Apparently some people think that drive-thru workers can’t hear what you say into the mic after you’ve placed your order. Apparently some people think the staff can’t see what you’re doing in your car. And apparently a bunch of people think you can just treat folks who work in fast food just however you want.
Welcome to tales from the drive-thru.
45. Dinner and a date
After making his order and assuming we couldn’t hear him, this guy said: “Man, I’m hungry and I need to get laid.”
44. Party in the drive-thru lane
43. You know what else will help? A doctor
42. That’s what you get for doing them a favor
41. Never be rude to the people who feed you
A woman pulled up in the drive-thru talking on her phone. I asked what she would like, she told me she needed a minute while continuing her phone conversation. A minute later I asked if she was ready. She yelled no and then went back to her conversation, saying something along the lines of “OMG this [bleep] at the drive-thru won’t stop rushing me.”
It was the lunch rush and there was a lot to do inside so I started helping the other team members and ignored her. A long 30 seconds later, she was FINALLY ready to order — so I got my revenge. I made her wait a full three minutes before actually taking her order. Waste my time and call me names, and I’ll waste yours, lady! P.S. We can hear everything you say the second you pull up.
40. I’m not the king you’re looking for
One time these three guys who were stoned out of their minds came through. It took like a full five minutes to get through the order because they couldn’t stop laughing. Also, the guy was ordering “Whoppers,” and I don’t work at Burger King! Then at the window, they had to change a bunch of the order and he was still saying “Whoppers.”
I told him we don’t serve Whoppers and they all started laughing again.
39. The Colonel is rolling in his grave
A guy at our KFC was actually selling illegal substances through the drive-thru. His customers would ask for “extra biscuits” with their order, and he would put the weed in the bag — but then he made a fatal mistake. A soccer mom one day went through, had about five kids with her. She orders extra biscuits for them. Suffice to say, that guy was fired pretty quickly. It made the evening news too.
38. Chicken and butt sandwich
37. Never fight before you get your coffee
I work at a Starbucks drive-thru. One time an older woman and a girl maybe early 20s drove up to the box. The woman started ordering liked normal, then she started screaming. We could hear a commotion and then saw the younger girl slapping the crap out of the woman. Then the woman started to drive forward while screaming. Then the girl got out and had crutches and a broken leg and just started hobbling away.
I still have no idea what that was about.
36. The choice is yours
I heard a couple break-up. I asked to take their order, she couldn’t make up her mind, he said to give them a moment, which lead to him just absolutely kicking off about her inability to make any kind of choice in their relationship, let alone good choices apparently, and ended with him saying, “We’ll get the food, I’ll take you home and that’s it, I’m freakin’ done.”
When they came to the window she was full-on sobbing, like those ugly-gasp-choking cries. The dude just paid and kept on going.
35. Breakfast is over, buddy
33. Drive-thru in the wild west
32. Telling tales out of school
31. A zoo in a car
30. This guy doesn’t understand taxes
At Carl’s Jr one day, this super irritable guy pulled into the drive-thru asking if the $1 chicken sandwiches had a tax on them. After he was told yes, he goes, “Screw this, I’ll just go to McDonald’s!”
Yeah, they’re still going to have tax there man…
29. Dine and dash
28. Talk about a close call
I worked in a drive-thru coffee house all through college. Tons of weird stuff happened, we were on the outskirts of town. But the all time creepiest; a guy came through in a clearly stolen car, he was absolutely filthy and started yelling about Columbine; he wouldn’t leave for the longest time. Was an all around weird customer.
A few days later, I’m bringing in the newspapers and this guys face is splashed across the front. Turns out he went in a spree, shooting someone in Arizona and a few people in Idaho. He came through just 15 or so minutes before his final attack.
27. I just hope they’re happy together
26. The drive of shame
25. What a sweet gesture for saving his life
24. Moral of the story: they can hear you
I work at a local burger/ice cream place. During the summer, we’d occasionally get pretty backed up in drive-thru, due to pretty much everything being made to order. So I take this lady’s order, but she has to sit there for a while since the line was so backed up. About seven or so minutes after she orders, she (very loudly) says, “What the heck could be taking so long?! It’s a fast food place!”
She had no idea we could hear her. So, without much thought I turned my mic back on to apologize for the wait. I could feel her embarrassment from the window. I didn’t really realize that she didn’t know I could hear every word she said until my co-worker said something.
23. Don’t push someone who hates their job
I was working at McDonald’s while in high school. I’ve since served as a combat medic and can safely say that the drive-thru was still the worst time in life. Anyway, this one woman comes up to the speaker and, before I acknowledge her, is screaming the most vile profanities imaginable at, what I can only assume, is her children in the same car.
I greet her and her tone immediately shifts to pleasant. She gets up to the window and does the same thing, screaming profanities and then super pleasant during our interaction. Until, of course, she realizes that we didn’t give her enough straws.
Then she tore into me. “No wonder you work here. You don’t have the brains for anything else! This is going to be your life because you’re too stupid to even get straws right!!!”
As I was 16 and didn’t really care about the job, I said “Ma’am, I’m 16. I have plenty of time to grow out of working at McDonald’s. Your anger issues are probably going to last a lifetime.”
The manager had to give her some free french fries to calm her down and make her go away.
22. Dave’s not here, man
21. Sometimes the bad guy is the one working the drive-thru
20. Getting a head
19. Some like it hot
I used to work the grill at McDonald’s. Once, this guy came through and said, “I want two double cheeseburgers and I want ‘em hot, [email protected]#%!” I don’t like him swearing at my drive-thru partner, so I make those doubles and throw them in the queuing oven. A queuing oven is like a billion-watt microwave — you normally put a burger in for like three seconds, and I put these in for 10 seconds, then hot-potatoed them into the bag and gave them to the person at the drive-thru.
I listen over the headset and hearing him opening the bag, followed by “OW THAT’S HOT $&@#%!!” So satisfying, it still makes me smile 25 years later.
18. That’s not how you teach compassion
There were two homeless people fighting in the parking lot. Some guy rolled up to the speaker with two kids in the back, and I couldn’t believe what I heard him say: “Do you guys want to watch them fight?…Ok, I’ll go through and get the food you guys stay here.” I was watching on the security camera as this man lets out two kids, around six and eight years old, so they could stand by the dumpster and watch two drunk guys beat the crap out of each other with bricks.
17. Ice cream is no cure for unrequited love
A girl was in the middle of ordering when her boyfriend called her to break up with her and confess he had been cheating on her (her car put the call through the speakers). I couldn’t comp her order, but I did tell the person at the other window to give her a free ice cream of her choosing. I’m surprised she didn’t just pull out of line.
16. The old stop-and-chat
I was working drive-thru and I had a customer pull up to the speaker to order. Then afterward, she didn’t pull up to the pickup window. I could still hear what she was saying, even though I’m not taking her order. She then started having a loud phone conversation and started talking about how she was cheating on her boyfriend.
I gave her a little time and then said, “You can pull up ma’am.”
15. You can’t put a price on a great manager
I used to be a drive-thru bank teller and this woman dropped a hundred dollar bill from her withdrawal envelope inside her car. She accused me of stealing. And while I rechecked my drawer, she called me a racial slur and accused me of coming to the States for the sole purpose of stealing from Americans, all the while thinking the microphone was off. My manager overheard the whole interaction.
Well, by the time the woman came into the bank screaming, her younger son came running after her because he found the bill underneath the driver’s seat. My manager closed her bank account and told her to not come back.
14. We’re not all idiots
When I worked at McDonald’s, a lady pulled up and started saying how she hates coming here because the drive-thru person is always an idiot who never gets her order right and how McDonald’s only hires idiots… but I had the perfect way to stick it to her. I greeted her with “Hello ma’am, sorry for your past experiences but not all of us are idiots, and in fact we all can hear you on the headsets as soon as you pull up.” She drove off.
13. You’re on candid camera!
Most if not all of Starbucks drive-thrus have a camera, so we can see you. We can see when you flip us off. We can see when you’re doing something you shouldn’t be. We can see the faces and hateful glares you make. And more importantly, we can see when you and your SO are for some reason trying to get it on in the drive-thru lane.
Like y’all can’t wait and pull into the parking lot for that?
12. We all know that voice
My customer service voice sounds very happy, but is very much fake, and has lead to a lot of interesting customer experiences. One time, I did my whole introductory crap that you have to do in the Starbucks drive-thru, and the lady mumbled about me being way too loud and happy, so I just asked her what she said even louder and happier.
She didn’t repeat her remark and just ordered that time. I also had multiple incidents where people are like, “Wow, somebody’s had a lot of coffee!” Starbucks drive-thru is one heck of an interesting place.
11. I want to know all the ingredients
10. Yeah, I think he really wanted it
One story that always sticks with me just for pure nonsensical reasons was this one guy who came in bright and early and asked for a coffee. I asked back if he wanted cream and sugar. He loudly responds, “HAHA NO! But can you put a SNAIL in it!” I was dumbfounded and we both sat in silence for a solid thirty seconds. Finally, he cleared his throat and just said, “Haha, no could you imagine? Black is fine.”
9. Taco ’bout embarrassing
I used to work at a Burger King. While working drive-thru, I heard two women arguing and asking each other where the tacos on the menu were. This went on for about three minutes before one of them said, “Oh this isn’t Jack in the Box,” and promptly left without taking their order. It gave my coworkers and me a good chuckle.
8. It comes back to bite you
When I was working at McDonald’s, I had an entitled person come through. When I asked her to hold on for a second, she said “I don’t have time for this crap” and told me that I should hurry my slow butt up. So I took a bite of her food. That same day, I quit to save myself from getting fired.
7. This Arby’s manager is the law
Years ago, I was working at Arby’s. My manager was a police cadet for the local police department. Someone in the drive-thru says, “Man hurry up and pass that stuff.” My boss comes running out of his office yelling, “He’s smoking pot! I have to call it in!” He sprints to his office and jumps on the phone. He comes running back out a few minutes later and starts talking to the guy on a headset.
He’s acting like he can’t hear what the guy is saying, basically buying time. Then he tells the guy to pull up so he can take the order. The guy pulls up and orders a chicken sandwich. My boss tells him there will be a wait on the chicken. About 20 seconds later, two squad cars pull up, block the car in the drive-thru and begin their search, arresting the driver and a passenger for “smoking in public and minor possession,” or at least that was what I was told.
I gave that boss a huge piece of my mind that day.
6. A little bit saucy
When I was a teenager working drive-thru at Taco Bell I had these drunk guys cursing up a storm about how they never get extra sauce when they ask for it, and when they say extra sauce, they mean EXTRA SAUCE. Blah, blah, blah! So when I gave them the order, I shoved an entire box of mild sauce packets out of the window and into their car.
I think there were something like 1,200 packets in a box. You would have thought they won the lottery, and the next day my manager was yelling at all of us to only give one packet per item.
5. You lost the element of surprise
Long ago, in a faraway land, I worked for Taco Bell on weekends. I was working the drive-thru window at 2 AM. Some guys with severe munchies order about $30 worth of food. After I give them the total, one of the guys tells the other that it would be funny to throw his drink into the employee’s face at the window. I was furious, but what happened next was amazing.
I waited until I got the money, gave them their food and change, but not the drinks. When they asked for the drinks, a few guys in our crew went to the window and suggested they didn’t need the drinks, because they would hate if one of them had a drink accidentally thrown in his face. The looks on their faces when they realized the whole crew heard them on the headsets and speakers in the kitchen were priceless.
They left without drinks. It’s nice when your coworkers have your back.
4. Good thing the police were there
I worked at a McDonald’s in a rough part of town back when I was a teenager. We had uniformed cops in the lobby after about 6ish. One night, two guys ordered in the drive-thru but couldn’t pull up because the line was a bit long. They didn’t realize that I could still hear them, and their chilling conversation made my stomach drop. They were debating whether or not to rob me.
I walked up front, got one of the officers, explained the situation, and he followed me back to the window.
When the guy handed me a credit card, I asked for ID, then handed the ID to the officer, who stepped clearly into their view and copied down the license info into a notebook. He had a short chat with the guys through the window and told them to get lost. I handed them back the cards and canceled their order.
The officer took statements from the other people on the headset and went back to sipping his coffee.
3. That’s what the glove compartment is for
2. Yes, it’s my fault we don’t have Real Fruit Slushies
1. Holy moly
When I was working a drive-thru window I was more worried that the customer would overhear what I was saying about them. One time I called a guy an idiot under my breath (wasn’t holding down the talk button). Then, when he pulled up to the window to pay, my blood ran cold… It was my pastor.