grew very calm as his smile disappeared. From across the room, I could see his best Hitman Bob look sweep over his face. This is not one I see often. Perhaps, once in a blue moon but believe me, it's one that would keep Darth Vader wearing his pee pants. It's also very fortunate for her that I didn't hear her snotty remark because I would have gone slo-mo Matrix from across the counter and scissor-kicked her head into the deep fryer.

I'll show you special sauce...

Mr Coffee looked at her square in the eye, "Excuse me?" He was still being overtly polite, "I think you can appreciate that I just don't want my kids to get sick, yes?"

Then she stuck her foot in it, "If you were worried about germs you shouldn't be eating at a fast food restaurant."

Mr Coffee silently tucked away his wallet and headed over to our table. I asked him about it and he relayed to me her comments.

"ARE you kidding me...", I nearly choked on my iced-tea, "..does she want to lose her job?"

The manager walked out with our food. I wasn't aware but Mr Coffee had kept an eye on the grill and made sure he prepared it. Spit burgers, remember? Mr Coffee asked if he was the manager, "That would be me," he replied hesitantly. Managers don't want to wear pee pants either.

Manager Dude looked not a day over 21 but due to his Super Boss prowess, he immediately apologized, "I'm so sorry. She has a bad attitude. I'll have to speak to her. Can I get you shakes on the house?"

"We'd appreciate that." Translation: Well, duh. Ice cream makes everything better.

He made us a round of fresh raspberry shakes. They were outstandingly yummy, as usual. The shakes are why we frequent the place...that and their in-season, giant Walla Walla Onion Rings. double yum!

I don't think I've ever been treated that rudely in customer service before. Incompetent employees, sure that happens pretty much everywhere but never flat out rude.

So, what would you have done..especially if you had the ability to scissor-kick heads?

~Bee has never washed her hands before she opens a can of whoop'ass


SheaLuna said...

OMG, "bad attitude" is putting it mildly! At least you got free shakes, though! Hmmm... can't imagine WHAT restaurant you were at...

R said...


Jodi said...

Scissor-kick all the way!

Mad Libs Millie said...

Tell me this wasn't the BV on MP Blvd because we go to that one frequently and I know someone who works there... but hopefully she wouldn't be this snippy about WASHING HER HANDS.

Yeah, it's a fast food restaurant and you're handling people's FOOD! Why wash your hands at all, let alone after touching garbage cans? Just run your greaseball fingers through your showered-last-week hair and scratch yourself a few times while you put pickles on my burger... I'm totally OK with that.

I'm a wimp - I would have been afraid of spitball burgers too, so I probably wouldn't have said anything, and just written the company a letter. Who knows how many garbage-burgers I've had by now.

Now I want the impossible meal... onion rings with a chocolate hazelnut shake. Darn those seasonal food makers.

JenLive! said...

OMG. I would have been in total shock at the audacity she showed and been speechless. Then I would have totally ratted her out to the manager like Mr Coffee did. Though I do like the mental image of the matrix response.

queen foodie said...

What a horrible attitude Ms. customer service had. I'm not germaphobic - can't be, I'm a 1st grade teacher - but I agree with you on this one...yuck! I think you handled yourself well. Young mr. manager made a wise choice.

Heffalump said...

Ewww...now I am not looking forward to eating burgers as we drive up to Vancouver tonight. Fast food has lost its appeal.

Unknown said...

Remind me not to multi-task and read your blog. I made a sound of disgust after reading your post...while I had a corporate on the line...not a good idea...you should have heard me trying to cover..."I...uhh..not...ughhhhh...I meant ahhhhhh".

I managed a Mickey D's for two years while I was in college and was threatened to be fired if I sent home one of our employees (who was filthy and stunk to high heaven). He went above me and complained when I told him to go home and take a bath. I was soooo done with that job!!!

I wish I could have been there...it's amazing that you're not in jail!

Skerrib said...

If I were feeling very very brave...which sadly is rare...I'd have asked to see her foodhandler's permit.

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I would definitely go with the scissor kicking. Oh yes.

Anonymous said...

Your customer service nightmare of a woman in my head has a kinky perm and big bangs. I would grab her hair and slam her head against the counter while saying "PLEASE. WASH. YOUR. HANDS." Then I would turn pull out my hand sanitizer from my purse and say "see like this, only with soap and WATER."

And that would be on a good day. LOL

Good for you piping up. I don't have those kind of skills in the moment.

holly said...

i would have sneezed into the hand that gave her her tip.

all three cents of it.

Jamie Dawn said...

I suggest you get a voodoo doll to represent that girl.
Then, stick it with lots of pins and wipe germs all over it.

I don't know what I would have done. I keep anti-bacterial wipes in my purse, so I probably would have wiped the cups down with them.

Jamie Dawn said...

I suggest you get a voodoo doll to represent that girl.
Then, stick it with lots of pins and wipe germs all over it.

I don't know what I would have done. I keep anti-bacterial wipes in my purse, so I probably would have wiped the cups down with them.

Gen said...

Ever see the movie "Waiting"? No? Well, here's a little clip to, uh, wet your whistle, or bring up your lunch:


Anonymous said...

Oh that is just AWFUL! I am super protective over my kids and I would have definitely been up her ass and quick. She really should be fired, she is so disrespectful. But those shakes sound good!

Thanks for the story!

Anonymous said...

I have confronted employees at a certain Sub shop twice, and they were very polite. I followed it up with a call to the manager. I ALWAYS speak up; it's very liberating to me. You can do it without being rude are hostile; some people don't take it any way you dish it out :)

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

I'm so glad you had this problem, because it's the funniest thing I've seen all day.

Is that being selfish?

"...because I would have gone slo-mo Matrix from across the counter, defying gravity, and scissor-kicked her head into the deep fryer."

Waaaay too freakin funny!

Gen said...

Oh, then you missed the fromunda cheese, pubes, and dandruff. Probably a really good thing. :-P

Tenakim said...

I can't handle poor customer service_ I will speak up -not rudely- but I am paying for it! I am the queen of getting things for free!

Dr. Deb said...

I find it liberating to talk to management too. But why would a place of business keep an employee on when theknow she has a "bad attitude". THAT says more to me than anything else.

And a scissor-kick to the head woulda been AWESOME!

JLR said...

oh, wow, I am speechless. People like that. . . if I were my dad, I'd say that she would go on the list of people that I would round up and have shot if I took over the world because she is not now and never will be anything but a problem-causer. But I'm not my dad, so I won't say that. I'll just say that I'm very impressed that the police didn't have to be called in. You show admirable restraint.

Angela said...

I love that you said "Walla Walla." It makes me feel so close! =^) And I probably would have been the one that wouldn't have said anything and wished forever I had. You go girl. All Matrix style and whatnot.

Blank said...

What a dumbass! I guess she hasn't heard of Hepatitis A? The virus making its way through restaurants across America VIA restaurant employees.

You can effing BET she doesn't wash them in the restroom either. You should have kicked her head in the fryer. You'd be doing her a favor. The hot grease would probably kill the bugs.

Touching the BOTTOM? Seriously. So, she touches the bottom, then the kids touch the bottom, or did she intend to warn your kids to only touch the cups in the safe zone?

It's just gross.

At the rate the economy is going, better workers than her are going to want that job before long.

You think you're a germaphobe? You should meet Mr. Pink, the man carrying antibacterial wipes on his person. He's obsessive. It kills me to think of him in that situation. Would actually be fun.

I like to see the restaurant emps with those little disposable gloves on when they're touching my food. It may not offer any more protection, but I'll take my chances with the gloves over the nasty little hands.

Something funny, just for you. Was in a Chinese restaurant the other day, in the restroom, and there was a sign that said, "All employees must wash YOUR hands before returning to work." I got this image of Chinese people lining up to wash my hands so they could get back to work.

That Janie Girl said...

You go girl!!

amy turn sharp said...

I so get this. Subway bothers me. A lot of the time I have to gently remind the kiddos to replace the plastic gloves that they ran over to ring with and then came back to "dress my sub". I freak! Agh! :)
I have missed you! I am so adding you to my reader baby right now. How do blogs slip away ? I am back.

Jaina said...

She seriously should lose her job. Even if you're upset, you are in a CUSTOMER SERVICE JOB!!! You play nice, be diplomatic, and you can whine and complain about someone AFTER they leave (or in my case, after I hang up the phone) Yay for Mr. Coffee for handling it without freaking out. With all of you calm, that girl is in even more hot water.

Millie said...

Ice cream really does make everything better, doesn't it?

That's what my friends Ben and Jerry tell me.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I would scissor kick, and drop kick, and beeyotch slap her. What a little cow. I hope nexttime she eats out someone puts bogeys in her burgers.

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