The introduction of drive-thrus to Starbucks was inevitable, as was a long line of cars waiting for their overpriced drinks and pastries. Coffee literally on the go is the future. But in fact, the other day I ran into an interesting problem that comes with having to wait in a car line, versus a person line. Rude customers have much more room and power to get their way – I mean who is going to risk the embarrassment of exiting their car, leaving it unattended as they walk awkwardly up to the stalling car’s window (if there’s room), so as to politely ask the driver to stop holding everyone up?
I honestly pondered my options while I waited behind a stalling driver who had the thick and rolly arms of a middle-aged woman but the gaudy pink nail polish of a teenager. Her arm was the only thing I could see of her, stretched outside her window and holding up her smartphone for the window clerk to inspect and even intermittently touch and poke. Perhaps there was a coupon or discount code that they couldn’t get to work? Whatever the issue, this lady was clearly not going to move until it was solved. Several minutes passed, five, ten, fifteen…I began to feel uncomfortable, like I should be trying to get this lady to move. But I didn’t want to act on my impatience, or talk to a stranger for that matter.
The wait dragged on and I actually got distracted with my own phone, and didn’t even see when she finally left. I just looked up and suddenly realized it was ME who was holding the others up now. I quickly rolled up to get my drink. The window clerk apologized and said that the lady “had a weird problem with her phone and wouldn’t go away.” In my mind I pictured a big, impetuous woman who tends to corner the first person she can to fix her problems, oblivious to her surroundings. I wasn’t upset, but interested in what I’d seen, and how I could have reacted differently.
Should I have tried to interfere and asked her to move along, or was it appropriate to wait as long as necessary until the clerks handled it? What if this kind of hold-up gets quite long, like over twenty minutes? I’d like to hear thoughts and tidbits from Ehell. I’m a new reader and have sincerely enjoyed and appreciated what I’ve seen in the community thus far. 0523-17
I was in a similar dilemma last week. Something was going on at the payment window that required a manager. The minutes tick by….I’m usually a laidback person who doesn’t sweat the little inconveniences…but this was turning into a marathon of waiting and there were people behind me. Once in this particular drive-thru there was no bailing, you were stuck. As the car directly behind the stalled one at the window, I was getting agitated. My food was likely getting cold at the pick up window so I tapped my horn to signal that this had gone on long enough. Driver honked back at me. I was more irked at the manager who should have directed her to a parking space and settled the issue either away from the drive-thru line or inside the restaurant. I honked again…got a reply honk from driver again. The minutes keep ticking by….I finally leaned my head out the window and yelled to the manager to please settle this inside the store. Once I got to the payment window the manager was gone but the clerk looked chagrined. No one was happy. And my fries were cold.