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We Don't Sell Burgers At Dairy Queen

By Nicole Marie Padinha
On November 12, 2010

  • A satisfied customer enjoying his sundae. Megan Davis

It's madness. The noise surrounds you, louder than a hundred fire engine sirens. No, this isn't the sight of five-car pile-up, you have just entered the Dairy Queen. The small storefront is packed to the gills with elderly couples, families and children —so many children. Their voices start at a calm murmur, and increase to frantic shouting over one another, until you can't hear yourself think anymore.




A sea of prepubescent soccer players stare back at me, dumbfounded. No one moves as the shouting increases and then one of them approaches the counter and asks if we sell hamburgers. Is it so hard to read a menu? Everything is spelled out crystal clear, in pictures!


The job of an ice cream server is least to be desired. Glorified to some, many think we just sit on our bums all day and eat all the ice cream we want. Sadly this is not so.


First, there is not a day that I do not go home reeking of ice cream. Delicious, you say? Sure, if you think the smell of dried milk is appetizing. Every day my uniform is soiled from head to toe. I cannot bring a nice pair of shoes into work if I desire to keep them decent looking. I have ruined many good pairs of jeans there as well and it's not just my wallet that suffers.


Dealing with the general public is hard enough, but food service is by far the worst. Not only must you have a sunny disposition when serving a thousand calorie sundae, but you are a slave to the customer's every whim. They are free at any moment to change their mind. You can't say, ‘you just told me you wanted a small vanilla cone with sprinkles and now you're telling me you wanted chocolate?'


Oh no, you must grin, bear it, and scoop that chocolate ice cream like it was your mistake from the beginning.


Complaints; I think people complain more about the aesthetics of their ice cream than anything else. Of course your ice cream doesn't look like the picture, do I look like a robot? Your soft serve sundae is melting because of the hot chocolate you asked me to pour all over it. And my favorite has to be when customers ask if there is real rum in the rum raisin ice cream. Honey if that were the case, I'd be eating it every time I worked.


Just when I think we're in the clear, a teenaged girl pushes her way through the crowd with a look as though things have not gone her way She slams down her medium shake cup and looks up to my coworker "Can I speak to your manager?"


I speak up, "How can I help you?"


She turns her head towards me and in utter disgust replies with, "My milkshake tastes like milk, I want my money back."


This is what I'm talking about people. I don't know what planet some of these people live on but on earth, milkshakes are made with milk. It's even in the name.


I rather enjoy my job, as crazy at it seems. I'm a college student. I have bills to pay, books to purchase, and I need gas and coffee to fill both my tanks. Nothing comes cheap nowadays, so working at the Dairy Queen is both a blessing and a curse. Part-time jobs are a necessary evil for college students everywhere. I am the happy employee of a small ice cream parlor in Central Jersey; happy because I love my job and the people I work with but the customers… they are another story.

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