Drive Through Lessons
Nope. I'm not spelling it "Thru", because that's wrong.
But as one who works in the 'service industry' (in my arena, shorthand for Fast Food), and who operates this domestic anomaly (nope, they don't have them in other countries - don't know about Canada, though), I shall now take time to write out the established, thus far unwritten, and perhaps unknown (if you are 'that' person) code of etiquette for utilizing a drive-through service.
*As for a disclaimer - no, I'm not disgruntled. But this knowledge is important for you, dear consumer.
The Rules by Which to Play:
1. Overarching and foremost is the theme of personhood. On the other side of that speaker is a living, breathing, competent (we hope) human being, just like you. That person's job is to serve you with a smile (and a meal or some dry-cleaning or a receipt). Don't make it difficult for them.
2. Do not be on your cell phone. If the call is important enough that you may save someone's life by maintaining an open line, why are you pausing for a burger/latte/pressed shirt? Understand that the nod-smile-and-index-finger approach does not constitute civility or conversation. That's like trying to work on your overhand swing while having a chat with your spouse about the unbalanced checkbook. That could get ugly fast.
3. Your music and car stereo are not, in a general restaurant sense, enjoyable. One or two people at the window might groove along with you, but further indoors, patrons and employees are thinking the word, "Jerk."
4. If you are mostly illiterate, please do not attempt to hone your skills on the menu while three cars are behind you. They're paying as well, and the staff can help you decide what your wanting. Furthermore, if you've never been to the restaurant or business, come inside. Get acquainted. Have a sit-down. Aren't those beeps, voices, and mechanical hisses coming out of the speaker intriguing? Find out what they really come from. You wouldn't set up a bank account over the drive-through speaker, now would you?
5. If you, in the case of restaurants, are ordering for your private army, House of Commons, or Hillary Duff Fan Club, it is best, again, to come inside. It takes a long time to squeeze twenty-five different beverage combinations through that two-by-three foot hole in the wall.
6. If you are a difficult customer (you know who you are), tip in the clearly visible tip jar, or at least donate to the Ronald McDonald House plexi-glass box.
7. Take heart. The employee might enjoy the thirty seconds of the day when he/she gets to meet you. The smile might not be fake. Enjoy meeting them too.
8. SEE, The Golden Rule.
Aha! The smoke has finally cleared from my first attempt at making corn fritters. The first three were great (because I ate them). The remainder need some evangelism to convert to corn fritter status (and that's more my spiritual task than gift). I'll get you next time, Corn Fritters! Next time!