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5 Things Only Drive-Through Staff Would Understand

5 Things Only Drive-Through Staff Would Understand

Working at a drive-through may not be the most glamorous job. You have to deal with standing on your feet for long periods of time, learn to fix unexpected and stressful situations that come up, get paid minimum wage and when you go home you still smell strongly of fried food. Despite the hardships, there are a great deal of life lessons that come out of this position that you can use outside of your shift. Read on to find out what important lessons this entry-level job can teach you that will help you out in the future–both in your career and personal lives.

They know how to deal with all different types of people

Working at a drive-through you encounter a diverse population as your customers. In the morning there are the commuters in a rush to get to their places of employment, in the afternoon the groups of teenagers from the nearby high schools and late at night the inebriated party animals. Each group has its own particular issues, but learning how to deal effectively with each group and display excellent customer service will not only help you in your future careers, but also situations within your personal life as well.

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They are not afraid of a little dirt

In a fast-food environment you are bound to get spilled ketchup on your uniform or just general grime from working in a food establishment. Learning how to accept that life is sometimes messy, whether physically or emotionally, is a key skill that you can always use later on. The important thing to remember is how you deal with the mess and are able to move on from it afterwards.

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They know that teamwork is key

Successfully getting a customer’s order correct is the result of each worker doing their part. From the person taking orders at the drive-through window to the people working in the kitchen prepping the food, everyone’s effort counts. When one team member skimps on their duties, it can easily be felt by the entire team. Learning to communicate with your co-workers to get a certain task done is important not only in a professional setting, but also for personal relationships.

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They know that a little bit of kindness goes a long way

No matter what kind of day you have been having, when a customer says a kind word it brightens up your day. It can be as simple as “have a good day,” but human kindness can have a positive effect on you that will change your mood for the rest of your shift. The reverse is also true where service with a smile can make a big impression on your customers, since drive-through service is not always the friendliest.  It is important to remember this detail when you move on to other careers, no matter your position, since this simple gesture can open so many doors.

They learn that hard work will be rewarded no matter the job

Working at a drive-through may seem like a mindless job but, like any job, if you put in the hard work you will stand out. Pitching in to help out others, learning your duties quickly so that you can do your job in an efficient manner, going above and beyond what your job entails, will all get you noticed eventually by your supervisor. This will translate well if you need a job reference later on in life or are being considered for a promotion. Learning that no job is below you is a invaluable skill in the workplace and mastering the tasks you are given makes you a valuable employee no mater the position.

Featured photo credit: Burger King, Shirley (like the one in Back to the Future)/Elliott Brown via flickr.com

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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