Friday, June 29, 2018

The Creepy Drive-Thru Dude

I wasn't expecting a conversation at the first window.

It had been a hectic day, and I was rushing for lunch. I had planned on making a nice, healthy lunch for The Boy and I. Probably some grilled salmon with asparagus and sliced pomegranate. (Or something.) Instead, our errands got out of hand and I found myself pulling up to the drive-thru ordering speaker of a local fast food establishment. (I don't want to shed a bad light on the place, so for the sake of anonymity I'll call it "McFastFood's.")

Most drive-thru conversations take place at the ordering speaker. And these aren't exactly "conversations," they're mostly recitations of familiar phrases like:
"Would you like any fries with that?"
"Can I super-size that for you?"
And, "Please pull forward to the first window."

I placed my order and was told to move ahead to the first window. (They didn't have grilled salmon, so I settled for a Filet o' Fish.) As I pulled around there was a car ahead of me at the first window. I waited my turn, then pulled up to the window.

I took out my credit card and reached it toward the window when the McFastFood's employee broke the unwritten rules of the Customer/Drive-thru Employee Interaction Contract: he said something that differed from the standard script.

As I reached my credit card toward him, he said, "Why is it that all the cute girls pay with a credit card?"

I was a bit befuddled. I was paying with a credit card. Did he think I was a cute girl? And if so, how offended should I be? Or how flattered should I be? (Hey, if he thought I was a girl, at least he thought I was a cute girl.)

I wasn't sure how to respond, so I think I said something extremely insightful, like "Uhhh...."

He took my card to process it, then continued, "I wish they would pay with cash." I didn't respond, but I was a bit relieved. When he said "they" it meant that he wasn't lumping me in with the cute girls.

The conversation was pretty one-sided. He had something he wanted to say, and I was the one there for him to say it to. For my part, he had piqued my interest.

As he processed my card, he went on. "When they pay with cash, I get to hold their hands a little bit when I give them their change. I just want the chance to hold a cute girl's hand. But I don't get to hold their hand when they pay with a credit card! I wish the cute girls didn't always pay with credit cards!"

Okay, that was a bit creepy.  It's like I was seeing a bad guy from an episode of Criminal Minds in his earliest stages: It started out with him holding hands with unwitting girls as he gave them change at the drive-thru, then before you knew it he was keeping girls locked up against their will in his shed out back.

I was just expecting to pay at the first window, not get a glimpse inside the mind of a serial killer.

Having finished telling me his woes, he handed me back my card. I felt like I should say something, so I shook my head and told him, "I don't know what to tell you, dude." (I don't often use the word "dude," but for some reason it seemed appropriate. For once, I was actually talking to someone who was more nerdy than me.)

I pulled forward to the second window, feeling fortunate to know that the Drive-Thru Creeper didn't have a hand in actually preparing my food.

Looking back now, I'm probably being a little hard on the Drive-Thru Creeper. He's probably just a lonely nerd who hasn't had much luck with the ladies. Believe me, I understand. Been there, done that.

But, there are better ways to meet women than grabbing at their hands while giving them change at the drive-thru window.

Ladies, I'm not sure what to tell you. If the #metoo movement has taught us anything, it's that there are a lot of creepy guys out there. I wish I could tell you which guys to avoid and which guys are okay, but I can't. I'm sorry.

And as far as you guys are concerned, let me give you a little piece of advice that would make life easier and better for everyone:

Please don't be so creepy!!!

Edited from a post originally published on 5/8/2015.

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