Pretend to be happy

Published 3:29 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Being in the business that I am in, I eat out a lot because it is the fastest and easiest thing to do.
So, since I eat out a lot and spend my money at different restaurants in the Atmore area, a little kindness from restaurant employees would be nice.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have definitely been to restaurants in Atmore where the employees have been nice and helpful, but I have definitely seen my share of rudeness also.
Without naming any restaurant names, I have vowed that I will never visit one particular fast food restaurant in Atmore again. I was on my lunch break one day and went through the drive-thru at a local fast food restaurant.
I was greeted at the drive-thru speaker with "Can I help you?" The question in itself is fine, in fact it is expected when going through a drive-thru, however the tone was definitely not the friendliest. I ordered my lunch and received a total and that was the end of the interaction between myself and the person on the other side of the speaker.
Without being instructed to, I drove around to the window where I was given nothing but my total. I gave the employee my money, received my change and practically got the window shut in my face. There was no "have a nice day," or "thank you" or any kind of interaction whatsoever. So, I pulled to the next window to pick up my food and received the same treatment. I practically had my food thrown out the window at me and when I asked for some ketchup I was looked at like as if I was insane for wanting a condiment with my fries. When I received my ketchup, I said "have a great day" and drove away in a bit of a tantrum.
Is it really so much to ask for people to at least pretend like they are in a good mood? I realize that people have bad days and they just do not want to speak with or see anyone, but there is no reason to put mood on anyone else.
Like I said, I have been to places in Atmore where I could not have asked for better service. And, seeing that I have worked at a fast food restaurant before for a very brief period, I know that some days are hectic and simply put, not fun. However, that is not the fault of the customer and when I did work in the fast food realm of the world, I purposely made it a point to put a smile on my face, even when it was at 5:30 a.m. and I was still halfway asleep.
This is unlike my typical, upbeat weekly column, I know this, but I feel as if maybe fast food managers will read this in the Advance and perhaps they will talk to their employees about proper customer service.
My motto is, "if I'm not in a good mood, I'm going to fake it" and when you are working in customer service, that is the way it has to be!
Adrienne McKenzie is a staff reporter for The Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123 or via email at

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