Tale of 2 Fast Food Conversations

on Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's been a while since my last post. I have been working very hard this last week as opposed to hardly working which is my preferred state. I am still a little zombie-fied so I thought I would start with an easy post about two conversations I overheard while waiting in the wrong (meaning slow) queues at two different fast-food joints.

Conversation 1

This last week, I have been sleeping late and waking up early and degenerated to picking up breakfasts at the local fast food joint before rushing off to work. It was here that I witnessed this conversation between two middle-aged sisters and a sweet young thing of a server at the counter.

SYT: "Good morning, can I help you?"

Sister 1: " I want fish. Do you have fish? Do you serve fish in the morning? Where is your menu?"

Sister 2: " Their menu is up on the wall, see? You have only 2 choices. Set A or Set B." (actually, there are 8 choices in the menu on the wall but they look at only the nearest two.)

Sister 1: "that's no use. There's no fish. Why don't you serve fish in the mornings?"

SYT: "Actually, we do serve fish."

Sister 2 :" Then why isn't it on the menu?"

SYT : "Ummm......it is." (trying to point to the other choices on the wall).

Sister 1: "Never mind, if there is fish, I want fish."

SYT: " Would that be just the fish burger or the set?"

Sister 1: " What's in the set?"

SYT: " As it says on the menu, it consists of fish burger, hash browns and a coffee or tea."

Sister 1: "How much is that?"

SYT: " RM 7.00"

Sister 1: " How much if I order each of that separately?"

SYT (exasperated, she lies) : "It's the same price."

Sister 1: "In that case, I'll have the set."

Sister 2 : "I'll have set B."

Sister 1: "But there is no fish in set B.'

Sister 2: "I don't want fish. You want fish."

SYT: "Would you like coffee or tea with your set?"

Sister 1: "Which is costlier?"

SYT (voice creeping up to high pitch, speaks through gritted teeth): "It's a set. They're the same price."

This goes on for a long time, to the dismay of all queued behind them. Later, they actually go back with their receipt and asked why the receipt merely says set, condiments and drinks and asked if the receipt would actually read fish burger, hash browns and coffee. It's a tough life behind the counter of a fast food joint in Kuala Lumpur.

Conversation 2

This happened when a group of us was visiting in Singapore and we had arrived early for a meeting and decided to catch a quick breakfast at a fast food joint. Our server was a young man with a dour expression and dark sleepy eyes.

Me: "I'll have set C, please."

Server: " Yes, sir. Will that be tea or coffee.'

Me: "Tea please."

Server: "that'll be SIN $5.00, thank you."

Friend : " I'll also have set c but can you just give me water."

Server: "Set C comes with tea or coffee."

Friend: "I just want water.'

Server: " Then, sir, you have to order the burger and hash browns ala' carte and I can give you mineral water. that will be SIN $ 10.00."

Friend: "What? No. I don't want mineral water. I'll drink tap water. Just give me set C but no coffee, no tea, just water."

Server: " But , sir, set C comes with coffee or tea."

Friend: " I cannot take caffiene. It gives me gastric."

Me: " Just punch in set C, but just give him water instead of tea.'

Server: "A set is a set. We do not allow changes to a set."

Friend (exasperated) : "forget it. let's just forget it."

Me: "Wait a minute. Just listen. Give him a set C. But when you make the tea, can you pour the hot water into the cup but don't place the tea-bag into the water. Just leave the tea-bag on the tray. Can you do that?"

Server: " Of course I can do that. We aim to please."

And so, my friend got his water with set C and an extra tea-bag on the side. It's a tough life on the customer side of the counter in a fast food joint in Singapore.


Le Nightowl said...

I like how you presented both sides of the barrier :)
Those dialogues are quite surrealistic, I really enjoyed your post, Ecureuil Gris Solitaire :)

CSL said...

Sometimes you overhear conversations you just couldn't make up. Thise were fun.

Becky Wolfe said...

Thanks for the chuckle. I have witnessed both sides like this as well!

Dave said...

That's just way too funny! LOL

Jocelyn said...

I love this post and your recounting of the conversations. I could read about fast-food joint interactions endlessly...so keep sleeping in!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Bonjour le nightowl,
Amazingly, "Surrealistic" was the word that came to my mind when I overheard conversation 1.

Absolutely right. My imagination isn't imaginative enough to come out with dialogue like this.

you're welcome. Yes, I alway try to see both sides viewpoint as well.

...and its true too.

....I have to stop going to these fast food places cause the food is adding inches to my waistline! LoL!!

Ellie said...

My phone rang last night as I was coming on your blog and so while I was talking to my sister, I was sort of "browsing" through this post and finally I said to my sister, "Ruth, I think I have to read you something." So I read your whole post to my sister over the telephone and we both got the biggest laugh out of it. It is pretty hilarious when you read it out loud! I bet you had to chuckle as you were typing it as well! It takes all kinds to make the world go round, no?

squirrel said...

Trust me the line at a fast food place in America isn't much better! :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

thanks for sharing. It's nice to get such reaffirmation about the post. It wasn't so funny at the time but seems so ridiculous now.

I am sure that I will always be in the slowest fast food queue no matter where I am in the world.

Le Nightowl said...

Are you both squirrels related? :)

adelym said...

Le nightowl : I think I am more related to LGS than anyone else. Unless squirell is LGS wife as am LGS's niece..ehehheh

LGS : I know which fast food chain you talking about in KL. It's the Macdonalds. I do agree that being at the counter is more stressful than customer over this part of the world. I can say each time I go line up for the orders, the ones at the front takes ages to decide. Another place I find it happends is the cinema and esp the couples. One say they like this show and another say want to watch another. Cinema at Midvalley (biggest shopping mall in South East Asia) always have about 100 ppl at the line. Reason being is it is not one person in a group that buys the ticket but about 3 or 4 from the same group line up to get the tickets.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

le nightowl,
Meet Adelym, my niece. Other squirrel is not related any more than we are all descended from one mother of all squirrels.

yes cinemas are another good place to obsrve people and listen to conversations. Sadly, haven't been to a cinema in over a year.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have also run up against the mentality that refuses to make substitutions to a "set," even when it would be in their favor to do so, as with water. It's incredibly frustrating and also bizarrely fascinating how truly small the mind can be.

And after all that, "we aim to please." Perfect!

This was a great post, which I'll have to read aloud to my husband when he wakes up.

adelym said...

LGS: You should try the new cinema - cineplex at Curve. It is not so crowded there. Take Hoong-hoong for a treat..e.hehhe... I am sure she would appreciate it. There is the twin seats available. Well I understand you don't need to go cinema as you got a home cinema with your dvd collection. By any chance you got Babylon 5 series? :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for the kind comments and hope you're better now.

sorry. No Babylon 5. Good series though.

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