When you're working in a drive-thru, trying to hear customer requests through the loudspeaker can be a tall order. In these situations, it's probably best to just be patient and calmly ask the customer to repeat their request, or at least, that's probably what corporate training would tell you.
Of course, it can be frustrating to have to constantly repeat yourself and strain your ears listening in on a customer's order. How many drinks did they say that they wanted? What was the substitution they wanted? Did they want anything taken out? Added in?
It can be even more annoying if the customer in question is responsible for a ton of audio feedback coming in through the speakers as well. Which is seemingly what happened in a viral TikTok where a woman was told by a Panera employee that they wouldn't be taking their order through the loudspeaker in the drive-thru because her child was making too much noise.
In a clip posted by TikToker @leikerornot, a woman can be seen recording the drive-thru of a Panera location as she speaks to a worker through the loudspeaker.
"So you are gonna refuse to take my order because my child is screaming?" she can be heard saying.
The employee responds, "Yes I have the right to do that you're more than welcome to come inside or you can place an order online and we'll make it for you."
"And what is really like you're gonna not take my order."
"Yes ma'am that is what I'm saying. OK well I do have this on video and I will be emailing corporate because that's just like completely rude."
She then explained why she wasn't able to come inside and place her order. "I cannot come inside because my daughter does not have shoes on do you understand that?"
The employee responds, "No I understand but you're also more than welcome to order through online as well. So you want me to take an extra 20 minutes and order online? That's not convenient to me."
She continues, "It's your job to take orders and stuff and this is ridiculous...so I'd like you to take my order please."
The employee finally says, "OK, I will be happy to take your order as long as your daughter does not scream, all right?"
The woman states, "I think that's a pretty good decision on your part."
The worker then said, "OK I don't need this attitude-" and then the video cuts out
While it sounds like the woman in the video clearly believes that she is in the right, TikTokers who saw her clip largely appeared to be supportive of the Panera employee. Some indicated that he was only saying/doing what they secretly wished they could say and do in their own jobs.
And then there were those who said that she should consider the fact he is wearing an earpiece and hearing a child's screeches through headphones is a very jarring and grating experience. Others blamed the woman for not putting shoes on her child stating that it wasn't the employees fault she didn't decide to dress her child properly.
Who do you think is in the wrong for this one? Should the employee have been more polite to the "Karen" Panera patron? Or was this an instance where the customer was indeed, wrong?