At Least Be Professional

“I’m down here!” I want to scream as the young girl at the drive-thru window looks everywhere except at me as she holds out my change. I purposely hold my hand out low so that she has to actually look to give me the $2.27 back from the ten dollar bill I handed to her, while looking at her I might add. She finally looks down and places the money in my hand and looks at me as if I was a major inconvenience to her bird watching or sightseeing or whatever it is she is doing (Other than her job). I look at her, waiting and hoping that she will at least say thank you, but she doesn’t. So I do, even though I am supposedly the customer and that I am paying her place of employment for services rendered. In my world, saying thank you to a customer is appropriate, but apparently not in other’s worlds.

So I drive up to window #2 to see 3 employees standing around talking to each other, laughing and carrying on. Finally one of them opens the little window and asks “What did you order?” Seriously? Isn’t that your job to know what I ordered and get said items, neatly pack them in a handy dandy bag along with some freaking napkins, and hand them to me with my drink of choice at which time you tell me to have a good day, or thank me and ask me to come again, or at the very least LOOK AT ME and nod your head or something? So I tell them what I ordered and they look up at the little TV screen that they have, close the window and give me some much needed privacy. I assume that is what they are doing because I just sit there. Sometimes they are even nice enough to let me pull up to the specially marked spaces while I get that much needed privacy, until eventually they will bring me my food, while looking off in the same area that the first girl was looking at. I look over but never see anything of interest, I want to know what I am missing over there. Must be good because everyone is looking!

Eating inside a fast food restaurant is not any better. Then you have to look at the entire herd(?), colony(?), brood(?), army(?) of liked dressed human beings doing their very best to pretend that you do not exist. Talking amongst themselves like it was 4 PM in the high school parking lot, talking about whatever it is they talk about. I actually sat in an establishment once (I refuse to call it a restaurant) with my teenage son and had to listen as the young (ahem) ladies behind the counter were going on about who was having sexual intercourse (Not the actual term that they used) and which of their acquaintances is willing to perform oral sex on the young boys in their clique. Where was the manager you ask? She was back in the office, leaning back in the chair with the door closed talking on the phone.

Maybe it is the 25+ years that I have managed people and businesses, but this really bothers me. If it makes me a snob, then so be it. I realize that fast food employees earn low wages, but they knew that when they signed up for the job. And yes, I do realize that some people sometimes have no other option but to take these low paying jobs just to try to make ends meet, but that does not mean that they cannot be good employees. If you are that miserable at a job, then you need to find somewhere else to work, hopefully at a place that does not deal with the public. This is the job you signed up for, be professional about it. One lesson I learned when I was a teenager working at Popeye’s Chicken that has stuck with me up until today. I was in the back seasoning chicken and one of the managers came back and was talking to me.

“How many cases of chicken do you think you can season in an hour” he asked.

“I dunno, maybe two” was my reply.

“Well, a professional chicken seasoner can season three cases in an hour”

I looked at him as if he was crazy. “I’m not a professional chicken seasoner.”

“Are you getting paid to do this job?” he inquired with a grin on his face

“Well. . . .yeah”

“Then you are a professional chicken seasoner”

That made absolute sense to me. If you get hired to do a job and they are paying you for services rendered, then YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL. That is the definition of it.

The sad part is that I kept going back to these establishments, mostly out of convenience, but also as I am learning because of my addiction to food. It is so easy just to drive through one of these fast food places and order whatever it is that they are selling. I think I am saving time, but am I? Been doing a lot of reading and writing about it on my new blog “Starts At 50”, the latest post talks about food addictions and convenient foods, take a look and let me know what you think.

I am making an effort to avoid eating out at all, but especially at a fast food “restaurants”. It does me no good to go there other than to feed another addiction.

So with all this being said, since you took the time to read my ramblings, I would like to look you straight in the eyes and say THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Have a blessed day


About joatmon14

Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction.... Have spent the last 25 years working in big business, getting lost in all the chaos, not feeling like what I did mattered. By no means am I a professional writer nor do I even think I am that good, but it is something I love to do. Getting lost in a world of words, even for just a little while is why I started my blogs. In reality, at the age of 49 I am trying to find my voice. To find my passion. Maybe starting a little late, but better late than never. I write for me, I enjoy reading other's thoughts very much as well and look forward to the day that I can hold an extended, intelligent, meaningful conversation with YOU View all posts by joatmon14

9 responses to “At Least Be Professional

  • Marissa Bergen

    Oh yeah, customer service has gone to the dogs. What happened to ‘the customer is always right?’


  • SomeKernelsOfTruth

    Ugh, I so agree with how you feel in places like this — or actually many businesses lately, I find. Workers act like they’re doing you a favor just by helping you, meanwhile they are at WORK. Hey, I’ve had some rough days at work too when things have been stressful or I’m sick, tired, or not so into the work itself, but I do my best to never take it out on the people I have to do things for as part of my job. Like you, I also have relayed this to my employees, yet as you described so well, so many employees and managers in businesses now don’t seem to show this basic level of professionalism. It’s gotten to the point where when I meet genuinely nice, helpful employees, they stand out to me — which is sad, since that should be the norm. I appreciate you sharing your perspective here; it is so accurate! And I also say thank YOU to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Just Plain Ol' Vic

    So take what you have seen, now let’s toss in the argument for raising minimum wage to $15 p/hr…..hmmmm….not so clear cut of an argument is it?! So if we raise wages, will the product or service increase the same amount? Doubt it….


  • MW

    The real conundrum is that now the customer is not always right because the customer is also that same self-entitled twenty something that doesn’t care enough to be professional or even civil to begin with. This is a blatant result of teaching them that everyone is special, everyone gets a trophy even though we don’t keep score at T-ball games and everyone is worthy when quite frankly many are not.


    • joatmon14

      I still believe that the “customer is always right” mentality needs to be enforced from the time someone first enters the workforce. I do agree that the entitled ones are also now the customers, but all businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone that is being inappropriate.
      As for the trophies, I couldn’t agree more with you. Making the team was a privilege, not an expectation. And those that did make the team appreciated it more. Winning was not everything, but it does matter. First place meant something, getting a trophy meant something. My son has a bunch of trophies and medals from his 8 years of playing hockey and none of them really meant anything to him until his team was one of the final four teams in all of hockey for the state. He’ll remember that forever because his team earned that honor.


  • MW

    The trophies and praises are nice, but the real reward is the character building that comes from getting chastised by the team or coaches for screwing up or just the very prominent of feeling of losing to someone else because you weren’t as good. This is what always propelled me to make more effort and I think that is what kids nowadays are lacking. It’s easy to get rewards, prizes and praise, but nobody ever tells them they suck, made a mistake or didn’t try hard enough. Going through life without fear of rejection or humiliation in efforts to save their self-esteem leaves these young people totally unprepared for the real world where people expect you to produce positive results in exchange for a paycheck.

    Liked by 1 person

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