I am not fine Taco Bell.

I love you Taco Bell, but your drive thru is making me uncomfortable.

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When I pull into any other drive-thru, a voice comes through the box and thanks me for choosing their restaurant. The cheerful thank you is followed by “I’ll take your order whenever you’re ready.”

Not at Taco Bell.

I pull up to the speaker box in the drive thru. A voice comes through  “How are you?”

What?

How am I?  What? I don’t know. I’m hungry. I mean.. I don’t know.  Do I answer? Do I just order? I don’t really want a CONVERSATION. I just want a Taco. Maybe a bean burrito. Definitely a churro. Churro. Mmmm… Wait. How am I?

It throws me off. Every. Time.

I have Asperger’s, so I struggle with social niceties anyway. I’ve learned it is polite when someone asks how you are to say “Fine, thank you.”  It is a pointless exchange. A waste of breath because the people asking usually do not care how you really are, yet we say it all day. How are you? Fine.  Ugh.

Why Taco Bell?  Why?  Does your cashier REALLY care how I am today?

Why can’t your employees just say “Thank you for choosing Taco Bell!  I’ll take your order whenever you are ready.”  That’s a polite and honest exchange.  The truth is, you want my order and my moolah.  I want your tacos. It’s fair really. So why the facade?

The next time I pull up to Taco Bell and that voice warbles through the speaker and asks “How are you?”  I may just answer honestly. I’m exhausted. I just finished a twelve hour shift. I am eating this meal in my car on my way home from work so my kids don’t get jealous that mom got Taco Bell while they had to eat a home-cooked meal. (Oh the horror). I’ve been taking care of everybody else all day long at work. I’m pooped out. I’ve been smiling and talking and being polite all day long and I’m done. I’m just DONE. I just want to scarf down my tacos and pray that I get more in my mouth than I do on my shirt.  The last thing I want is another fake conversation.

I love you Taco Bell, but please… just take my money.

For those who think most people really “mean it” when they say “How Are You?”  I give you this 🙂

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19 thoughts on “I am not fine Taco Bell.

  1. Agreed. Although the bit about them not really caring how you are gets me every time with everyone..too many people in this world ask that question without waiting for a response, or caring for one..its become another meaningless phrase we employ..how unfortunate!

    • I agree! 🙂 It is unfortunate. You can always tell when people really mean it. If they’re walking quickly and as they pass they say “How are you?” they probably don’t really care. If they stop, make eye contact and ask, then they probably do. It’s really just become sort of a catch phrase!

  2. Or you could look at it from another point of view and instead of assuming that everyone is just assholes making conversation for their health, assume that when someone asks you how you are they are really interested and want to know. Perchance not the taco bell cashier. But maybe so as well. You never know. Its all about perspective.

    • Maybe. Think about how many times someone asks you “How are you?” during the day. People you pass by. Cashiers at the store. How many of them really want to know how you feel? How many of them really want to hear about your overdue bills or your child’s science fair project that is sucking the life out of you?

      Just four days ago, a woman asked “How are you?” and I replied “Tired. Didn’t get enough sleep last night.” Her response “Nobody says that. You’re supposed to say fine.” Well, if you know the answer then why ask the question. Sheesh. I am sure some people mean it, but for the most part, it’s just another piece of useless conversation. I’ve added a new pic to my blog. Just for you.

  3. hello. I’m so pleased to meet you, I have an Aspie girl of 8, her name is Veronica, we live in Romania, also Christians, book lovers, “different but not less”. I find great pleasure in reading your blog so I wanted to thank you for writing it. Blessings!

  4. Yes, Pensive. I can hear Leonard Nimoy’s Dr Spock in your voice.
    At and art exhibit opening, Charles Vickery, my dad’s mentor in painting, was standing a little apart from a conversation group when I arrived. I noticed him right away, walked over to him and said to this genius whose very few words were devoted to teaching color, light, shadow, and encouraging students,
    “Good evening, Charles. How are you?”
    “Almost,” he replied.
    In that one word he said what you mean about the emptiness of that “social nicety”. I gave him a knowing smile, which he returned.

  5. I know exactly how you feel. Worse, is I am in a rural area. Closest Taco Bell is 30 minutes away in a small city. It happens to be on my way home from work, so sometimes I stop. The last time, not only did I get a “How are you?” .. When I answered with my normal.. “I don’t know. I would like..” .. They tried to carry a conversation on with me through that stupid speaker. Of course, this gave me time to second guess what I wanted and I saw something new on the menu. The Quesarito.. Of course, I have no clue how to say that.. I have already offended the drive through lady because I don’t want to talk.. Now I am offending her more because I am saying.. “I want to try the new thing on the menu that starts with Q. U. . I have no clue how to pronounce it.” .. She then wants to talk about how to pronounce things. .. FINALLY.. get the order I want to pop up on the screen and I drive up to pay.. “Are you having a blessed day?” .. I’m so done.

    • I used to live in a rural area too. 20 miles from a TB! 🙂 So glad I’m much closer now! Sorry your experience was so terrible. I hate when people follow up their rudeness with “Have a Blessed day”. 😦

  6. Oh my goodness … YES! A million times yes!! I worked at McDonalds and I never quite got the hang of the whole “how are you?” thing. It didn’t make sense to me, so why should I be forced to say something that I don’t get. So … I put my own spin on it. You know what? The customers loved me for it (and quite honestly, i loved myself for it). Wish more people would be like me in that regard …

  7. I actually hate that exchange, too – and aside from a bad case of ADD, I’m pretty “normal” (whatever that means). When I encounter that question, I therefore do tend to give an honest answer, despite the fact that I know the asker doesn’t care. The answer is still usually short – instead of “Well I’m exhausted and I’m hungry even though I just ate breakfast and honestly I hate being here and I’m feeling a little resentful that I had to show up today” it’s just, “I’m tired”. Therefore it seems to me an appropriate answer to just say, “hungry” when asked at Taco Bell.

    There are some people who care when they ask – I usually really won’t say “how are you” unless I actually want to know, existential crisis and all – but no, you’re right. Most people don’t care.

  8. In addition to the awkwardness that comes with a random stranger asking after your mood (?) I have a difficult enough time understanding the speech from – and replying to – a muffled electric speaker, PLEASE don’t add small talk to the process! It’s hard enough for me to order the food to begin with! 🙂 As for ways to respond to the technically insincere yet socially obligatory questions, I’ve settled on two stock answers that get me through without stumbling into socially inappropriate sincerity *or* flat dishonesty: In restaurant situations, “How are you?” is generally answered by, “Hungry!” which the quick on their feet usually respond to with some variation on, “Well then, you’ve come to the right place.” That level of banter works for me. 😉 When “hungry” wouldn’t make sense, I generally answer, “I do believe I’m going to make it. You?” and it accomplishes the same purpose. Or sometimes, “Vertical!”
    Thank you for so effectively articulating what I’ve long thought but rarely say.

  9. Pingback: Spot Light: Pensive Aspie: You make me feel disabled. Yes, you. | The Puzzled Palate

  10. Pingback: Screw Small Talk | From My Brain to the Internet

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