What Really Grinds My Gears…

Nick works at Taco Bell, and the job really grinds his gears.

Nick works at Taco Bell and the job really grinds his gears.

Welcome to Nick Mallios’ “What Really Grinds My Gears” column. This edition delves into Nick’s experiences being a Taco Bell cashier.

You know what really grinds my gears? The customers I get when I work at Taco Bell. Yeah, I know most people are crazy, but these people really have a few missing screws. From people wanting to kill me to people trying to pay me in marijuana, I get the worst of them.

A few days after I started working, some guy wanted to beat me up because his credit card declined. After I gave it back to him, he started to say that it was my fault and we should “take it outside,” Hey, it’s not my fault that he can’t pay his bills. From there forward, I knew my life would be a living hell every time I clocked in.

The stories become more and more bizarre.

There are small stories like the weird vegetarian lady that kept on thinking that I went to California with her, that I would know a food item that is “soft and flat.” Newsflash: I never went to Cali with you, lady.

There is one person who always comes in with a paranoid attitude. It’s part of my job to take down names so we would call them out when the food is done. Every time he comes up, he screams at me saying that the name I put on the computer would go directly to the government and they will kidnap and torture him.

If you thought that was crazy, here are the cream of the crop stories.

One time a guy came in and tried to get half price for ten tacos because he was a senior. I told him that I can’t do that, so he got pissed at me and said “just make me a coffee.” I made him the coffee like he asked, with just cream. He took a sip and spit it at me. “You put sugar in this, I COULD KILL YOU!” He put his hand in his pocket and I felt scared of course. I didn’t know what I did wrong. I made a coffee with cream.

Another time, a group of stoned people came in and ordered like $50 worth of tacos. They didn’t have money to pay for it, so they took out a quarter ounce of Mary Jane. I told one of them I couldn’t accept that and the group got pissed off at me and stormed out.

Another time I was working the drive thru and this guy ordered 15 slushies. I gave them to him and he asked if they worked well with codeine. I started laughing and he said that it was a very serious question.

Finally, a woman came in who said that everything was stolen from her and she was hitch-hiking to Boston. She wanted me to give her free food. I asked in the back and we gave her a taco. She came back a few minutes later with the taco and told me she couldn’t eat it. I asked her what was wrong with it. She responded, “SIR, WHAT YOU ARE FEEDING ALL OF US IS PURE DOGMEAT! YOU KILL DOGS TO FEED US!” I said “Ma’am, I could vouch for it, it’s beef, not good beef, but it’s beef.”

She continued to say that she was going to start a lawsuit against me personally for allowing this to happen. She wanted me to tell her my name, SSN, bank account number, and other stuff I couldn’t understand over her constant babbling. After she walked out, she stood in the parking lot staring at me.

I never felt more in fear of my life.

by Nick Mallios ’17