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Mr. Wrong

Serve It Like Itís Hot

Emily Flake

By Joe MacLeod | Posted 4/27/2005

Attention institutions of so-called Higher Education: The so-called writer of the Mr. Wrong so-called column is available (in exchange for a modest honorarium, naturellement) for speaking engagements to expound at your next graduation ceremony or Career Day or whatever you got. Not to cast any aspersions on your curriculumsizzas or whatever, but the majority of the youngíuns who do the grip íní grin and step off the plank with that diploma into The Future are gonna end up looking for work what gots zero-zippy-nada-nuttiní to do with whatever they focused their tiny, youthful knowledge-hungry líil brains on, dig?

Yeah, you know where Iím going with this, there ainít gonna be a lotta openings at Political Science Shack or Poetry Hut, and yeah, I want fries with it. So look here, freshly minted Graduates of various Colleges of assorted Knowledges; once the hangovers from all them graduation parties wear off and youíre not dead or in jail, you need to go out and get a fucking Jay-Oh-Bee, posthaste with the quickness, and thatís when youíre in My World and I gotta deal with you. So listen up, really, all I wanna do is help you serve me my food.

If you end up being Master of the Grill or whatever at McRonaldís the Donald, donít sleep, umkay? Get into it, really, itíll make the day go quicker, and I hear thereís a certain sense of satisfaction to actually earning a paycheck. If they put you on that french fry deal, be the best motherfuckiní french fry frier you can be, got it? Donít let that fucker buzz or beep while Iím waiting for my Double Triple avec Cheese, because it disturbs my delicate dining sensibilities.

If youíre working the counter, be a fuckiní food-service animal, right? I mean, have some energy, OK? If thereís a big swarm of greasy slack-jawed fatasses standing in front of your face looking to get fed, make that shit happen fast, as in food. Donít buy into the bovine energy of the customers, man. Use your Hatred of the Customer to make the lines move with the alacrity the Lord and Ray Kroc and Col. Sanders and the Burger King intended.

And look, if youíre gonna deliver my hot delicious pizza or whatever to my castle, make sure it gets to my mouth hot and that the fucking order is right before you leave the goddamn place you work at, OK? I mean, how hard is it to check the order before you head out? Every time my orderís fucked up you seem to have lots of time to check it once youíre standing in my doorway, so make the investment before you hit the road and you will get a nice tip. Seriously, you deserve a nice tip if you get it right the first time, OK? And Iím talking a minimum of between three bucks and 20 percent here.

Meanwhile, back at the counter, sure, go ahead and put a tip cup out there, but donít expect anything for handing me a goddamn empty cup I gotta fill myself. I mean, if you pour me a root beer or some coffee, I might throw some change or a buck in there every once in a while, but donít write all kindsa stupid clever shit on the cups to try and guilt me into throwing down with the gratuity. Wait, go ahead and write tips or thank you on it, just so you know for sure that people understand youíd like a little somethiní for the effort, guvínor, but the assumption here is that you are making one, an effort.

Part of that is my Counter Experience. If youíre slammed and the lineís out the door and up your ass, donít be acting like any kind of Eye Contact is gonna make your head explode like the guy in that Scanners movie. Make a little eye contact up and down the line and nod or say something so we, the customers, will know you have acknowledged our presence and are making an effort to dispatch the donuts/coffee/bagel/pizza slice/yat ga mein/whatever, as quickly as possible, and then we might feel like dropping a little extra in that cup when we get waited on since you really tried to make that line move.

Just use your fucking brain. I donít care if you didnít go to schoolórecognize when you need to adapt and improvise like they do on all those reality teevee shows, OK? Separate the people who want a beverage or just need to pay their check from the ones who want a carry-out meatball sub or something, jeez. Iím not gonna sit down in a place where I gotta go to the register and pay if I end up waiting 10 minutes just to get my junk rung up, you know?

Anyway, until they get the robots on line to handle this shit, Our Nation depends on you, the high school, college, or reform-school graduate, to Protect and Serve. God Bless America.

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