Monday, July 2, 2012

At the Drive Thru

At the Quakertown, Pennsylvania, Sonic Drive-Thru:

Disembodied Voice (DV):  "Hi, welcome to Sonic.  I'll be with you in a second."

Me:  "Sure, no problem."

300 seconds later....

DV:  "Thank you for waiting, may I take your order?"

Me:  "Sure.  I'd like a.....what do you guys want?"

Back-seat mumbling.....
(by the way, yes, during those 300 seconds, a smart person would have already determined what the back-seat wanted.  Sue me).

Me:  "Okay, thank you for waiting (like how I did that?).  I'd like a cheeseburger with no onions."

DV:  "Lettuce?"

Me:  "No."

DV:  "Tomato?"

Me:  "No."

DV:  "Sweet or dill pickles?"

Me:  "I don't want any pickles."

DV:  "So no pickles?"

Me:  "That's correct."

DV:  "Mayonnaise?"

Me:  "No."

DV:  "Onions?"

Me:  "I said no onions."

DV:  "Oh, that's right.  Sorry.  Hee hee.  Anything else?"

Me:  "Yes, a cherry lime-ade."

DV:  "What size?"

Me:  "Uh...(to the back) hey, what size?"

More back-seat mumbling...

Me:  "Medium."

DV:  "Okay, let's see, that'll be a large strawberry lemonade with a double hamburger and extra pickles."

Me:  "No, no, that's a medium cherry limeade with a cheeseburger, hold the onions."

DV:  "Oh, sorry, my mistake.  Hold the pickles.  Will there be anything else?"

Me:  "Hold the onions."

DV:  "So, do you still want the pickles?"

Me:  "I didn't order pickles."

DV:  "Ohhhh, okay.  Anything else?"

Me:  ", that'll do it."

DV:  "Please drive around to the second window'"

NOTE:  I rarely see the first window ever used.

I drive around to get behind a line of cars which remind me of the highway gridlock seen in that Tea Leoni asteroid movie.  Or any afternoon on Philadelphia's Schuykill Expressway.

Me:  "Well, it can't be a long wait.  Look at all the people on inline roller skates.  They have to be quick here."

Five minutes later.....

Backseat:  "Hey, look.  That dude on the roller skates has helped two cars already."

Me:  Sighhhhhh.....

Ten minutes later....

Backseat:  "Wow, he's pretty quick.  That's three more cars.  This place is cool.  When am I going to get my cheeseburger?"

Me (grumbling to myself):  "I thought 'Sonic' meant quick?  I have your Burger King and your Dairy Queen.  Even KFC has a picture of a dead white guy.  I think the name 'Sonic' is false advertising."

After 20 minutes, we finally pull up to the window, where we see that the Disembodied Voice belongs to Perky Teenaged Girl With a Painful  Looking Nose Ring  (PTGWPLNR).

PTG:  "Hi, can you give me a minute?"

Me (to the closed window):  "Give you a minute?????  What the frik you been doing in there?"

Backseat:  "Hey, look!  The roller skates guy has...."


1 minute later...

PTG:  "Thank you for waiting.  That'll be $6.02"

I hand over a ten.

PTG:  "Thank you.  I'll be right back with your change."

Me (once again to the closed window): "#$@(&!!%$#@!!!!!!!"

45 seconds later.....

PTG:  "Here you are, sir.  98 makes seven...eight...nine...ten!  Please give me a second."

Yeah, you know how I reacted.....

30 seconds later (who'd have ever thought I wouldn't have minded waiting half a minute?).

PTG:  "Here's your order, sir.  Will there be anything else?"

Me:  "Oh, God, no."

I drive away, accompanied by a squeal of tires and a great "Huzzah!" from the backseat.  I hand back the cherry limeade and open the bag to get my order:

A bag of Tater Tots.

You know, Joe Pesci may have a point. 

Sonic-Greek for "Up Yours."


  1. Well to be fair it's not usually a bunch of MENSA scholars working at drive-thrus, except when I worked at Burger King in college. But usually I wonder why they bother asking for my order and then don't listen to a word I say.

    1. All kidding aside, at least they're working. But, I wish they'd do something about the mumbling at the speaker boxes.

  2. My local drive thru is actually pretty good. I've only ever had a few problems, but they never really fuck the order up. If I had this experience though I'd turn the car around and drive through the wall and then make a one liner about drive thrus.

    Looks like this drive thru...just got driven through......

    1. I've had drive-thru experiences where they may have left off a certain item I wanted (e.g.,, but this was absolutely the worst.

  3. I ALWAYS totally look through my order before I pull away from the window. And why do they call it fast food, it isn't that fast...

  4. I don't like the sound of Sonic Al, this sounds like a pretty damn horrible experience and it's made me glad that there are none of these in the United Kingdom. What kind of dark, devilish, sorcery is behind a cherry lime-ade though? Cherry and lime in the one drink? Sign me up! Great story Al, even though Sonic's poor, slow service kind of irked me way more than it should have.

  5. That's why you should always order the burger with everything on it to save time. All that stuff you didn't want is an acquired taste when you're in a hurry and don't want a bag of Tater Tots.

  6. I remember years ago pulling into an A&W Root Beer place and trying to order a root beer shake. The kid didn't have a clue how to make it. He called out the manager who was two hundred years old and was shown how. I've also learned that if you ask for extra sauce with your order they charge you for it, but if you wait until after they've rung it up, it's free.

  7. Well, Mr. P - clearly you are not paying attention to the fine print as the "Greek" bit should have been the tip off - it's a global thing...this "Greek" business model.

    And what's with this "no pickles" thing - are you sure you're American...that's such a "Greek" thing to not like pickles. You know they're knee deep in olives, oil, feta and debt...but there'll be no pickles for the Greek...okay, they're in a pickle but they won't eat's just that simple.

    So, after an extended period recovering from my A-Z duties, and a quick trip to Hell (anything to find a little heat) I'm back...and aren't you just pickled...

    Cheers, Jenny

  8. I was at a fast food place which shall remain nameless (Burger King on Youree Drive in Shreveport Louisiana) and I watched the lady fill my drink order. I asked for one DIET, one REGULAR. Hubby is a type 1 diabetic....wrong order could kill him, so, it's kinda important to us. When I told her that she gave me two regulars could she please check -

    she opened the freakin lid and DRANK out of it!!!! I saw her do it and had a fit. I couldn't believe it. When I asked her why she just drank from my drink she said, "No, I didn't."

    I said, "I just watched you drink it."

    She said, "No you didn't."

    Long story short; she got fired after confessing to the manager in front of us.

  9. LOL yep Pesci was right, never ever go to the drive through and yeah false advertising indeed, I monkey could do better.

  10. Love it!

    I'm banned from our local Indian restaurant because I kick up a fuss if I have to wait too long.

  11. My sonic has no roller skated employees, they just walk out there. Such a rip.

  12. In Sonic's defense, tater tots are called cheeseburgers there. Chicken is referred to as pork and men are allowed to use the women's restroom.

  13. Sonic isn't alone....that has been my experience at other drive-thrus as well!

  14. I've never been to Sonic Burgers, but I've used the drive-thru at other fast food restaurants. I don't think customers using the drive-thru are their priority. The service is slow, and the order is almost wrong.

  15. @Pat: In Sonic's case, it was "half-fast."
    @Matthew: Cherry and lime give you super powers. Like having to pee every five minutes. Hmm, guess you could say that about any drink. And it's probably not a "super" power. So...ya got me.
    @Gorilla: Next time, I'll order a cheeseburger with Tater Tots.
    @Major Mack: I normally do, but I drove away because, for some strange reason, there was a line of cars behind me.
    @Stephen: Golly, you'd think a ROOT BEER shake at A&W would be pretty basic. But, then again, I once went to a Dunkin' Donuts. Which was out of-you guessed it-doughnuts.

  16. @Jenny: I actually like pickles. And green olives. And feta. Even though it looks suspiciously like albino throw-up and smells worse. And Olive Oil, even though Popeye may object (NOTE: I know it's spelled "Oyl." But, it's a homophone and comedy loves homophones. And Joanie loves Chachi. Yes, I know that last bit makes no sense).
    @Elsie: That is just gross. And much worse than a pube in the special sauce. Well, not really. But, it's still gross.
    @Pat: Ook, ook, you want fries with that?
    @Symdaddy: Because you order your curry with a Pakistani accent. I hear they hate that. Although I can't tell the bloody difference.
    @Adam: They probably don't wear skates in the snow. During our ordeal in the drive-thru line, we actualy discussed that. And how long it takes to die of heat stroke in an idling car.
    @PTM: At our Sonic, 'pork' is used as a 'verb.' In other words, I got 'porked.'
    @Eva: Even at Wendy's!!?? Say it ain't so!!!!
    @Nellie: My daughter worked the drive-thru at a Taco Bell. She said the same thing. Unless the customers spoke Spanish. But, there never WAS any. The Spanish-speakers got authentic Mexican food elsewhere (HINT: NOT Sonic).

  17. That really stinks, Al. But if you don't want the tater tots, I'll take 'em.


    1. I like 'em,to. Unless I was expecting a cheeseburger.
      Without onions.

    2. *too.
      I know the difference between to, too, and two.
      And penis and pianist.

  18. I remember when mcdonalds had a double check garantee, if they got your drive thru order wrong you got your money back... I wonder why they stopped doing that?

    Sonic the hedgehog is a fast video game character, so its only fitting that a resturant with the same name as him would be totally sloooowwww!

    1. When I worked for Dominos as an Italian Food Transportation Representative, they guaranteed delivery in 30 minutes or less or your pizza was free.
      They stopped that after I was caught driving on the sidewalk. In front of a church.
      They got their damn pizza on time, though.