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Most of us are very experienced when it comes to ordering fast food from whatever chains we frequent. We are familiar with the menu options. We understand what information is required by the cashier to complete our order. We certainly subscribe to the mission that our overall experience should be characterized as “fast” and “efficient.” If we wanted ambiance and a more extended relationship with our food provider we would be eating in a fancier sit-down, take-your-order-at-the-table establishment. So when it is our turn to step up to the cashier to place our order, we are prepared for the challenge. [I can’t speak for the chronically indecisive segment of the population that seems to stumble over any simple decision as if it were potentially life-changing.]

Yet somehow the training of cashiers in these fast food joints does not extend to teaching them basic listening skills. Invariably I will lead off my order by checking the box of whether this order is for “take-out” or to “dine in” (quite a euphemism for the overall experience — I guess it is not to be confused with “fine dining” but still involves consumption of food at some form of a table or counter). Subsequently I rattle off the details of my order and finish by supplying my name (if that is the tagline required for fulfillment of the order). Invariably, the cashier with fingers poised to complete the order, gives me that blank look and asks the frustrating question: “Will that be take-out or dining in?” I guess sequence of information is everything to one who is performing essentially a robotic function for their 8 hour shift every day.