As someone who works at a fast food restaurant, let me tell you there are major ups and downs. While the money isn't bad, more often than not there are moments when I seriously question my job choice. In particular, these moments occur while I'm working the drive-thru.

I'm a self-proclaimed drive-thru queen. Manning one headset, two different registers, and hundreds of customers over thirty hours a week. I wish I could say good things about the people I have to deal with, but let's be real. It's a standard food service job with soul sucking customers. So the next time you choose to take the drive-thru at your favorite fast food spot, take care to try and avoid doing the following.

1. Taking Forever to Decide

At my job, there are two menus in the drive-thru. The first one is specifically there for cars to stop and read before they reach the next menu with the speaker. Driving up to that second menu will trigger a sensor, starting the drive-thru timer and alerting me that you're there and supposedly ready to order.

I promise you, drive-thru menus are generally not too extensive. You don't need a whole lot of time to figure out which combo you're in the mood for. You may think I have all day to devote to waiting on you and you alone. However, there are actually 17 other tasks that need tackling on my to-do list as you think about milkshake flavors. 

2. Speaking Too Quietly

Restaurants are loud places. Chances are, the person taking your order is already battling to hear you against the sounds of the kitchen, other staff members, and all of the customers in the lobby. 

Please don't talk into the speaker in the same way you would with a person who's standing right in front of you. I'm not right in front of you, and I will absolutely not be able to hear a word you say. Plus, it's just as annoying for me as it is for you when I have to keep asking you to repeat yourself. 

3. Making Several Separate Orders

Becky Hughes

We get it, everyone's paying for their own food. But making that into four different orders on separate checks in the drive-thru is simply inconvenient. It's even worse when each person has a different method of paying. Do me a favor: order everything at once and split the check later. Or even better, just come inside and save yourself the time and me the exasperation. 

4. Placing a Gigantic Order

tea, chips, cake
Tabatha Marks

Shoutout to the parents who pull up with a minivan full of hangry carpool kids, fresh from the soccer field. While it's so kind of you to buy everyone lunch, orders that large do not belong in the drive-thru. Remember that timer I mentioned earlier? Your $60+ order just smashed any hope of me having a decent per customer average during my shift. 

5. Ordering More Food at the Window

So, about that timer. I'm literally on the clock to get your order out as quickly and accurately as possible. As you drive from the speaker to the window, patties are already hitting the grill and fries dropped in the fryer. Pulling up to the window and asking to add food to your order throws a major wrench into this process. This is especially true if it's a menu item that will take a long time to make.

It's rough for the kitchen staff to rush now that they have unexpected food to prepare. And it's annoying for the other cars in line who are waiting for their food as well. To make it worse, I'm the one who has to deal with all of these people's wrath. 

6. Leaving Windshield Wipers On

Because there's nothing I like more than being greeted with splashes of rain water in my face. I shouldn't have to openly flinch from getting wet until you to realize that you should shut those puppies off while I'm at the open window. You don't need a clear windshield anyways, you're not even moving. 

7. Getting Aggressively Impatient 

No one in the food service industry appreciates difficult customers. If your food happens to be taking an especially long time while you're in a drive-thru, I'm not the one to take it out on. It's probably just very busy in the restaurant at that moment and there are a lot of orders coming in at once. It's not as if I went to the kitchen and told them to put your food last on the to-do list . 

That being said, having a nasty attitude is also not going to make me ask them to go any faster. If you keep cool about it, I'll continue doing my best to make sure you get that order ASAP. But huffing and puffing or glaring at me through the window truly has the opposite effect on my sense of urgency. 

8. Eating the Meal in the Car

The whole point of a drive-thru is that you "drive through," not sit and eat. So why, after your order is handed to you, am I watching you devour your burger in front of the window? The timer is really important to me, okay? Please just go. But don't eat while you're driving, that's a little dangerous. Wait for a red light before digging in. 

For the love of everything fattening and greasy, please just keep these things in mind. The next time you decide you're craving Animal Fries from In-N-Out  or chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A, your efforts will be noticed and appreciated.