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Irked Customers Sound Off


DEAR ABBY: May I comment on the letter from "Working the Window in Georgia" (Jan. 22), the drive-through worker who said people should have their orders ready when they pull up to the speaker? Many drive-through restaurants place their speakers in FRONT of the first menu you see. Unless you frequent the restaurant, it's impossible to know what you want until you reach the menu. Also, if "Corporate" is timing its employees, then maybe they should dispense with having the employees greet customers with a long list of item suggestions before taking the order. Those of us at the other end of the speaker often cannot understand a word being said, either because the speaker isn't working properly, because the order-taker has a thick accent, or the person is speaking too fast. -- PEGGY IN THORNTON, COLORADO

DEAR PEGGY: My readers agree with you 100 percent! Their biggest "beef" is the order menu being located only at the order window/speaker. Fast food corporate America, please take notice. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: How are we supposed to have any idea of what to order when we don't see the menu until we pull up to the window? This is especially true when I try a new restaurant. If restaurants post anything before that, it is usually just a list of their most expensive combo meals. Sometimes the prices aren't even listed at the preview menu window.

Here are some suggestions for people working the windows:

1. I may not know your menu. So please give me a chance to look it over. If you have a drive-through, I have a right to use it. If you don't want new customers to know what you offer, then I'll be happy to take my business elsewhere.

2. I know you are reading from a script, but if I don't want a combo meal, please do not ask me repeatedly if I want one.

3. Give me a chance to check my order when you hand it to me. I am really tired of getting to my destination only to find out my order is wrong.

4. Do not argue with me if I want to verify that my drink is a diet drink. I am diabetic and a non-diet soda could make me very sick.

5. Please understand that even if I don't have the radio on and there is no background noise, I may still have trouble understanding you. Perhaps the speakers are bad or I am slightly hearing-impaired.

6. Please give me straw if I order a drink.

I have worked fast food before and I know from experience it is not an easy job. Yes, there are rude customers, but there are also rude employees. I know that from experience, too. -- LIBBY IN LITTLE ROCK, ARK.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I attended his nephew's out-of-state wedding. I shipped a beautiful, expensive set of porcelain dishes from a high-end designer store. The nephew commented, "Those dishes don't go with anything we have." Should we request they be returned or ignore their lack of appreciation? -- APPALLED AUNT IN ARIZONA

DEAR APPALLED: Your nephew's comment was extremely rude. If he and his bride weren't registered, and their preference of a china pattern wasn't clearly stated, then you did the best you could under the circumstances and were generous. Rather than ask for the gift back (which would be equally rude), suggest he and his Mrs. go online and exchange the dishes for a pattern of their choice. Most high-end stores have websites that display their inventory.

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