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Any Sunday This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Everyone should be required to work in the glorious world of fast food. A customer cannever really appreciate a correct order, speedy service or cleanliness withouthaving been a slave to ugly black vinyl shoes and an ill-fitting visor orhat.

Average people cannot understand why fast food is not fast at all.Ninety percent of the time, the delay is not the fault of the distractedorder-taker or the harried counterperson. In most cases, customers must wait fortheir 99-cent heart-attack value-meal because Toothless Joe wasn't payingattention at his sandwich-maker position or Cross-Eyed Kelly grabbed the wrongsandwich because she couldn't read the wrapper.

Ketchup and napkins arethe most wasted items in fast-food restaurants. I promise that three or fourpackages of ketchup will be enough for an order of fries, especially since mostof that ketchup is later found smeared on tables, chairs, walls, the floor, onthe sidewalk, employees' cars, and sometimes even the employees themselves.Napkins can be found lying crumpled on the floor, seeming to have served nopurpose except a game of 52-napkin pick-up. Two or three napkins will usuallysuffice, even in the event of a natural disaster.

Tables in a fine diningestablishment such as the Golden Arches are typically arranged in a visuallypleasing and space-efficient manner. Without rationale, large groups ofindividuals often feel the need to experiment with interior decorating andproceed to shove every table, chair and piece of furniture that is not bolted tothe floor into one gigantic table. Of course, they neglect to finish their gameof "rearrange the tables" and leave the job of reconstruction to theover-paid, over-educated and under-worked crew members.

Every fast-foodworker in America detests Sundays. They dawn bright and cheery, but turn uglywhen church ends. Then hordes of well-dressed, normally well-mannered citizensmutate into red-eyed demons, placing long, confusing orders and demanding thatfood be ready now, emphasized with a fist on the counter or finger in face. Thesedemons do not respond to logic: "I have 17 orders before yours, it will beready in a moment," or "I'm sorry, ma'am, but that coupon expired twoyears ago." Droves of sniveling, screaming andrunning-like-something-is-on-fire kids smear ketchup, throw fries, spill drinks,and cry to Mommy because Johnny called them a name, not to mention them pullingeach others' hair, screaming, biting, kicking and crying.

Sundayafternoons are spent in recovery. When the church people go their merry way, thecrew is usually propped against the counter trying to regain its collectivebreath. The floors are swept clean of smushed fries, straws, chicken fingers,loose change and small furry animals. But the restaurant doesn't stay clean forlong - the church people come out at night, too.

The next time you arewaiting in a fast-food line, remember - use less ketchup, fewer napkins, leavethe tables be, and most important, remember "those people" are realpeople - and I'm one of them.




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






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