“I used to work at McDonald’s when I was a teenager. I’m also deaf, but I read lips. I developed bacterial meningitis and became fully deaf at the age of 12. I can still speak since I learned to speak before I became deaf and most of the customers I got there were very understanding, except one.
I was working the front counter that day as I usually did so I was basically in charge of inside customers. This was the easiest position for me as I could see the customers and read their lips. A middle-aged lady (Entitled Mom) and her 10-year-old son walked in.
Me: ‘Hi, welcome to McDonald’s.’
I said this while signing it at the same time. She didn’t look up and was looking down at her phone, so I couldn’t see her lips and I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
Me: ‘Excuse me ma’am I’m deaf, but I read lips! Can you look up for me please?’
She rolled her eyes and I clearly saw what she said.
Entitled Mom: ‘Why would they let a dummy work the front counter?’
I was appalled by her behavior but just tried to pretend like I didn’t see it. I smiled.
Me: ‘What can I get started for you today?’
She started to patronize me by speaking very, very slowly, which fun fact actually makes it 1000 times harder to understand what you’re saying.
Entitled Mom: ‘I … want … a … DIET…COKE.’
Me: ‘Okay is that all?’
Entitled Mom: ‘And a Happy Meal toy’
Now all of our drinks were a dollar no matter the size, but you had to pay for a happy meal toy. We didn’t just give them out for free. I rang her up and she was shocked. She demanded to know why I was discriminating against her son and forcing them to pay for a happy meal toy. I really didn’t want to cause any trouble and I wished I could say I told her where she could shove it, but I ended up just giving her the toy for free.
I thought I had avoided conflict, but oh boy was I wrong.
I told her the total was $1.06 and after she paid, I handed her a large cup and motioned for the guy behind her to move forward. She waved a hand in my face and pointed to the drink cup
Me: ‘Yes ma’am?’
Entitled Mom: ‘You never gave me my drink!’
I just thought she didn’t see the machines behind her, so I pointed to the drink machine.
Me: ‘Oh there’s a drink station behind you where you can fill up your drink.’
I kid you not, word for word, she said, ‘That’s your job, do I look like I work for McDonald’s?’
My jaw hit the floor. I had never had someone be so rude in my entire life. I ended up telling her that when you come inside, you fill up your own drinks because of sanitary reasons, but when she kept on pushing at me I ended up just using our drive-thru drink machine to give her the diet coke.
While I was making the drink, my coworker tapped me on the shoulder. I saw her son making fun of me to his mom by pretending to sign and just in general being a bully. His mom didn’t punish him or tell him off, instead, she encouraged him and started to make fun of me with him. I went to the back and ended up bawling my eyes out. I felt incredibly embarrassed and like I had made a fool of myself by having a disability. I turned in my two weeks notice about a week later and haven’t worked in fast food since.”