DEAR ABBY: I hope you can help me pass along some tips on drive-through etiquette to your readers. I work in the fast food industry, and on behalf of my fellow workers, may I dish out the following:
Please have a general idea of what you'd like before you reach the speaker. The corporate office has us on a timer, which starts ticking as soon as you pull up.
Please be patient. We know you're tired of waiting behind the car ahead of you, but we're trying our best to make sure you get quality food.
If you have a large order or a special request, please come inside to order if possible. The people in the car behind you are waiting for their food, too.
Speak clearly (but don't yell!) into the speaker. Also, although it may seem cute to you, I can barely understand your 4-year-old when she asks me for her kiddie meal.
If you can't hear yourself over your car radio, I can't either. But if you're talking on your cellphone or to someone in your vehicle, I can hear you -- and I've heard some wild stuff.
If it's raining, please turn off your windshield wipers before you reach my window. Otherwise, I get splashed.
Finally, please treat me with respect! Yes, I know I "only" work the drive-through at your local burger joint, but you want that burger, don't you? -- WORKING THE WINDOW IN GEORGIA
DEAR WORKING THE WINDOW: I hope your letter will be taken to heart because it deserves to be. Personnel in the food service business often must deal with customers who are less than at their best -- people who are stressed, hungry and more -- but that's no excuse to treat the server rudely. Your suggestions are good ones, to which I would add that "please" and "thank you" are always appreciated.
Now, may I please have a double with extra-crispy fries? Thank you.