April 24, 2004

Fast Food Etiquette

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at April 24, 2004 7:59 PM

The local Jack in the Box has recently set up their drive-thru speaker to play a recorded message when a car pulls up: "Welcome to Jack in the Box, how may I help you?" This has led to some hesitation on my part since, while the recording seems to be asking for my order, there's no guarantee that anyone is actually listening. I can think of at least three approaches:

  1. Assume that the same mechanism which triggers the message has alerted someone within to my presence, and give my order. This approach typically prompts a response of "Hi, may I take your order?" which indicates that this may not be correct. (But if not, what's the point of the recording?)
  2. Wait for a greeting from an actual human, on the grounds that I am under no obligation to speak to inanimate objects. This has worked so far, but I envision a scenario in which the clerk waits for me to speak in response to the recording (or assumes I am still reading the menu) and we reach an impasse while the line builds up behind me.
  3. Say something with the intention of ascertaining whether anyone is actually listening. "Hello, anyone there?" seems a bit rude but I imagine there is a better phrasing. This is a non sequitur from the recording's "how may I help you", so I suspect this is not the sort of behavior that the architects of this state-of-the-art drive-thru technology intended to promote.

So what's the correct action in this delicate social situation? (Keep in mind that your comments will determine my future behavior at Jack in the Box.)


I like option 3. Option 1 makes too many assumptions, as does #2. :)

Posted by: Zifnab | April 25, 2004 10:27 PM

I would suggest the following response: "You may help me by putting me through to a human being."

Posted by: Dad | April 26, 2004 8:01 AM

My main question would have to be why are you eating at Jack in the Box?

Posted by: Vanessa | April 26, 2004 12:39 PM

Because it's closer than In and Out?

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | April 26, 2004 2:18 PM

hahahahaha I agree with Vanessa :)

Posted by: Tracy | April 26, 2004 2:22 PM

"I want a double cheese burger, onion rings, and a large orange drink."

(Did I ever play this skit for you?)

Posted by: Mason Porter | April 27, 2004 5:25 PM
Post a comment