If you’ve ever been to Zaxby’s chicken shack, you know what it is to get lousy customer service. Zaxby’s is sort of the Anti-Chick-Fil-A; it is staffed almost entirely by stoned, sullen college students who evidently have a lot more important things to do than get me my food in a timely manner. But I keep going back, because the chicken is delish.
So you can imagine my surprise about four months ago when a Zaxby’s employee greeted me with an expression that was not only alert, but also not unpleasant. Fast forward two months, and a drive-through clerk actually called me “ma’am.”
“Maybe it’s the economy,” I theorized to Mark. “Workers are having a harder time getting jobs, so Zaxby’s has a better pool of potential employees to pull from.” In other words, people who previously wouldn’t have touched a deep fryer with a ten-foot pole are having to lower their expectations, and Zaxby’s is reaping the benefits.
But the real shocker came last night, when an older gentleman, obviously a new Zaxby’s hire, took my order, told me it would be about five minutes, and then asked if I would like a glass of water while I waited.
Did you hear that? He offered me water. In a glass, no less. It was as if I had stumbled into the Mirror Universe from Star Trek, and was now standing in the Nega-Zaxby’s. When I ventured forth, would I find that Chick-Fil-A had become apathetic, that Atlanta traffic was snarl-free, that I could get in and out of Wal-Mart in less than half an hour? Was my life about to be turned completley upside down?
No, as it turns out. Because at least they forgot the napkins. And I found myself relieved; there are still some things in life you can count on.