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Drive-through workers can hear everything you say — even when you can’t hear them

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Fast food customers and staff members have taken to Reddit to share stories of drive-through eavesdropping

Next time you have a private conversation while in a drive-through, you might want to keep it quiet — as workers in fast food restaurants are able to hear you, even when you can’t hear them.

Well, as long as they are wearing a headset and you’re parked next to the microphone with your window down, that is. Customers and workers at such restaurants have been sharing their stories on social media site Reddit, after ‘Redditor’ u/wreckinitralph made the revelation on r/LifeProTips: “As soon as you drive up to the speaker, we get a beep over our headsets and the transmission begins. If we don’t answer you right away – we can hear everything.”

They posted; “If we apologize [sic] and say we’ll be with you in a minute – you’re not on hold, we can hear everything. If you’ve ordered but the drive-thru line won’t let you pull ahead yet – we can hear every single thing you’re saying.

LPT: When you’re sitting at a drive-thru speaker, we can always hear everything – even if you think your interaction is over. Be careful what personal details you reveal to strangers. from r/LifeProTips

Suggesting that having the ability to eavesdrop isn’t always a good thing, they added: “I wish I could forget some of the stuff I’ve heard.”

Soon, other users weighed in with their own tales. Commenter u/infectious10 discovered this fact after a worker ended an argument, saying: “I found this out after my sister and I had a whole argument over whether or not something at taco bell has beans in it when the worker came over the speaker to tell us who was right. We were both embarrassed as hell because they didnt [sic] hide their laughter at all”.

Others mentioned how this potential route of nosiness has led to some random acts of kindness from strangers. User u/lordfarquadd suggested this may have explained why one worker paid for his lunch when faced with the realisation he couldn’t afford it, saying: “maybe thats [sic] why the guy at the counter paid for the couple dollar menu things i got when after i ordered and realized id [sic] had forgot my wallet before work and started cursing and getting mad talking to myself like how am i going to buy lunch today now.

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“I went back the next day and and [sic] gave him ten bucks on top of what he paid for for [sic] that. Id [sic] never expect that from a mcdonalds [sic] worker who i know already dont [sic] get the best wages. i saw on the receipt he paid out of his credit card too.”

On the other side of the microphone though, it can work the other way around — with customers hearing workers who forget to switch headsets off. Redditor u/sixft7in commented: “On the flip side, make sure you turn off your mic after you are done talking or wait until you are ready to talk to the customer before turning on your mic. Went to a brand new McDonalds near my house.

“The guy taking our order was clearly talking to his buddy when he faintly said “Come on, man, sh*****t.” Then, “Welcome to McDonald’s.” Wife and I say that first part to each other nearly ever [sic] time we go there. Hilarious, but some little old lady probably wouldn’t have taken it so well.”

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