Every morning, I scour the internet looking for exciting food news to share with you guys, and I always hope I’ll be able to start your day on a high note. Many days, it’s a challenge. You’d think that with all the madness and heartbreak in the news cycle it wouldn’t bleed over to food, but we were all wrong! The most upsetting kind of story, the kind I find nearly ever day without fail, is about someone assaulting a fast food worker. Those people work their asses off. It is hard, backbreaking, and excruciatingly micromanaged work that involves being on their feet all day with limited breaks. They’re treated like they’re invisible, as if they’re but hollow vessels meant to serve you cheap food, not human beings with feelings and lives outside the restaurant. When they ask to be paid a living wage, they’re laughed at. And, I have learned, they’re in constant danger of being punched in the face by people who think the pickles on their burger are too small, or are upset that a restaurant has run out of chicken sandwiches.
This morning, the first story that popped up on my radar was about a group of people who assaulted the manager of an IHOP when they learned there were no free refills on orange juice. I decided that, instead of writing about those people, I would instead write about these tweets from comedian Dan Wilbur, who is bucking the trend of being a total dick on social media and pulling what he calls “positive pranks.” Though it’s framed like a gimmick, in reality, all Wilbur is doing is being a decent human being.
Wilbur’s simple act of sharing a compliment initially renders the customer service representative speechless, before leading into a very sweet conversation which, according to subsequent tweets, has developed into an actual friendship. Customer service reps spend eight hours a day listening to people yell and complain, and while they might not be in danger of being punched in the face by customers who feel their burgers weren’t hot enough, their workdays are rarely this pleasant.
It’s remarkable how little it takes to make somebody’s day. Make it a point to make your servers smile, tip well, and maybe go the distance to compliment someone to their boss. Call the Wendy’s hotline! Shout out your baristas in a nice email to your friendly local Starbucks district manager. And, for the love of God, stop punching fast food workers in the face. I seriously cannot believe we need to be telling people this.