Through the Lens of Fast Food Workers

Anne Mills Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Kenneth Colburn Butler University
Many employees of fast food restaurants have reported being mistreated by customers more often than one might think. One study carefully examines this mistreatment by looking at when a customer goes off script in order to be difficult. They found that it can be very difficult for an employee to deal with when this occurs. (Leidner 1993). One way to examine this phenomenon is to look at it through the lens of Symbolic Interactionism. Symbolic Interactionism asserts the idea that people act and behave based on their own interpretations of the world. This research is intended to look at and study the employees of fast food chains in the central Indiana area to determine how these workers have used their own interpretations of the fast food industry as well as their jobs to develop coping mechanisms for handling difficult customers. As well as to look at how the direct interactions with difficult customers has shaped the way fast food employees have adapted to deal with the situations that are created by the difficult customers. By examining the ways in which people learn to cope with difficult situations in the fast food industry, it could further help to explain how societies treatment of a group of individuals shapes those individuals views and behaviors. The questions to be examined is: How do fast food workers cope with and deal with difficult customers over time; both during and after the interaction? This will all be done using qualitative research with in depth interviews.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

10:30 AM
Jordan Hall 201