It’s the first time I’ve ever lost a job.
And it’s all because of them.
It was a Thursday afternoon when they came in, and things started to go down hill. They came up to my till and just stood silently, staring up at the menu, their dumb faces showing blank expressions. I greeted them like I was supposed to, and waited for them to decide what they wanted, but they just stood there. I was the only till open, and a queue was starting to form, so I wanted to get them moving.
“Excuse me”, I said, “would you order, please? Only there are people waiting”.
One of them looked at me.
“Wait” it said. I think. It’s always so hard to understand their accent.
At this stage there were three or four people waiting behind them, and I was really getting annoyed. “If you’re not ready to order, could you let someone else who is. There are people waiting behind you”. I wasn’t trying to be rude, and I’m not racist – I’ve no problem getting into a taxi, even if the driver is a Black or Chinese.
Again, just “Wait, please”.
I lost it. “Look, you won’t even like this – it’s not for your lot. Why don’t you go down the street and get something that you’ll really like, and let the honest to goodness real people behind you order their food!”. I was shouting by the end. It was then that they asked to see the supervisor. Used an entire sentence too.
I pulled down the customer service screen, and tapped the icon for the duty manager for Dublin South. She was ready for my call, and had actually been about to call me. Apparently the “Automated Incident Response System” had noticed my heart rate rise, and alerted her that there might be a problem. Without even waiting to hear my side of the story, she sided with the Lacks, tripping over herself to apologise to them. Then she gave them a €100 voucher. That was when I knew I was for the high-jump.
They accepted their voucher without saying a word and turned to go, but as they did, one of them looked at me; the one who’d spoken all of three words to me up to this point. Just as it turned to go, the light dimmed in one of its eyes for just a second – the fucking thing winked at me! It’d been trying to piss me off and it’d succeeded, made me look stupid with his enhanced artificial fucking intelligence.
After that, they left. I was called to the back, and listened with my face glazed over as the district manager recited the company policy; I’ve had the words burned into my brain since: “It is the policy of McDonalds Incorporated that Humanoid Simulacra (Simulacs) are to be treated the same as any other customer, as provided for by the Artificial Intelligence Equality Act. Failure to uphold McDonalds standards of customer respect with any customer, Simulac or Human, is grounds for dismissal”. That was it for me. I’d be blacklisted across the whole of the fast-food sector in Dublin.
Bollocks to them anyway, fucking Lacks.