The Interesting Personages at Chick-fil-A // tales from work

Humans are very interesting to observe. Over the course of my employment at Chick-fil-A, I’ve had the pleasure to interact with hundreds of different people, all of them wonderfully, often astonishingly, unique, yet still very loveable in their own ways, especially because their humanity is so very evident.

I assure you, I am not some alien in disguise observing and documenting the actions of humans for Science and Experimentation.

I am simply a writer.

That should be enough explanation, but in case it’s not, I love people and their many personalities and I love observing them because they all bear the image of God.

And I think that’s super cool.

***

On one of my first nights, I was working as an outside server (the person who hands you your bag of food at the window) and feeling very faint from the sheer number of faces I was seeing. One after another, a dozen new faces in the space of a minute, there one moment and gone the next. Then a white SUV pulls up, music blaring and a family grinning smiles so bright it could light up the whole parking lot. They were jamming to their music, laughing and waving their arms about. Their joy was so infectious and such a pleasant break from the usual onslaught of cars that I smiled wider than usual as I handed them their food.

Then the dad, the driver, grinned at me and said, “Do you have any cool dance moves?”

An abrupt laugh burst out of my mouth. Me? Cool dance moves? Panic quickly engulfed me. I may like people, but I am still an introvert, and the very idea of dancing in public (or in private, for that matter) in any way, shape, or form was completely out of the question.

Never mind in a cool way.

“Awww, come on, you gotta show us something!”

I stood rooted to the spot, awkwardly laughing and inwardly shriveling up.

The kids bounced in the backseats and begged me, and then the mom stuck her head around and begged me too, and then the dad did a strange noodle-y motion with his arm in a dancy attempt of encouragement.

I squirmed around for a moment, and finally managed to do a bizarre wiggling and a few spins to the beat of their music, resembling a choking frog.

If possible, their grins got ten times brighter as they yelled in delight and joined me in ‘dancing’ for a moment before chorusing a thank-you and finally driving away.

What can I say, here at Chick-fil-A it’s our pleasure to do whatever it takes to make our guests happy. πŸ˜‚

Presenting: Chief Dorkus Supreme. That headset, by the way, is very uncomfortable, but fortunately I only have to wear it while in curbside. πŸ˜…

***

Whenever I’m taking orders, the first question I ask is a name for the guest’s order. There are two kinds of people.

“Hello, my name is Balabhadra.” They say it really smoothly, really fast, and then begin telling me their order while I have an internal crisis and completely butcher their beautiful sounding, but impossible to spell, name.

Then there are these people.

“Hi! It’ll be for Bob, b-o-b.” Always a patient smile and waiting at least ten seconds for me to write down a name I could write backwards in my sleep.

It’s honestly really cute. πŸ˜„

***

In case you’re wondering, yes, we do get Karens. Once a woman came storming inside the restaurant. “You guys are idiots!” she yelled. “You put a freaking cone under my car and now I can’t get out! And it probably broke something!”

We all exchanged puzzled glances and also stifled giggles. A manager came out to inspect the situation. It turns out that the woman drove right over a cone meant to block off a section of the parking lot, and that we did not, in fact, purposely plant the cone under her car to make her life difficult.

We politely helped her dislodge the cone before she fumed away, and then everyone burst into laughter.

***

Order-taking in drive-thru is probably my favorite position because of the hundreds of new people (and I mean hundreds) I get to interact with. You have the mothers getting nuggets for her darlings in the back. You have the fathers picking up dinner for the family, reading off instructions their wife gave them and having no idea what they’re ordering. You have the cool teenagers in their trucks getting treats after school. You have the old couples who almost always order salads, specifically Market Salads.

You get the super picky people who want their fries to be “crispier than usual and tinged a slight golden-brown on the edges” (in which case I nod and they end up getting the same fries everyone else gets because they are all made in one batch.)

I have even gotten a person who didn’t know what a pickle is. πŸ˜‚

***

One of our best-known regulars is Fred, a guy who won a bet with the local franchise owner, so he gets a free ice-cream cone every day for the rest of his life. And he does come every day, pulling up in that red sedan of his and beaming and not even needing to say a word since we all know him and what he wants: a Fred Cone. This is a special, exclusive ginormous cone, at least six swirls of ice-cream, a very tricky thing to accomplish without the whole tower falling over. That has definitely never happened before, nope, never.

Then there was Quanh, a man who looked so uncannily like one of my uncles that I asked him where he was from, and yes, he was Vietnamese! I proceeded to finish up his order in Vietnamese, and the way his previously haggard face lit up in golden sunshine was such a delight.

***

I was taking an order from a mother when her little girl in the back waved a drawing excitedly, her blonde pigtails bouncing. “Do you like it?”

It was a bunch of red scribbles. Did I like it? Absolutely not. Did I think the four year old was adorable? A hundred percent.

“Oh yes, I love it!” I gushed.

She proceeded to cackle, kicking her little sparkly shoes. “It’s BLOOOOODDDD.”

I shared an awkward laugh with her mother who, poor thing, looked just about ready to call it quits. “I really hope her fascination with blood turns her into a doctor or something.”

Another, more unsavory profession passed unspoken between us. We both laughed awkwardly again and I beamed at the adorable girl as they drove away.

***

There are always bad apples, the people who scream and swear and insult when their order takes a bit longer or if something is incorrect with it. I admit, it really does sting at first, to feel all that hate and anger directed right at me. But after I bit I realized the anger isn’t pointed at me, it’s spilling out of them. They have a lot of pain in their lives, pain that can’t help but leave their body somehow. I pity them, I truly do, but at the end of the day, when they’re sitting there dramatically spewing curse words and hand flourishes because they received chicken strips instead of nuggets…I get a very strange urge to laugh.

In the eloquent words of one of my managers: It’s just chicken, bruh.

***

A Mexican man in a white truck drove up with a huge smile already on his face. This instantly stood out to me because most people (who aren’t kids) are not that excited to order food. But joy literally seeped through every simple word he said, his great big voice constantly on the precipice of a hearty laugh. I asked him his name for the order, and he said “Raul” in the fancy Spanish way. You know, RaΓΊl, with a rolled R and that upwards flair at the end.

I’ve always liked that name, so I said it back in the same accent as I was typing it in.

He gasped, eyes widening, and cried out in delight. “You said it correctly!!!”

I blinked. “I…did?”

“Yeah!! No one ever says it right. They never roll the R, and they always mess it up, but you said it perfectly!” He leaned forward, almost bouncing. “Say it again!”

I laughed and complied. He cheered, settling back into his seat and clapping his hands. “Man, that made my day!”

After I finished taking his order, he asked me to say his name again before driving away laughing. A few minutes later, he drove back around to give me a coupon for a free, all-inclusive car cleaning at the place where he worked.

“I wanted to give you something to thank you for making my day!”

Then he drove off, never to be seen again, not even at the car wash when I used his gift.

I’ll never forget Raul and his inspiring joy and gratitude. I doubt he’s had very many bad days in his life.

***

These are just a few stories of the people I’ve seen, but this post is already long enough. If you’ve ever had any burning questions for a Chick-fil-A employee, feel free to ask me in the comments! πŸ˜€

And also tell me:

1. When was the last time you had Chick-fil-A?

2. How would you describe what a pickle is?

Until next time,

Bon Voyage!

P.S. Yes, this post came out late. I apologize. I was, in fact, busy with working at the best fast food restaurant on Earth, because summer = more work. πŸ˜‰

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23 thoughts on “The Interesting Personages at Chick-fil-A // tales from work

  1. Girl. You’re making me desperately want to work at Chik-fil-a!!! These stories are so amazing/funny! Loved reading them. XD Especially that one about Raul, ad also the dancing family. XD Sooo cute! ❀
    I love Chik-fil-a, but we almost never eat there due to it's being so expensive. XD Maybe if I worked there, that would change.πŸ€” Sadly, I don't know of any here in Mexico.πŸ˜‚
    Thanks for sharing this fun post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eeeee so glad you enjoyed this Rosy!! πŸ˜€

      Aww, yeah, prices are pretty high these days, which is why I’m all the more thankful for a free meal every time I work! It’s pretty sweet. XD Ah, yep, there’s only Chick-fil-A in the States (and one in Canada, I think?πŸ€”) but who knows, maybe it’ll go more international someday!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. EEEEEE I LOVED THIS POST. I felt like you were inside my head, because I can relate to a lot of this working for Panera now (especially those stoopid headsets and all the beautiful faces you see when doing drive thru). And the blood story made me crack up again. XD

    I think… I haven’t had Chick-fil-A since November. And I’d say a pickle is a really, really sweet tiny cucumber. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU KHYLIE! πŸ˜€ Ahhh you have to wear headsets too? My condolences. XD

      You know what, when we meet up we’re getting Chick-fil-A together. πŸ˜€ Also hold up – pickles are SWEET?? I mean, there are the sweet tiny dark green ones, but the ‘standard’ pickles are sour!

      Like

      1. Yasssss. I’m totally up for Chick-fil-A when we meet!!
        Heh… well… I hate pickles and rarely have them, so that explains the inaccuracy of my description πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh just like Rosy, you’re making me desperately want to work at a Chick-fil-A!!!! I absolutely love observing people so it sounds like it would be fun in that aspect, even though I am introverted. (Actually interacting with them would probably be a mix of scary and exciting.) Lol, poor you when that family was begging you to dance… I would have done exactly the same thing you did! Though at least you made them even happier XD I bet you have a lot of story material with all these people you’re coming across πŸ˜‰ Oh, and does that mean you speak Vietnamese? That is SO cool!

    Thank you for sharing such an awesome post, Elisha!!!

    (Answering the questions: 1. It’s been far too long, especially since we live in the country. Several months, maybe? 2. It’s a cucumber that’s… pickled, and it tastes sharp and sweet. *wipes forehead then cringes at my sad attempt*)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yessss I absolutely love working there! It can be stressful and insanely busy at times, but it’s really mind-blowing how many wonderful people you’re able to see. My personal motto is to get a smile out of every customer I come across. 😊

      Bahahaha exactly, the story material is stupendous! πŸ˜€ I toootttallly do not take notes in a special ‘character inspiration’ file, nope. XD And yep, I speak Vietnamese! Thanks to my mother persevering and teaching it to me thousands of miles from home.

      LOL that’s a pretty good definition! I completely blanked out and might have used the word pickle in my definition of a pickle. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww that’s a great motto!!! πŸ˜€ I love it!!

        LOL girl I would totally do the same! (Actually, I already do have a Character Inspiration file and I take notes. *grins*) Wow, that’s so awesome, especially that you’re able to talk to people in Vietnamese!!!

        Yay, not just me, then! πŸ˜‚ It’s so tricky to try to define that.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the stories of Fred and Blood-girl. Such colourful individuals! (It is my personal suspicion that Blood-girl may become a writer.)
    Although I’ve been to the States many times, I have never had Chick-fil-a. I definitely hope to, someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *gasps* YOU’RE SO RIGHT. That girl is going to be a writer. πŸ˜‚

      Ooohh you should definitely try it out next time you come! Best place to get chicken sandwiches, in my completely unbiased opinion. (Mind me asking where you’re from?)

      Like

      1. She certainly has the combination of enthusiasm, creativity, and odd interest in violence that I have seen in many storytellers.

        I’m from Western Canada (I mainly get my chicken from White Spot). Not sure when I’ll be down south again, but Chick-fil-a is on the itinerary.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t know if I can count the number of times I burst out in silent laughter while reading this post. I love your enthusiasm for your job, and I’ll echo Zachary… the joy spilling out of you is so evident and so inspiring.
    Isn’t it funny, though, when you have to explain something that’s so common you never even think about what it is? ^.^ Thanks for brightening my day with this cheerful post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh goodness, you’re so kind Libby! *furious blushing* 😊😊 I’m so glad I could help brighten your day – that’s my goal, nudging forward as many smiles as possible!

      Like

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