Author Topic: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt  (Read 1036635 times)

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Dindrane

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6405 on: January 10, 2013, 01:29:15 PM »
Back in the day, I worked in fast food. While part of the problem may be the person looking for the right button to press, part of the problem may be the cashier's natural ability to process a spate of disparate information, especially when it comes to them aurally, rather than in writing. Some people can make a mental list in their head of what they're hearing and then press the buttons in order. But MANY people do not have that natural ability and simply can not do it. They are not stupid or ignorant, their brains do not work like that and no amount of effort can make them acquire that ability.

As a result, when I give an order with non-standard requests, I wait until they have keyed in the basic information, then slowly list what I want. And FTR, when I do so, the cashier invariably asks, "Did you used to work as a cashier?" because they realize someone is talking their language, as it were.

I've never worked as a cashier, but what you describe is what I always figured was going on. Sometimes it's hard to guess what order to present information so that you're giving it in the same order that the cashier needs it.

The other thing that comes into play here, though, is that it's really easy for people to go into auto-pilot when they are focused on something other than what a person is saying to them. I know I have a hard time processing information (especially spoken information) when I'm trying to multi-task, so it doesn't surprise me that cashiers in fast food restaurants seem to have the same problem.

So if you rattle off your whole order right at the beginning while they are trying to input the basic stuff, process what you said, and then remember it in whatever specific order is necessary for the system (or necessary for them to communicate your order correctly), chances are good they will have to clarify what you want and that they may get something wrong. That's especially true if your order is anything outside of the ordinary.

For example, I pretty much always order Diet Dr Pepper when I can. I don't like Diet Coke as much, and I don't drink regular soda at all, but it's far more common for people to order either Diet Coke or regular Dr Pepper. If the restaurant is really busy (or if I'm going through a busy drive-thru), I will say I want Diet Dr Pepper right at the beginning of my order because it seems to help make sure they don't hear me wrong. But I always expect to repeat myself when I do it that way.

It's generally much more effective if I can say that I want a number 5, no pickles, and then wait for them to ask me follow up questions about what drink I want, whether it's for here or to go, and what size meal I want.


Yvaine

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6406 on: January 10, 2013, 01:43:23 PM »
Back in the day, I worked in fast food. While part of the problem may be the person looking for the right button to press, part of the problem may be the cashier's natural ability to process a spate of disparate information, especially when it comes to them aurally, rather than in writing. Some people can make a mental list in their head of what they're hearing and then press the buttons in order. But MANY people do not have that natural ability and simply can not do it. They are not stupid or ignorant, their brains do not work like that and no amount of effort can make them acquire that ability.

As a result, when I give an order with non-standard requests, I wait until they have keyed in the basic information, then slowly list what I want. And FTR, when I do so, the cashier invariably asks, "Did you used to work as a cashier?" because they realize someone is talking their language, as it were.

I've never worked as a cashier, but what you describe is what I always figured was going on. Sometimes it's hard to guess what order to present information so that you're giving it in the same order that the cashier needs it.

The other thing that comes into play here, though, is that it's really easy for people to go into auto-pilot when they are focused on something other than what a person is saying to them. I know I have a hard time processing information (especially spoken information) when I'm trying to multi-task, so it doesn't surprise me that cashiers in fast food restaurants seem to have the same problem.

So if you rattle off your whole order right at the beginning while they are trying to input the basic stuff, process what you said, and then remember it in whatever specific order is necessary for the system (or necessary for them to communicate your order correctly), chances are good they will have to clarify what you want and that they may get something wrong. That's especially true if your order is anything outside of the ordinary.

For example, I pretty much always order Diet Dr Pepper when I can. I don't like Diet Coke as much, and I don't drink regular soda at all, but it's far more common for people to order either Diet Coke or regular Dr Pepper. If the restaurant is really busy (or if I'm going through a busy drive-thru), I will say I want Diet Dr Pepper right at the beginning of my order because it seems to help make sure they don't hear me wrong. But I always expect to repeat myself when I do it that way.

It's generally much more effective if I can say that I want a number 5, no pickles, and then wait for them to ask me follow up questions about what drink I want, whether it's for here or to go, and what size meal I want.

And on top of all that, sometimes the same person has to take orders at the counter and in drive-thru at the same time, so while you're talking about your #5 with no pickles, somebody else is talking to the same cashier about their #8 with no onions!  ;D

goldilocks

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6407 on: January 10, 2013, 01:50:33 PM »
I have this same problem with Quicken.  My husband reads his transactions to me and I enter them in.  Quicken is set up for date, check number, payee, and amount.

Husband:  $30 to Exxon on the 4th check number 111.
ME:  what was the date?
HIM:  1/4
ME:  whate was the check number?
HIM:111

I can usually remember the payee, so I enter exxon, and say, "was that $30", and then he's mad because he had to repeat everything. 

Keep in mind he's sitting right beside me and can see the screen to know what order I need the information.  I guess he thinks my memory is better than it actually is.

zyrs

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6408 on: January 10, 2013, 02:11:00 PM »
Quote
I can see losing patience with having to continually repeat yourself.

Me too.  I think NewMommy handled it just fine.  She said "Please pay attention", not "Open your ears, you cloth-eared twit". 

I'm reminded of when my husband and I went through the Wendy's drive-thru a few years ago.    I'm not sure if Wendy's still does this, but back then their biggest drink was called a Biggie.  My husband ordered one, but the employee repeating back the order kept changing the size.  "So, you want a small?"  "No, a Biggie, please."  "Was that a medium drink?"  "NO.  I'd like a Biggie, please."  "What size was that, again?"  Finally, my normally very even-tempered husband roared "A BIGGIE!  I WANT A BIGGIE DRINK!", and I started giggling helplessly because he sounded like a toddler having a tantrum.

In honor of your husband - Fast Food 

Diane AKA Traska

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6409 on: January 10, 2013, 02:22:42 PM »
Me:  No.  Please pay attention.  It's a Number 5 with a small Diet Coke.

I am generally pretty blunt and even I found this to be rude.  I don't go through a drive through often but I often enough to know the sound system is not crystal clear.  I just don't see what purpose the bolded had other than to shame or stress someone working for minimum wage.

You then have to take as a given that the sound system is flawed enough to garble "five" until it resembles "eight", yet "please pay attention" comes through just fine.
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Yvaine

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6410 on: January 10, 2013, 02:26:31 PM »
Me:  No.  Please pay attention.  It's a Number 5 with a small Diet Coke.

I am generally pretty blunt and even I found this to be rude.  I don't go through a drive through often but I often enough to know the sound system is not crystal clear.  I just don't see what purpose the bolded had other than to shame or stress someone working for minimum wage.

You then have to take as a given that the sound system is flawed enough to garble "five" until it resembles "eight", yet "please pay attention" comes through just fine.

It's absolutely plausible, actually. It's not so much that the sound system is all horrible every moment, but that it cuts in and out.

#1aunt

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6411 on: January 10, 2013, 02:52:55 PM »
I think what also makes me laugh is the Chik-Fil-A is the only fast food place in town that I've seen with such a sign.  Which means the other places haven't had a problem with this so makes me wonder if the one who seems to have a problem getting this concept only ever eats at Chik-Fil-A?

Who knows, but it struck me as kind of funny.

The Chik-Fil-A near me has a similar sign, but it's because if people turn into the first entrance to the parking lot as they come off the main street they'd have to do a multi-point turn to get into the drive-thru lane, and the huge "Exit Only" signs weren't solving the problem.  Having the sign there let's people know they'll need to drive around the building to get in the line (which, of course, there almost always is).

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6412 on: January 10, 2013, 03:27:43 PM »
Not the case with this one.   The way the shopping center is set up, there's a long line of stores (strip mall) with a grocery store on one end and a Hobby Lobby at the other and perpendicular to this line of stores is a Lowe's.  And there are two entrances to this whole shopping set up, one by the Lowe's, the other between the Martins (grocery store) and the Sam's Club. 

So it's like this.

Sam's club      Martins               liquor store ----(stores I can't remember cause I don't shop in them)---Cici's Pizza---Japanese Steak House---Hobby Lobby. 
----------------------------------------------Then you have the usual lane for driving right in front of the stores----------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               


Then another lane for driving
-------------------[        ]-------------------------[    ] -------------------[         ]-----------------[        ]--------------[         ]-------------------------------------------------------------

                      Chik Fil A                            Bank                   Boston Market              Taco Bell               Wendy's (I think I'm missing a fast food place but you get the idea)

All of the entrances and exits for the fast food places point towards the strip mall, you cannot get to them from the main road.

Not the best illustration but I'm sure you get the idea.  And because the entrance is the exit,  You drive in, go around the building and then come out the same way you went in.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

CharlieBraun

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6413 on: January 10, 2013, 04:08:37 PM »
Lots of fast food stories...should they have their own thread?
"We ate the pies."

Browyn

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6414 on: January 10, 2013, 06:51:24 PM »
I almost always make a change or two to the standard order, so I prefer to go inside rather than the drive through.

That said, the drive through sound TODAY is a lot better than it used to be when I first started driving, back in the mid-1970s.  Much better.  Trust me on this.

But I have noticed the same "lack of either attention or retention" when I go inside. 

"I'd like a number five, no pickles, no mustard, no onion; onion rings instead of fries; a diet soda; and I'm eating here.  They type in the number 5 and ask if I want it "here" or "to go".  I remind them that it is "here".  I noticed that only two punches had been made, so I reminded them that I didn't want mustard, onions, or pickles on the sandwich and that I wanted onion rings instead of fries (raw onion I can't handle - cooked onion I can, especially with a little catsup).  Then I got asked about my soda (no change) and the diet soda (not all places are self serve drinks - they do still control the cups, even if you fill it yourself).

For something that I order three or four times a month (weekly "treat" for myself) - I end up spending 3x to 5x (or longer) in line than anyone making a standard order or even upsizing the drink & fries.  I also get handed a bag of food a lot instead of a tray, but that might be on the person making the order up while the counter person is taking more orders (depends on the exact store I'm in).

It's as if the person taking the order either has no short term memory or is using all their attention to find the buttons on the cash register for the next step that they don't recall anything of what I said after "number 5" and have to ask me the next question on the script to figure out which button to push.  There are a couple of places that I eat at often enough that I don't have to repeat myself - but I don't eat lunch out every day, so no one business is going to be seeing me as a "regular" enough to know my order before I open my mouth.

Not since the one pizza place when Ambrosia Hino was three, anyway.

If you always order the same thing maybe it would be helpful if you type it out and print a copy to bring with you each time?  You could hand it to the counter staff so they could enter from it without having to repeat it so they can enter it in the registers preferred order.

MommyPenguin

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6415 on: January 10, 2013, 08:10:19 PM »
Our Chick-Fil-A could use a sign like that!  I don't quite know how to describe it, but you have to go what seems like a lot farther around the building than the usual.  I think it's because you have to go halfway around the building before you can enter the drive-through, and then you have to circle the whole building *in* the drive-through.

However, it's a pretty awesome Chick-Fil-A.  They get a *huge* lunchtime crowd.  So they actually have employees who go outside and go car to car, taking orders and your money/credit card, then taking it to the drive-through, handing it to the cashier, being handed bags from employees inside, and taking them to the cars.  So while the drive-in can have thirty cars in line, the service is at least twice as fast per car as any fast food place I've ever been.  It's pretty awesome.  Also, they often send a cow out to entertain people while they wait, and to bring in traffic from the main road.  :)

Kaora

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6416 on: January 10, 2013, 08:28:12 PM »
Our paper is giving me a brain hurt.  Each time I've checked on a car accident, we've had a mysterious Plymouth Saturn as the culprit.

The latest is a 2006 Plymouth Saturn.  The other was 2010.  And so many more.

Extra bonus: the 2010 turned out to be a Ford F-150.  In a completely different color the described.  Like, it was reported orange and turned out to be Robin's Egg Blue.

Ow. x_x

And now my brain hurts too!

The story hasn't been updated with the accurate info of the car, so I wish I could say what it was.  Being a reporter's daughter, and having helped take notes for my reporter mum, I can tell you its all about the little details.  Miss them, you get a sloppily done, article full of misinformation.

Actually know the guy who wrote the story, too, through my mum (same paper.)  It's a small town, after all...

sevenday

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6417 on: January 10, 2013, 11:12:22 PM »
Sidebar on the fast food stories.  I realize that there's a lot of ambient noise that interferes with understanding what people say sometimes.  This has happened to me so many times I really, really have to wonder.  Note for the story, I'm deaf, and while I do speak fairly clearly, it's not perfect of course.  I'll walk into McDonalds for my weekly treat and order "two hamburgers."  90% of the time, no problem.  Other times, somehow they translate it as "two number twos."  I tried to walk through it phonetically, but I still can't figure out how people are getting that out of "two hamburgers."  I gently correct them and they go  "oh sorry" and fix it with no problems, but still!

athersgeo

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6418 on: January 11, 2013, 07:32:26 AM »
Brain-hurty no.1:
If your restaurant has nothing available other than bottled drinks, don't you think putting up a sign at the start of the DT might be a good idea, instead of getting pissy when customers cycle through the normal drinks options because at 7am they can't quite wrap their brains around a coffee place NOT HAVING ANY COFFEE.

Brain-hurty no.2:
I know DT speakers and whatnot aren't necessarily that great, but how in the WORLD does "Large Diet Coke" come out as "Large Latte"? And, even better question, why is it only one person who hears it that way when every other DT order taker in the building hears it correctly?!!

Brain-hurty no.3:
If I ask for a large diet coke and a sausage bagel, do not, for the love of peanuts, charge me for a bagel meal. Bonus stupid points if you do this when it's a face-to-face transaction. Triple bonus stupid points if you then get pissy about issuing my refund.


(No, these didn't all happen on the same day - thankfully!)

Luci

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Re: Exchanges with People that Make Your Brain Hurt
« Reply #6419 on: January 11, 2013, 08:17:16 AM »
You have pretty much summed up why I never go through a  drive through. That and having to reach out the car window and juggle stuff.

I did go to the bank drive through when our son was in the child seat on the back of my bicycle, but even then only to the window closest to the cashier.

I presume you are talking about a couple of different establishments if one only has bottle drinks.