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Published:May 16th, 2007 05:15 EST
Would you like fries with that?  Paper or plastic?

Would you like fries with that? Paper or plastic?

By Tristan Mack

Would you like fries with that?  Paper or plastic?  Have a nice day.  I’ve said all of these things while I gained some of that higher education in order to leave such jobs behind.  Since I was in high school, I have been shoveling deep fried foods and super sized meals down people’s gullets or stood at a register, pushing groceries through a moving belt without much reaction to the people involved.  Now that I have finally graduated college, I am still stuck in these said jobs for a time, as I attempt to make something of myself beyond those successes and failures I found in classrooms, which hopefully involves leaving behind the world of customer satisfaction and pretending to be cheery for someone else. 

Truth be told, I did not envision this path for myself five years ago.  While I had few expectations for the future at that point in time, working for an hourly wage once my education was complete, was not one of them.  Funny the way things turn out. 

So now, I am still asking those questions to people, for a while longer, until my ship can come in.  I pray that it will not be much longer.  The only thing working in these kinds of places has taught me is that customers are inherently stupid and I cannot smile or fake empathy or happiness for these said people. 

Many of you reading this know how it goes; you work for a living in some place you would rather not be and you come to realize that the people you are serving are oftentimes worse off than you, despite their own misconceptions about you. 

I may have worked in fast-food chains and bagged groceries for a living (if that’s what you call it), but it seems that some of the people I have to serve, know less than I do, despite their own beliefs.  They come in wearing tuxedoes or expensive suites, but cannot add or decide between paper and plastic.  They forget that sales taxes exist and the list can go on and on but I will refrain. 

I don’t know what the point of this is so much as  to address my own fears of either continuing working in places such as this or turning into one of these people; the one who cannot add or handle money, but can look good in a suit.  Maybe by that point though, I will not need to.