nox_lumen

So, in the years I was staff, generally the strangest experiences McDonald's had to offer were the expected odd ball customers and misfit night shift. Hey, I loved working with a masochistic manager. I was encouraged to vent my frustrations by hitting him, then he's fetch my closing stock. He and I made a solid team, so don't go all "me too" on me just cause he was dumb enough to hand me consent for assault and battery.

Now you would think I'd have dealt with my strangest people during the dark hours. It was a collage town with a major bar scene and plenty of stoners. I learned quickly I have some kind of magic power on drunks: They feel a compulsion to tell me their whole life story Like I'm their priest or something. I must just have one of those faces. Post-bar snack runs were some of my most docile clients.

After-school was hell on earth. Children didn't like me when I was a child, and getting older didn't improve things. There were also the 'adult daycare field trips', nerve wracking because the mentally disabled literally could not help the way they were. However our crowd of special needs adults had some rock star supervisors, so anytime things got a bit messy, someone was always there to clear up the problem quickly. After enough runs of costumers with the verbal capacity of a three month old and the body of an adult, you get used to their variant of abnormal.

One day this guy comes in, ordinary looking enough for the shift. OK, so by ordinary I mean a guy who lived through the 70's hard rock scene and never noticed the decade changed. But as people outside the modern time line go, he could have passed for a guy that was of an awkward age for early 2000's rock, shoulder length dark hair, goatee but no handle bars on the stash, stone washed boot cut jeans, battered nondescript t-shirt and a denim vest. I almost didn't notice him right away since we'd get way more eccentric folks on a hourly basis.

He turns to a supervisor and special needs person behind him and tells them to order first. You're probably thinking like I was, "How considerate and chivalrous of him.' and that would be wrong. See the specific special needs person wasn't OK with the order of the line changing. The supervisor tried to explain they weren't ready to order to calm things down. This guy decided it was a good time to pick a fist fight. In a crowded restaurant. With someone who wasn't even up to an infant vocabulary. Because how dare they not shower him with praise for being nice....Yeah.

Some snarling later, he finally ordered to-go just as one of my managers was getting ready to step in. Then the special needs pair got their to-go order in, situation handled. But it can take up to 90 seconds on a good day to fill an order, and a lot can happen at a counter during that minuet and a half. This guy decided while he waited for a sandwich it was a good time to try picking a fight again. He got so worked up he tried to rip the 'Ronald McDonald House' donation box right off my register. By the way, those things are chained heavily to prevent this, so he nearly ripped the monitor off with it, and for a moment I though he was gonna bounce the still chained box off me.

Right as my five foot self was bracing to sprint at the fry station and clobber him with a boiling hot metal basket(fries optional), my manager (all six foot of him) decided it was a good time to get right up in the guy's face and demand he walk out of the building. It was for the best. I don't hold back well. The crazy guy left, surprisingly with his order, and I filled the special needs order and they seemed to be leaving for the picnic benches outside.

I went back to bagging food and taking orders like any after-school rush. Fast food is fast paced so we don't have a lot of time during a shift to pitch a fit when things get crazy. When three of out managers are dropping everything they're doing and two of them are running outside, it's impossible to miss that you're three people short of a full team even if you CAN'T see the cause. The 90 second target doesn't happen by fairy magic, ya know.

While the third manager is talking to a cop rapidly on the phone, I find out that this crazy guy waited in the parking lot to start a fist fight all over again. This time right at the exit to drive-thru. Yep. He was so determined to make a public spectral of punishing people who didn't appreciate how 'nice' he was that he jammed up our drive-thru to punch a special needs person. Maybe that word has a different meaning where he grew up.

If you've ever worked with food and people, you know that generally the snarls are all about hunger making people do mean and stupid things to one another. Not fast enough, not cheerful enough, not subservient enough, and you can get a real monster in your face all because some fool said 'the customer is always right'.  What you won't see often is people getting mad because someone wouldn't eat sooner, or people who think 'nice' means 'punch somebody'.

I am so glad I never saw that guy again. Maybe he got arrested for giving candy to a baby and punching the mother for telling him 'no!'.

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