I don’t eat out very often because I’ve gotten to where I prefer healthy food. However, I get a craving for junk food every now and again and I’ll visit a diner or fast food chain. Unfortunately, I have noticed a rather unpleasant trend at many of these establishments.
You’re all seen the jokes in movies about how you can never understand the person speaking at the drive through. Well, what do you do when you’re standing in front of an actual person at the counter or have a server that’s just as bad? it’s annoying and frustrating to try ordering food when you can’t understand anything that the person is saying to you.
I’ve considered this to be a problem for quite some time, but today’s experience at the local Popeye’s brought it to the forefront again. I could not understand the person standing at the counter. It sounded like he was talking with a mouthful of marbles. Between the mumbling, not looking at me when he spoke and the southern black accent, he was almost unintelligible. I often need Eric to translate the mush-mouth for me, and there are times when even he can’t understand these people.
I’ve encountered this a lot here in the south, but hardly ever in the north. Even in coastal Maine where no one pronounces the letter R, I could always understand them. Not here. People are hired to deal with the public who can’t speak coherent English. Heavily accented mumbling with bad grammar shouldn’t be allowed for someone who has to take orders and communicate with customers.
I firmly believe that clear speaking should be a requirement for any employee dealing with the public. Potential employees should be asked to read text to the employer to test their ability to communicate clearly and politely. They should all be required to practice speaking so that they can always communicate clearly with customers. There’s no excuse for letting someone behind the counter who sounds like they have a full mouth when they’re talking and can’t even look in your direction when they speak.