Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dealings With Drive Thru Orders: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

A real quick note: Sorry for my week-and-a-half long hiatus. Life, unfortunately, gets in the way sometimes of blogging, and the past couple of weeks have been especially crazy. But the good thing is, during my brief time away I found that I really missed posting on my beloved blog, so it shows the passion is still there.

Hence, I have no plans to retire. :-)

I'm writing this blog in the friendly confines of the business center of Hamer Toyota, in California's lovely Mission Hills (located in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of Los Angeles). I visit here every few months to make sure my car gets the love and attention and maintenance it needs. And luckily, because the place has free Wi-Fi, I can make a morning out of it, banging out blogs on my laptop with a breakfast burrito by my side.

And that brings me to today's blog: My breakfast burrito. Well, actually: Drive thru orders.

On the way to Toyota, I stopped over to visit my good friends at Del Taco to order breakfast. And when I pulled to the drive thru box to place my order, two things happened -- one that happens from time to time and one that never happened before:

1) I was initially met with dead silence.

I'm always confused when I go to the drive thru box and am met with nothing. No words. Dead air. It throws me off. It always ends up making me think the following:

Is the place closed?

Do they know I'm here?

Is the place being robbed? Should I call the police?

And I always end up feeling stupid when I end up saying things like:


Anyone there?

Hello hello?

Are you open?




I feel like a God damn moron.

Now luckily these things usually end the same way: "Hi, sorry to keep you waiting. Welcome to (insert name of fast food place here). May I take your order?"

But that didn't happen this morning. What happened instead was something that has never happened to me before:

2) I didn't get the traditional fast food worker greeting.

When the girl's voice finally came through on the other end this morning, she didn't give me the normal standard pleasantry. Instead, she just said the following:


Nothing else. Not "how are you today?" Not "would you like to try our new shrimp fajita taco?" Not "what can I get you?" Just...


Now I was lost here. I mean, what's the proper response here? Do I carry on the conversation with a "fine, how are you?" Do I just go place my order? It shouldn't be up to me to navigate this conversation. She -- the fast food worker -- should be guiding me.

So I opted to just go and place my order. I got about 6 words in when she cut me off.

"Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute," she replied.

OK, now look: That's just bad fast food drive thru box lady etiquette. If you're not ready to take my order, don't speak to me. Or at least say, "Hi, we'll be with you in a moment." Don't just say "Hi" if you're not ready to take my macho bacon-and-egg-burrito order.

So everything more or less ended in a cluster%$#%. I repeated my order 7 times, the girl kept thinking I was asking for extra eggs instead of cheese, she got annoyed, I got annoyed, and we parted ways angry with one another and the world.

I'm now going to go ahead and eat my breakfast burrito.

I believe I've earned it.

And now for this week's:


Paris Hilton made fun of Lindsay Lohan.

Pot. Kettle. Black.