The People Behind the “Donuts”

Kathleen Romano, Staff

“Beep…beep,” the headset starts going off in your ear, alerting you to the fact that yet another customer is waiting at drive thru. You hurry over to take their order.

“Welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts. What can I get for you?”

You give them their total, fill the order, and cash them out. As you tell them to have a nice day and they drive away, you once again hear the beeping. So it goes for the rest of your shift.

This is all done while keeping the drive thru time high. Drive thru time is calculated by how long it takes you to fill an order and each shift has their own. If you fill the order before the car turns red on a screen, your time goes up. If drive thru time is below an 80% by the end of your shift, you and everyone else working get written up. This can make the job very stressful, but there are also some fun aspects to it.

“Working at Dunkin is really fun but kind of stressful. It is really fun working with all of your friends and making new friends and joking around whenever you’re not busy and the work all gets done. But the inspections and stuff get really stressful because with that corporation if everything is not done perfectly you can get written up and lose your job. But I love working with all of my friends, it makes the work a lot more enjoyable,” said Weedsport alumni Alicia Arnold.

Another positive aspect of working at Dunkin’ is you see and meet a lot of people.

“That’s what I like about working here, it’s a popular place,” said Weedsport alumni Josh Armstrong.

While you see a lot of people you personally know from around Weedsport, you also get some interesting characters from time to time. For example, one day a customer came in with an odd request for free donuts. His reason for wanting them? To feed his pet bear.

There was a similar request for the leftover baked goods by a customer who claimed he had a family of geese to feed. There was even a lady one morning who came through the drive thru with two statues in her passenger and back seats; one was of Jesus and the other was of Mary. One of the employees working asked her what they were for, and she told him she liked to put them in her yard at night and move them around to scare her neighbors. Needless to say, that was talked about for weeks. Even though the majority of the people you encounter at Dunkin’ are very nice or, in those cases, funny.

You also get the occasional disagreeable customer who always seems to be looking for something to complain about. Either their coolatta isn’t thick enough, their hash browns are warm but not hot, and  even an employee’s t-shirt has been a problem in the past.

Dealing with these customers requires patience. You can’t get angry no matter how the customer is acting because even if they’re wrong,  “the customer is always right.” Typically, you resolve such issues by not charging them for their coffee or, if they’ve already paid since employees aren’t allowed to give refunds without a manager present, taking their name down so they aren’t charged during their next visit.

All in all, though this is a job that requires a level head as it can be frustrating at times, Dunkin’ Donuts is an enjoyable place to work.