Posted in Public Service Announcement

Dishing on My Pleasure: An Insider’s Look at Chick-fil-A

When people find out I used to work at Chick-fil-A, they tell me how they like to say “thank-you” over and over again so that the CFA employees have to repeat “my pleasure.” What amuses me is how they seem to think they are the only ones that have ever done that.

CFA employees work hard to develop the “my pleasure” reflex. Think about it; the average employee is trying rewire their brain to reverse 15 to 20-something years of instruction from their parents. If you think that’s easy, you’ve never worked at CFA. As a result, “my pleasure” tends to come out during non-work situations such as when the tollbooth guy thanks you for your payment. Even worse, sometimes we forget how normal people respond to expressions of gratitude and stare blankly at the person across from us. Fortunately, now there’s a Disney song for it. While CFA employees are not the broken records some guests think, saying “my pleasure” does become semi-subconsciously done.

Clearly, Truitt Cathy was on to something that hasn’t been fully understood yet. Exactly what is it about hearing a CFA employee say “my pleasure” that gives so much entertainment to our guests? Experimental research has not been completed, but from my various conversations I suspect it stems from the theory that they are somehow annoying us. As if it were like TPing someone’s yard, or using a plastic arachnid to scare them, or that game where kids try to trick each other to say a certain color. In actuality, it’s just par for the course. It’s so normal that, yeah we know what they’re doing, but like the Queen’s Guard we’re unruffled. To be blunt, we don’t care how many times you say “thank-you”  (though we prefer to hear it at least once). You’re not annoying; you’re just unoriginal.

Along the same line, question I was frequently asked is “Is it actually your pleasure or are you saying that because you have to?” Technically the answer is both. As a general rule, I enjoyed serving the guests who came in. We had some great regular guests whom I still miss. Was it always a pleasure to serve everyone who came in? Nope.  And those who weren’t, typically didn’t say thank-you, so mendacious statements were not an issue.

In conclusion, if saying “thank-you” over and over again so that CFA employees will repeat “my pleasure” makes you happy, by all means continue. In the words of Lina Lamont, “If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothin’.”