“Hello? Anyone there?” Despite the fact that fastfood was famous for both atrocious service and the further warning of the lack of any sort of business at peak hours.
There was a pause, and then, “Yes, welcome to KFC…”
Gevar interrupted with a sigh. “Great. I was starting to get worried.”
“Worried about what sir?”
“Oh nothing, just that everything is okay in there”, Gevar replied absently, readying his order for the soccer team.
The reply came back much quicker this time. “Oh no sir, nothing here to be worried about. Everything in here is perfectly normal.”
“Again, good. Is it alright if I give you my order now?”. Crazy kids these days, thought Gevar. It’s a fast food joint, there is a somewhat limited amount of situations that would prevent someone from reaching a microphone for five minutes. Most involve a smoke break or teenage antics.
“Again, great. I want five orders of the 12 piece nugget meal, 4 classic sandwiches, and 4 wraps.” Gevar paused halfway down, waiting for confirmation.
A long pause.
“Sorry sir, but we’re out of chicken, I can’t fill your order.”
“You’re out of what?”
“How is that possible!? Chicken is in the name of your freaking store! Where is your manager?” Looking down at his balled fists he realized the list was crumbled in a small ball.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience sir”, came the weak reply.
Gevar felt his bloodpressure rising as he responded, “Sorry! What good does that do me? Simply unbelievable. Do you realize how much of my time you’ve wasted?”
Another pause. Gevar assumed he had reached the next level in the hierarchy in the chicken kingdom. He took a breath as he prepared to speak to another being with common sense. Management. Of course, any adult who had freely chosen a career in the frying of chicken and babysitting underage employee couldn’t be assumed to have a full grasp on reality.
“Listen here little man. Who are you ordering this chicken for?”
Gevar was both confused and surprised by the audacity and rudeness of the manager. He ignored the insult, since clearly the manager’s sanity was, in fact, non-existant, and pressed on.
“My daughter’s soccer team.”
Raucous laughter came through the speaker. Apparently the manager wasn’t the only person listening in on this conversation.
“Aw….how cute! Daddy running errands for his little girl?”
Gevar’s patience was gone. No one messed with his little girl. His, “Proud father of an honors student” bumper sticker was freshly pasted on the back of the minivan, fresh from the end of last semester. If there was anything he prided himself on, it was his love and service for family. Pressing this button was too much for him. Inhibitions fled, rage took over. His voice rose to a fevered pitch as he shouted back into the mounted microphone.
“Who in the world do you think you are? Who are you to criticize me? What kind of business management ridicules people try to buy from you?”
“What kind of father talks to a 15 year old boy like he is an idiot when whether or not we have chicken is obviously not something a minimum wage teenager would be responsible for? You should listen to yourself”, the manager spat.
Gevar stared at the kiosk in utter shock.
Never before had he been insulted, outraged, and convicted, all at the same time.
Swallowing his pride, he started, “Hold on, I’ll park then come inside.”
No pause this time, the gruff voice emphatically asked why he would do such a thing.
“To apologize to the young man. I was wrong.”
Inside the restaurant, Kevin was stunned. Never before in the two years of working the drive through had he heard those words. Never had any customer even remotely apologize for words or actions.
He had seen it all. People raging about whether or not there should have been ketchup. Raging about the lack of cheese. Furious over having failed to give them a nickel in change. Kevin had been flicked off and cussed out, a verbal punching bag for patrons, the vast majority of times for things that were utterly out of his control. All of this he had grown to accept as normal. Now, on this day of all days, someone was actually wanting to come in and apologize.
The grizzled man standing behind the microphone winced, muttering a curse as he covered the microphone with his hand.
“That won’t be necessary. We’re closed.” And with that, he motioned with his gun for Kevin to turn off the microphone.
“What a mess. Alright boys, lets get out of here. Do people always treat you like that kid?”
Kevin only nodded, marveling at the irony of the situation. The first person to actually stand up for him, the first time someone would actually want to apologize, all took place in the midst of his first experience being robbed.