I’m lucky enough to live in a state that has a Popeyes. Their blackened chicken tenders are one of the most addictively delicious foodstuffs on planet earth. But, because they have to be made to order, it’s easier to go inside the restaurant to order.
I usually avoid going in a fast food restaurant if I can. A combination of social anxiety and having witnessed a fair cross section of the types of people who tend to congregate therein leave much to be desired. Still the blackened tenders are worth it, so we endure it for the sake of salty spicy deliciousness.
One of my recent trips to my local Popeyes had an almost Greek tragedy style drama playing out as I waited the seemingly endless four minutes for my food. I’d come in mid-first act, so I missed the details but was able to piece together that an order was prepared incorrectly and a young couple was waiting for it to be corrected. The female, a short blonde with a poorly drawn neck tattoo of an owl, wearing hot blue leggings, paced angrily about the restaurant. Her companion, a tall, brown haired man with scraggly facial hair, stood silently as she grumbled about the wait. If he hadn’t eventually spoken to her, I never would have thought they were together at all.
After a few minutes she approached the counter, not to inquire about the food, but to ask for a job application. The woman working, already in the weeds with the remake and ongoing lunch rush, reluctantly left the counter to get the application. She returned empty handed, saying if the woman was willing to wait a half hour, the manager would interview her right then and there.
This did not go over well with the would-be applicant. She began hemming and hawing about how she had to take her sick mother to the hospital and couldn’t wait. Then she became hostile toward the employee, asking if they were actually hiring at all, because she was now suspicious this was just some exercise in futility. She then went on to say how she already worked at kfc but needed to find another job since everyone there did drugs all the time and it was impacting her recovery. I found it an interesting plot device to divulge ones past drug history to a potential employer, even before sitting down for the interview. The employee’s attempt to maintain stoic made for excellent theater.
Act two resolved with the culprit for the original order mixup showing up to the counter with the missing order. As it turns out, the other customer just grabbed a bag, not checking to make sure it actually belonged to them, setting this whole comedy of errors into motion. The blonde woman really shined here as she began berating the woman who’d taken her food and yelling over her as she tried to explain the mistake to the employees behind the counter.
Tensions were high as it was discovered that only some of the the order were wrong and the other woman had already eaten some of it. The blonde woman was at her breaking point at this news, turned to her boyfriend to instruct him to handle it, before storming out. At this point, my own food was ready, so I didn’t get to stick around for act three. As I left, the woman was angrily circling the building, puffing away on her vaporizer. The chicken was delicious, by the way, but nothing compares to that floor show.