or, How I quit driving through at Taco Bell and learned to embrace the El Taco Loco wagon
Published on October 14, 2005 By Angloesque In Misc
Taco Bell, my biggest competition for my husband's palate, has this fairly new greeting at the drive-through:

"Hi, how are you doing," the monotonic minimum wage worker asks. It's not a question.

Not, "Welcome to Taco Bell. May I take your order?"

But one has to wonder about the new greeting, do they really care? No, they don't. They want the money. Taco Bell is not and never will be known for its friendly workers; it will, alas, always be known for hiring minimum wage high school, college, or poorly educated workers (my friend Todd being a case in point. Don't drop out of college, kids). So when I go through the drive through, I don't want to be asked how I'm doing. I want to order my cheap food and get on my way, not discuss the shitty day I had at work because a client decided deadlines were silly and inconvenient.

And the fastest way to get over the fake "How are you doing" is by saying "Fine." So the conversation goes like this:

Minimum-wage bored/harassed Taco Bell employee: Hi, how are you doing.

Me: Fine (in spite of fact that the world ended, my husband left me, dog died, radio died, got fired, etc.).

Next: Dead silence. Who speaks next? Technically it's the worker's responsibility to speak next, but are they waiting for me to look at the menu? Awkward like a prom date, only more annoying.

What should I say? "Shitty, thank you, and I'll take a uber-grande enchilada-stuffed taco-wrapped gut bomb. Actually make it a combo."


Unfortunately Starbucks, the purveyor of all that is evil and good in the world, has taken to doing the same. Starbucks, of course, is supposed to be friendly (if overly). Fortunately, their slightly-above-minimum-wage-when-you-count-tips workers are good at filling the dead space. Once I didn't answer the whole "How are you doing" thing and the worker said "Sounds like you need some coffee! What can I get you?" which, while annoying, was a pretty good cover and deflected the awkward moment. But still, I'd rather not be asked how I'm doing by a complete stranger who doesn't give a damn.

To both corporations: Desist! I hate it, it's uncomfortable, and until you change it I'm headed to Heidi's Grind (in spite of bikini Fridays) and the local taco wagon, e. coli be damned.

Actually what I'd love to do is incite a mass rebellion, with drive-through-goers sitting at the intercom and moaning and groaning about their bad days to the poor, harried worker who *really* wishes he hadn't asked. Then, maybe, after much horn-honking and lost income, maybe management will get the memo.

on Oct 14, 2005
What is the old saying, "You don't pay me enough to give a sh##."

Except I don't think "sh##"" is spelled with ##'s. Must have fat-fingered it. Oops.
on Oct 14, 2005
my neighbors have been playing the same Tupac album over and over for the last 2 days, really loud, and I want to firebomb their house to make it stop

Wow, we must be neighbors.

on Oct 15, 2005
We went over one night to tell them to turn it down and the freaks wouldn't answer the door. This coming from the guys who'd told us earlier, "If it's too loud, come and tell us—don't call the cops."

Yeah, uh-huh. Though in their case it's not Tupac; it's the Nine Inch Nails.

Idiots. They probably work at Taco Bell.

on Oct 17, 2005
you can tell the Tupac is getting to you when you go all gangsta and want to firebomb their shit.

I have never been to Taco Bell... but i have to tell you, even though it may be a little fake, you can have a lot of fun with those minimum wage earning girls... but that's just me...

My new favorite trick is giving the cashier $21.70 when the meal cost $13.00... it confuses the shit out of them and I am having a great time!
on Oct 18, 2005
Ah, Mugz, I take back all the nice things I ever said about you. You're just a schoolboy, aren't ya?

Then I'd definitely recommend a bluegrass counterattack.

Now THAT I can provide. Dixie Chicks at full volume, anyone?

on Oct 18, 2005
My new favorite trick is giving the cashier $21.70 when the meal cost $13.00... it confuses the shit out of them and I am having a great time!

I really get a kick out of reconciling the boss's cash receipts because he does this too. So I'll see the total of $13, then cash tendered $21.70, then I just start giggling cause I can so picture this....
on Oct 21, 2005
I get this same thing, but backwards, I guess.

Customer: I'd like the "insert food item"

Me: I'm sorry, we don't make that here. Is there anything else I can get for you?

Customer: Awwww....but I REALLY want "insert food here"

Me: I suggest something similar.

Customer: I really wanted the "insert food here"

Me: That is when I just stare at them and wait till they say something, because I still can't provide something I don't have!

No, I don't work at Taco Bell. I am an excellent cook and get paid pretty decent plus commision on catering.

Still Stay in school!

This made me laugh. Thanks.

on Oct 22, 2005
My standard answer to the boring "How you doing?" question is "fair to poor, poor to broke". Tends to amuse some, confuse others, either way I'm amused.
on Oct 22, 2005
This made me laugh. Thanks.

At $3.40 a mocha, my pleasure.

fair to poor, poor to broke

*must remember this...must remember this...*