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Yet another Aspie moment - the burger stand sketch

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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-11-09 01:37 PM
Original message
Yet another Aspie moment - the burger stand sketch
I keep posting these for two main reasons; to pound out my frustrations on a keyboard and let others inside my life to know what it's like to be an Aspie in the real world.

In Canada we have a number of fast food joints. We have the usual McDonalds and Wendys but we've also got one called Harvey's. I prefer them for a number of reasons:

  • burgers are grilled instead of fried
  • the patties are larger and better quality
  • they tend to be cleaner
  • you get to pick your condiments
  • straightforward menu

    I always order the same thing - a "double original" (one bun, two patties, no cheese) and always get the same condiment "mustard relish ketchup tomato" and I can figure it's going to cost me around $CAN4.95 + GST. I was also getting Craftygal a double cheeseburger, which I wasn't used to ordering. This particular Harvey's was inside a Home Depot store (they sell hardware). For some reason I've always had back luck with those. Among other things, it's hard to hear with all the racket.

    Also, I've got a horrible cold, I'm bombed on anti-histamines, I've had two hours sleep and just had an argument with my son.

    Clerk: (brightly) - Hi! What would you like?
    TrogL: I'd like a double original and a double cheese.
    Clerk: So, a double original (k'ching). Anything else?

    The register displays $5.25 which looks about right for a "double original".

    TrogL: I need a double cheeseburger...err...double cheese...(looks blearily at menu)...err whatever they're called.
    Clerk: So, a double (mumble) (k'ching). Anything else? (grins maniacally)

    The register displays $5.95 which looks about right for a double cheeseburger (or whatever it's called).

    TrogL: That's not right, it should be a lot more - I need a double original AND a double cheeseburger.
    Clerk: So, a double original (k'ching - $5.25). Anything else?
    TrogL: I need a double cheeseburger...(squints at menu)...err whatever they're called.
    Clerk: So, a double (mumble) (k'ching - $5.95). Anything else?
    TrogL: No, you're not getting it. I need to feed two people. I need two things to eat. I want a double original. The other person wants a double cheeseburger or double original with cheese or whatever the fuck they're called (glares at incomprehensible menu - it's changed since last time).
    Clerk: So, a double original (k'ching - $5.25). Anything else?
    TrogL: (meltdown) I don't get it. What is so difficult about this? I need two things. A "double original" and ... fuck it I give up (storms away from counter) ... (spies another worker lurking in the background)...You!! Maybe you can understand this. (she comes to counter) I need a "double original" and a (finally finds it on menu) "double cheeseburger".
    Clerk_2: OK (k'ching - $11.20). Anything else?
    TrogL: That's better!! Nope, that'll be just fine. I don't get it - why couldn't he understand that?
    Clerk_2: Nobody deals well with angry people. You were angry when you came in.

    Actually, I was feeling pretty good (given how crappy I was feeling). I'd finally found a replacement part for my broken weedeater after scouring the city looking for one.

    Here's what I figure is going on. Harvey's has a new policy going on.

    At Harveys, we uphold our own 4 Gs Hospitality Promise - Greet, Grill, Garnish and Gratitude.

    I suspect they've drilled it into everybody's heads that they have to be cheery and go all bugfuck to elicit a shit-eating grin out of every customer or they get their pay docked. The problem is, I don't even make eye contact and even if I did I wouldn't pick up on the grin or I'd mis-interpret it as hostility or some damn thing. They don't get their grin and the alarm bells start going off. He was interpreting my lack of a big cheerleader toothy shinyhappy smile as "no" so he kept switching the order to try and satisfy me instead of actually listening to what I was actually saying. (There may have been a language barrier as well, but I was deliberately keeping to the prepared script - he was the one going off the rails).

    The local Safeway used to have the same sort of policy. Nothing would do but during checkout the clerk would be babbling away at you asking all sorts of personal stuff or ranting away about some wierd shit. I think eventually they got enough complaints they knocked it off and most of the clerks would give me a break once they figured out I wasn't coping with it.
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    Left coast liberal Donating Member (889 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:54 PM
    Response to Original message
    1. OMG my head would have exploded too.
    ..and you were sick on top of it.

    Frankly, friend, I don't think that was your problem.

    That was just a really frustrating situation and I guess you are pointing out your reaction.

    It seems from the read that you were pretty tolerant considering.

    Sometimes dealing with people in retail sucks. And, BTW - sometimes it sucks working retail.
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    Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 10:29 AM
    Response to Original message
    2. Trogl, I would have been frustrated too.
    I try to be patient with people who are having a hard time
    understanding me,
    but there's a limit to that patience!

    I've learned how to rephrase things, so the listener can
    understand what I'm saying.

    You did just that and then some.

    And yes, both dealing with people in retail
    AND working retail can suck at times.
    I've done both.

    And YES, over the top cheeriness bugs me also.
    I wish employers would let their employees act
    natural, greet the customer with a pleasant smile,
    " Hello, how are you?" and that's it!
    I'm much more comfortable with that.
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    Deep13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-19-09 01:02 PM
    Response to Original message
    3. "Make sure he doesn't leave until I get back."


    :banghead:
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