I swear I’m smarter than I look

I work at McDonald’s.  Drive-through girl. 

“Hi, may I help you?”

It’s the most frustrating job in the world.  Not because it’s a bad job, I’ve had much worse.  I really don’t mind it at all.

Except people who come through the drive-through assume that anyone who works there must be a complete idiot.

I’m inches away from a degree at one of the best schools in the Midwest (at least that’s what the propaganda they send out to prospective students says).

I think I’m reasonably intelligent.  Maybe even slightly above average.  But the people at McDonald’s don’t know this.

Usually their assumption of my stupidity is limited to subtle means such as telling me what their change should be when I take money, repeating the order to me when I obviously heard what they’d said, or just that look that seems to say oh, you work at McDonald’s.  I’m a hairdresser/construction worker/grocery store worker, I’m higher up on the social ladder than you.  Now take my order, loser.

Today I had two much more concrete incidents.

The first one happened on my break.  I was sitting there eating my salad doing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

An elderly lady came up to the newspaper racks next to where I was sitting and started ruffling through the papers that were there.

“Oh, you have the sports section.  That’s the one I like, it has the crossword puzzle in it.”

Then stared at me pointedly.

Ummmm…I’m obviously already doing it.  I only have a 30 minute break.  You can wait, bitch.

But, being the quality employee that I am (even on break), I handed over the paper.

“Are you looking for a new automobile?” she said (the classifieds are on the same page).

I have a pen in my hand, it’s folded so the classifieds are mostly covered up, and some of the spaces are filled in.  What do you think?

“No, I enjoy crossword puzzles, too,” I said.  She didn’t get it.

At least I found satisfaction in finding the other crossword puzzle published that day (not the New York Times, but at least a puzzle) and finishing it in under 20 minutes.

She only got 5 spaces filled in hers.  And I made sure to place mine where she could see it.

This one wasn’t so bad, because at least she had the excuse of being old.  Maybe she couldn’t see I was working on it.  Maybe she’s just senile.


The second incident happened while I was working in the drive-through.

A man with a very loud car was giving his order.  At the same time I was taking his order, I was counting back change for another customer and listening to instructions from my manager.

When I read back the man’s order to ensure it was correct, he said, “I’ll stop there so you can handle it.”  Or something like that.  Basically telling me I’m not smart enough to take his total order.

There was nothing I could do, I had to remain ridiculously polite.  So I ignored it, told him his total, and waited for him to pull around.

This guy was, I’d guess, about 17 years old, and just had that look of someone who wasn’t doing anything with his life.  Sometimes you can just tell.  And in this town, it’s usually a correct assumption. It’s not always true, but he had that look. 

I wonder if the fool even had a high school diploma.

God it’s frustrating to be considered stupid because of your summer job.  I just want to smack people sometimes.


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Filed under Constant money problems, Things I don't like about the World, Where I live

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