Going through the drive through of a fast-food place here in Australia is a different experience than in the U.S. It has its own vibe and is missing the cadence one normally falls into with the voice in the speaker. They also don’t use the same lingo or assumptions. For example If you order a Whopper and you don’t specify “with cheese,” you get it without; which is the reverse in the states where cheese is assumed and you have to say “without cheese.” They also don’t recognize “diet” as a drink off the bat and sometime you’ll get asked, “Do you mean diet Coke?” I don’t get how a country that abbreviates even some one syllable words, doesn't get shortening “diet Coke” to just “diet.” Especially when that is the only diet drink they serve.
Once a friend of mine asked for orange soda and got the minimum wage stare combined with “umm… do you mean Fanta?”
“Do you have any other orange flavored sodas?”
“Do you know that Fanta is the brand name and that they make many different flavors of soda?”
“Then I’d like an orange soda please.”
The reason I bring this all up is that I have just come back from a quick trip to Hungry Jacks, the Australian name for Burger King, where I had to actually tell the drive through speaker girl to stop talking so I could finish giving her my order.
The normal problem is as soon as you rattle off the first item to the speaker box they are instantly telling you your total and for you to drive to the first window. Most of the time if you didn’t tell them what drink or size you wanted, they just assume no upsize and Coke. God forbid if you want more than one thing.
I was trying to order a Whopper with cheese combo, no pickle, no onion, with diet coke to drink for myself and a Bacon Deluxe with a large fries for a friend.
I got as far as “I’d like a Whopper combo…” when she broke in and started telling me my total. I raised my voice to continue, “no pickle, no onion” and again she started telling me my total and to please drive forward. I raised my voice more, “with diet Coke to drink please.” And again she started and I finally had to say “Stop talking! I’m not done!”
I didn’t mean to snap like that but it’s been building up. I meant to say, “Please stop talking” but didn’t. The whole process of going through the drive through here fills me with unaccustomed anxiety. I am used to the speaker voice waiting for me to pause before then asking, “anything else?’ Some times I’ll just go in and order at the counter to avoid the hassle. In the end though you should never be rude to people making your food. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that.
While I’m the subject there let me also tell you an important bit of information regarding the word “Burger” here. In Australia anything between two halves of a bun is a burger. It’s not a chicken sandwich it’s a chicken burger. This is really important when you see an item on the menu that reads “bacon burger.” This is not a hamburger with bacon; it is bacon on a bun and that’s it. The first week I was in Australia I ordered a bacon burger and then went up to complain that it was missing the actual burger.