My Fast Food Experience

by Myo
I got my job last year in June. I am working in a Korean barbecue and fast food restaurant which is located in the downtown San Francisco shopping center. It is cool even though I'm working in the downtown mall. We mainly sell barbequed chicken and short ribs. Those are what people like the most, I guess. We have barbequed chicken, teriyaki chicken, lemon chicken, short rib stew, barbequed short ribs, sliced beef, spicy chicken, spicy pork, stir-fried tofu, mackerel fillet, salmon fillet and spicy calamari. The entrée comes with rice, clear Korean noodles, broccoli and kim chi, which is spicy cabbage, Korean style. We also have a two-item combos and noodle soups: chicken, beef, seafood combo, shrimp, clam, fish balls, and tofu noodle soup. This seems like a lot to memorize, but I've gotten used to it already. The main problem is that the job is stressful because I have to deal with different kinds of customers.

Our customers have many different ethnicities from different countries, and it is difficult to deal with people from different cultures. Some customers do not want to speak out when they order. Instead, they use their eyebrows to point to what they want. It seems funny and annoying. Some customers can not speak English at all. That is really hard. They do not understand what we explain. That is why it’s good to be able to speak a couple of languages living in the US. Other customers want the food prepared their way, but we can’t give them food the way they want it. Sometimes a customer doesn’t care about the other customers who are waiting in the line. They only care about their own order and they take too much time deciding what they want.

Well, there will always be some problems no matter where you work. But it is a good experience working a restaurant because you can meet so many different people and become accustomed to their differences. However, one thing that I cannot get accustomed to is a characteristic of American culture. In my country, Burma, being humble shows that we are polite. It is a considered a very good thing in our culture. But in the US, people want to take advantage of those who are humble and think that humble people are weak. So this is something that is completely different from our country. Getting used to the idea that humility is a negative characteristic is very difficult, maybe impossible for me. My mind doesn’t work that way! But one thing I can do is to try to understand people who are loud and proud. It doesn't mean they are aggressive or impolite. They may be good people too.