Decoding Klingon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 5, 2008
By
It’s true, I don’t speak Klingon, but many people do without realizing it. It is mostly those who visit fast-food restaurants.

I work at Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, and people come in and ask for the craziest things. No, we do not sell “colonial strips,” but we do sell Colonel Strips.

People think that because they have skimmed the menu, they know everything. Raising your voice and pointing at the menu above my head will not make me understand your Klingon any better.

If someone calls a Twisted Wrap a “toasted wrap,” they are getting a toasted wrap. It is not my fault if you don’t know what you ordered, even if a twisted wrap is the same as a toasted wrap in Klingon. I shouldn’t have to get you a new one; you messed up, not me. Sure, yell at me a little louder about how it’s my fault. That will definitely make me want to prepare your food to the best of my ability.

When you ask me for something that’s not on the menu but that you saw advertised on TV – “You know … the ad with the chicken” – we don’t have it. I’m sorry that my register and all the food we have is based off the menu that according to you is “wrong.”

Also my ability to touch the register screen, though it is relatively fast, is not as fast as your ability to speak. I’m sorry my hands don’t work at the speed of sound. If I ask you to repeat something, please just do it. Don’t look at me like I’m speaking Klingon, because if I was, I would have understood you in the first place.

Working in the fast-food industry isn’t the worst job ever – I could be shoveling poop on a farm – but it could be a lot easier. Here are a few tips for customers entering a fast-food restaurant: know what you want. If you need to ask the cashier some questions, that’s great. Please talk to the cashier; anyone would prefer to explain the menu rather than redo the whole order.

Also, customers should know that even if a cashier speaks fast, her hands can’t work as fast as your mouth. Slow it down a little, enunciate, repeat yourself when necessary, and try to avoid getting angry or giving dirty looks.

The employee deserves as much respect as the customer. Even though there are some incompetent workers who do not deserve your respect, try to dole out as much as possible. When you smile at someone, they just might smile back.

The most important thing to remember is if you know what you want and order correctly, the employee will usually get it right. But if you speak Klingon when attempting to order, no one will understand. So, if possible, try speaking one of Earth’s native languages. Thank you.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Ledyardmike said...
Jan. 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm
Outstanding writing!!! Great job, make sure you keep writing.
 
Samantha G. said...
Jul. 4, 2009 at 2:46 am
that was amusing, i like that you can vent your frusturation like that. more people should do it that way, instead of other voilent means. :)
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback