“How hard is it to deliver food? You are too stupid to get a real job” a customer yelled at me through clenched teeth.
I was temporarily mesmerized by the throbbing vein in his forehead.
Once I gathered my wits, I replied: “My intellect is not in question, but yours is lacking.”
“Your order takes 20 minutes to cook, the actual delivery takes another 30 minutes. That’s a minimum of 50 minutes, and it took me 45 minutes to deliver your order.”
“So the next time you want to channel your misplaced anger, pick a better target.”
The customer did not want his food, and I had the long drive back to think about the exchange.
Delivery drivers at Steak Express make $6.50 per hour, and yes, I know that their sign claims $14 to $15 an hour.
The inflated numbers include potential tips, and on a good week I would average $20 an hour.
The average customer was polite and would tip at least $3; some would offer me drugs or alcohol instead of tipping cash. I would always politely refuse.
Some of the benefits to being a delivery driver were learning shortcuts across town, what roads to avoid during specific times and of course listening to music all day.
Every minute I was on the road, the probability of an accident became more apparent.
Our delivery area went all the way to the Midland International Airport, north of Midland Country Club and just south of Twin Oaks trailer park.
Car accidents didn’t just happen on the road.
An elderly lady ran into our front door, drunk drivers on separate occasions ran into parked vehicles and one time a new driver was side impacted as he was pulling out.
After a year of being treated like an emotional trash can, the positives became irrelevant and the negatives became apparent.
Dealing with rude customers became a daily occurrence, but it wasn’t just rude customers.
My managers, and even some of my coworkers, would automatically assume that my IQ was below 70.
I will never know why some people automatically assume that if you work in fast-food, you must be a loser or some type of mental reject.
My experience at Steak Express was eye-opening; I learned patience and humility.
More importantly, I realized that I needed to return to college and get my degree ASAP.
Try to remember that fast-food workers are human beings, on average working more than one job to pay their bills. Many college students work in fast-food.
Do not make assumptions about the people serving your food and whenever possible, tip and tip well.