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How You Look From the Other Side of the Register

Most people know about many health risks involved in eating fast food, and the assumption is that most people also want to avoid these risks, whether they do or not. But what most people do not think about is the fact that the employees working at fast food restaurants want people to avoid them as well. This is not because the employees care for your (the customer’s) well-being, it’s actually because they literally cannot stand the fact that you exist.

I have been working in fast food for over three years now and have become very comfortable with the idea that employees of a fast food restaurant hate the customer. But this is not necessarily your fault.

In fact, we employees are the ones who chose to make a career of dealing with hungry people. But frankly, I, and most other employees, are not mad at all of you just because you come to the store. We are mad at all of you because we do not know which customers can take care of themselves. Working in fast food is like trying to run a business, a kindergarten, a nursing home and a detention center all at the same time.

I have seen customers drop drinks, chairs and entire meals. I have seen kids lick the sneeze guard. I have seen a lot of kids — and a few adults — steal from the tip jar. The most terrifying thing I have ever seen was when an old man walked into our cooking area, for whatever reason, and almost fell into the fryer.

The most adorable thing I have ever seen is when a 4-year-old girl ran behind our counter and tried to take a few orders. My point is, you customers cannot take care of yourselves, and so we have to babysit and make your food at the same time. And sometimes this goes beyond even babysitting, to the point where we are simply defending our jobs.

Late one evening, we were about to close when a family came in to eat literally one minute before we locked the door — which happens every night, it is practically a law of nature. They choose to sit down with their meal, of course, and all of a sudden their child begins running around the lobby as fast as he could, round and round, dodging tables and chairs when — BOOM! This little boy’s face fuses with our floor tiles. The way he fell was obviously intentional, but I was very impressed with his dedication in the matter because he went down hard and definitely didn’t catch his fall.

What I found more surprising than that was how immediately after he fell, his parents stood up and called out loudly in the empty lobby, “OH NO. OUR SON FELL DOWN AND LOOKS HURT.” I thought that was very declarative of them. They claimed the floor was wet, but the rest of us employees looked at the floor and did not see any liquid. We decided it was not wet, and the family left without filing a lawsuit.

So, as you can see, none of us employees can trust you. This makes our job a lot more stressful than it has to be and causes a lot of negative feelings toward everyone who comes in. I almost refrained from writing this article because I thought it might make people self-conscious and uncomfortable, but on the other hand, if it does cause large numbers of people to avoid eating fast food, I will probably win some kind of Nobel Prize.

So here goes nothing.

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