Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking Up Your Nose

Have you ever worked in a fast food restaurant? One of those restaurants that place the menu selections directly over the heads of the cashiers so all the patrons come in and then seem to stare vacantly above your head as they make their choice. Okay, now imagine that this fast food restaurant has 20 foot tall ceilings (it's a city, only place to go is up). There's a lot of space up there, so what do the owners do? They move those menus up, until the customers who are literally drooling with hunger must crane their necks to peruse a menu now situated higher than most trees. Now think about the poor cashiers. They work hard all day, they smile, they're polite, they help you make a good if rather unhealthy selection, and they take your money. Now how are we rewarding them? Not with a smile, not with a tip, but with a perfect veiw of the contents of both our nostrils.

Think about it. Your nostils are usually at an angle of approximately 30 degrees out from the vertical line that is you. (There is the odd exception to the rule, but we won't go there.) Most people can't see up your nose unless they are actively looking, or they are standing close enough to embrace you or at least make things very uncomfortable. Even if they are that close, they must be shorter than you and looking up at the same time. Because we tend to go around meeting people in the eye, this usually angles our noses down enough so no one can look up our nose. After all, as Americans, we must keep our boogers hidden.

Now, just picture what happens every time you go into a Dairy Queen or Costa Vida (these are fast food restaurants with taller ceilings). You walk in, throw a fleeting smile to the cashier, and then avidly stare at the menu, wondering how many calories you can get away with this time. You then step up to the cashier, rattle of a list of food, forget halfway through whether you wanted the Double Bacon Bigmouth Burger or the Triple Bacon Heartattack, and pause to squint up through the haze of grease at the menu once more. The poor cashier standing over there is rewarded with a double barrel shot. No wonder most cashiers are slightly grumpy.

I was fortunate to work at one of these fast food places, a wonderful burger and salad joint called Tonyburgers that makes the best burgers in the Salt Lake Valley (it's true, the food magazine said so!) This place had 20 or 25 foot ceilings, so the lowest part of the menu was at least 12 feet up. I was unfortunately presented with a beautiful view of everyone's nose, inside and out, as they came up to order. It was, as they say, not a pretty sight.

So please, keep this in mind as you go to order at your next restaurant. For the sake of the cashier, that poor, acne-ridden person who keeps you from starvation, keep your face level and use your eyes, not your neck to see the menu. Happy Eating!


  1. Hahaha! Oh this brings back so many memories of stories you told me from working at Tonyburgers!