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Satisfying the customer is Carletta Green's goal
Strange requests come with the territory for Carletta Green in her role behind the counter at Wendy's, and she doesn't mind much - if at all.
"We're like family here," she said, referring to the overall environment at her workplace on Martintown Road. "It's good."
"Satisfying the customer is what it's all about," she said. "I like working here. It's been fun. We joke and laugh together. It's the same old thing every day but in a good way."
On the weird side are such requests as "a burger with no bun" or "a cheeseburger with just the meat in the container, with no cheese, no bun or anything."
Another oddball order was for a bacon portabella melt with no bacon on it, "and they still get charged for it, but they don't care," she recalled.
The Augusta resident, having served at the Martintown Road eatery since August 2011, has "the will to do what just tastes right,'" in the words of restaurant manager Adriean Gowdy.
"Do what tastes right" is a current Wendy's slogan, joining "Quality is our recipe," Gowdy said. "They say we serve square burgers because we don't cut corners."
"Doing the right thing," especially under pressure, is not always easy, in Green's assessment. "When we're in a lunch rush, it's really hard to do the right thing, but we still try to do it, though."
Green, a graduate of Westside High School, also touched on a stereotype about quick-service restaurants.
"People don't expect this to be a hard job, because it's fast food, but ... when we have a lunch rush, it's really something," she said. "People think it's easy, and it's not. You have to keep up with the payment. You have to have french fries. You've got to have enough meat. You've got to have enough chicken."
Speed, she confirmed, is a huge part of the equation.
"I'm on the drive-through every day, so I definitely have to be on my tippytoes every day," she said.
Emphasis on speed is much stronger in the drive-through facility, she said. A timer helps motivate employees to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Local resident Tracy Hooks said she appreciates Green's approach to the job.
"She's just always friendly ... She is a happy, I-love-my-job, I'm-glad-to-be-here kind of girl," she said.
Green has a noteworthy ability to remember people's favorite menu items and also makes a special effort to greet customers whom she has met before, sticking her head around the corner when she hears a familiar voice at the drive-through, Hooks said.
"She speaks to young children and asks them questions about themselves while she's taking your order or getting your drinks, even when they are very busy," Hooks added. "She makes it so, when you walk into Wendy's, you feel like you're walking into a family restaurant, not just a franchise."
Green's schedule at work, six days a week, begins at 10 a.m. and runs until either 4 or 6 p.m.
Aside from work, family time is a huge priority, she said. Her husband, Alex Green Sr., works at a recycling facility Fort Gordon. Recent outings included a movie trip for "Paranormal Activity 4," It was "a really good one," she said, confirming that she was thoroughly scared.
The Greens have one child: Alex Jr., who is now 2 years old. The mother of the house explained that her mother-in-law takes care of young Alex while his parents are at work.
Green also touched on her plans for the years ahead. "I'm going back to school next year ... I want to work with children, because I love kids."
She said she considered going into the medical field in the spirit of her mother, who is a nurse. Green, however, draws the line at the concept of "sticking people," as in giving immunizations. "I can't do that," she said.