do not deviate from the script

Drone:   HelloandwelcometounitedartistscinemashowcanIhelpyou.
Me:   Medium popcorn. No Butter. Medium Coke.
Drone:   For only twenty-five cents more, you can get...
Me:   No thanks.
Drone:   But it's only...
Me:   No.
Drone:   [ scoop, scoop, scoop ]
Butter on your popcorn?
Me:   No.
Drone:   What kind of soda?
Me:   Coke.
Drone:   Diet Coke?
Me:   No.
Drone:   [ click, click. pause. click click click. pause. ]
Eighty-five dollars and ninety-two cents, enjoytheshow.

Can't they replace these hopeless losers with vending machines yet so I don't have to go through this script every single time? It's not like I'm ordering something esoteric here! How can they manage to get the paper hat on straight if their short-term memory fuzzes out after less than a second?

The last time this happened, I repeated the script to rzr_grl while we were waiting in line, and when we got to the front of the line, I couldn't stop myself from laughing every time I said my lines. ("Yes, I'm laughing at you, and no, I can't stop.") I think that one of these days I should just go in there with a tape recorder and un-pause the playback to do my part. But I suspect the point would be lost on the audience.

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13 Responses:

  1. candid says:

    Are you kidding? Don't you remember how fiercely the Jujube Sellers Union fought against the self-serve butter machines?

  2. four says:

    Most likely they just don't care enough. With twenty bilion people coming to the consession stand every hour all ordering the same thing, it probably gets pretty dull. I wouldn't pay attention either. Robots should replace them :>

  3. anonymous says:

    That, and the lack of really decent movies anyways. Perhaps the theatres should have trained monkeys. Perhaps not as sanitary (but like those stupid kids wash their hands anyway), but more interesting. And monkeys don't make sales pushes, at least not outside of board rooms.


  4. jcurious says:

    Ahhh.. you see.. you've come face to face with theater version of the BOFH... you only THINK the person is clueless or what not.. the true nature comes out with the "clickity click click" ;)
    If they ask your for a name or credit card number... RUN! ;)

  5. rasp_utin says:

    One time we went up to the counter, knocked on its slimy surface, and stated emphatically, "We would like your most expensive beverage!"

    The cashier lost it.

    • Vending machines wouldn't be able to pressure you into spending more money.
    • You falsely assume that the people attempting to attain food and beverages are not idiots (they are).
    • Nobody likes one dollar coins, because when you have they you have to be all like 'hey! it's real money! i swear!' to everybody.

    What entertains me is the old guy who becomes infuriated in front of me because of mistakes or shoddy service. I think to myself... these people WORK AT MCDONALDS -- there is a certain class of people who are willing to work at Mcdonalds, and these are those people. Get a good look at them.

    I always figured that when the economy got bad, eventually fast-food-type service would get better, but this has not been the case. Yet.

    I'm giving it time.

    • darwinx0r says:

      I think it's a dangerous mistake to assume that people are in low-wage jobs because they are too stupid to get better jobs. There's lots and lots of different reasons why someone could be, say, a security guard, and still be extremely intelligent. Only someone with an extreme lack of perspective would assume that they personally are not working at McDonalds because there is something intrinsic that seperates them from "those people" who do.

      In fact, I have a friend who is as smart as me, as technically proficient as me, and who can write very well. He's a security guard. I'm a "sysadmin."

      The primary difference is that I have had the flexibility (due to my family background) to work only in nerdy jobs of my choosing. He has been forced to work at the quickie mart and in the snow and heat as an electrician, and as a janitor, and at each step has had to bear the smart-alecky smarmy superiority of people like you.

      I invite you to re-read your above comments, and imagine what would happen if you found yourself in an world where you didn't get to go to Rutgers, and you were unable to find someone in your area to give you a techy job. Yes, that's right, you'd become on of the "certain class" of people who work at McDonalds.



      • Nice flame.

        I didn't say low wage, I said Mcdonalds. Nobody wants to work at Mcdonalds. Nobody wants to work in the fast food service industry at all.

        Anybody actually wants to work in these industries is, like i said, stupid, or being forced. Sure, there might be some smart guy who fell on hard times, or doesn't speak english all that well working there, but he would not be fucking up your order, and therefore would not be a member of the class of people whom I was speaking about.

        Chances are, if some old guy is bitching at you because of the shoddy quality of service you are providing, you do deserve it, but it's not going to solve anything because honestly, if you're stupid, where the hell else are you going to work? There are always exceptions to the rule of course, as there are everywhere.

        Oh, but I forgot, the fast food service industry is full of geniuses. Right.

        Additionally, I worked at a food store when I was in high school, and a big majority of the people who worked there with me were STUPID, and they had no economic advantage or disadvantage over me whatsoever.

        Additionally, I grew up in a lower-middle-class home with a single parent, and went to community college before transferring to Rutgers, so don't just go making up facts based on my user profile, dipshit.

        • darwinx0r says:


          #1) "Oh, but I forgot, the fast food service industry is full of geniuses. Right."

          Please quote the line in my comment where I make this statement.

          " ... went to community college before transferring to Rutgers, so don't just go making up facts based on my user profile, dipshit."

          While you're at it, quote the line where I "make up facts" based on your user profile.

          #2) Is your hypothesis that certain people are "smart" and therefore will succeed, and other people are "stupid" and will not succeed as a result?

          If so, what makes these people "stupid"? Is it organic? Were they just "born that way" or did they become "stupid" as a result of their rearing/education/etc? How does this differ from "being forced"? At what point in their development does their "stupidity" become their fault, and therefore deserving of your derision?

          Regardless of what you may think, your "intelligence" is not the reason that you're not working at McDonalds. You're not working at McDonalds because at some point in your life, you were given an opportunity to make something better of yourself. More importantly, you had the developmental tools in place (ie - the training to think critically) to allow you to see the path away from McDonalds.

          There are many people in this world who are not equipped to see beyond the prison that is their lives. While you may imagine that these people have "no economic advantage or disadvantage" and are therefore on equal footing with you, I can assure you that this is not true. Economic factors are only part of the picture. The factors that increase or decrease a persons likelihood of success in modern society are diverse, and my opinion is that intelligence is often over-valued by the "intelligent" and educated.

          Let's extend your idea towards larger demographic groups. Black Americans must clearly be "stupid" because they're not as successful as caucasian Americans. Heck, those people in the Third World? They must be *stupid* if they can't figure out how to get out of the McDonalds they are trapped in.

          Your background (lower-middle class, etc) does not make you any more or less of an asshole. Your supposition that "stupidity" causes failure certainly does.


          • jwz says:

            Your politically correct indignation is charming, Darwin, really it is.

            But I think the important detail here is not how much the jobs pay, but how much the jobs require thought. There are lots of service-industry jobs that don't pay dick, but as I think over them, the ones where you get the really craptastic service are the ones that are easily automatable: when someone is in a position that could be done by a machine, they just turn off. And there's a certain caliber of person who can be satisfied with a job like that: someone who is either A: desperate beyond comprehension, or far more commonly, B: a fuckin' moron. (And if A, they're going to do the job well anyway.)

            Someone working at a cafe or a deli does not make any more than the microcephalics at McD or the concession stand, but those people have to actually think to do their jobs: putting a sandwich together isn't exactly brain surgery compared to scooping corn, but I think it's a lot harder to sleepwalk through it.

            It's also possible that the existence of tipping in other almost-no-pay service jobs is relevant: at McD, there is zero chance of reward for doing your job well (there might be punishment for doing it exceptionally badly, but that's not the same thing.)

            So you can cry Hitler all you like, but from what I've seen, the concessioneers and McDonald's employees are not the huddled masses yearning to be free: they're just plain idiots.

            • mononoaware says:

              It isn't that the people in the jobs are necessarily stupid; it's that the job is so numbingly awful that, if you do still have frontal lobes and are trapped in such a place, your only defense is to not think. You're not paid to think, after all.

              And let us not forget that the average customer in such a place is also stupid. In fact, the average human being, to most of us, is probably stupid. (I judge because those represented here have so far demonstrated the ability to write a coherent paragraph.)In dealing with such, turning off your brain may be necessary in order to avoid going postal.

            • bluce says:

              There are so many political misconceptions in this thread, I don't even know where to start.

              I guess what is most interesting to me about Darwin's position is not his critique of our society (talk about slow moving targets!), but rather what Darwin's suggestions to fix it would be. Should we petition our leaders to help educate people so that they have better opportunities and then don't end up in McDonalds-type jobs? Should we protest? Should we vote? Should we just be exasperated and call them stupid (or the more PC -- call them "less fortunate than us") on web sites? In Darwin's ideal world, who does work at McDonalds?

              It is in answering this question that we will really find out the roots of Darwin's self-righteous condemnation of us calling those folks stupid.

              Speaking of which, are average folks really stupid, or does it just seem like that when you interact with them in the artificial scenario of buying popcorn at the theater? Besides the job being mind-numbingly boring -- so much so that you can be assured that worker drone is not paying attention to you anyways -- sadly a lot of their stupidity is actually required by the employer. Like the "regular or diet coke?" and the "would you like fries with that?". I bet that if the manager walked up to the same drone and said "medium popcorn. no butter. medium coke," he would expect all that "coke or diet coke?" drivel that irks you so much.

          • Okay, now you're just making crap up.It's obvious that debating you is a worthless endeavor, so I will not continue. As a consolation though, here is a picture of Jim J. Bullock: