So I had my character tested yesterday at McDonald’s when they got my order wrong, and I asked them to make it again. The girl looked peeved at having to do her job correctly, and she tossed the old order aside and took longer than necessary to remake it.
I was “hangry,” as they say these days, but I held my temper. I know what it’s like to serve the public, and I’ve vowed not to be one of those people who gets unpleasant over a hamburger.
I remember a few years back when I was not so sanguine about my fast food. It was at the same McDonald’s, and they got the order wrong like yesterday. That time I had gone through the drive-through, so I parked the car and went inside to get them to fix it.
I made a huffy remark about them getting my order wrong about half the time. The assistant manager tried to coach me: “If you say, ‘no cheese’ at the beginning, they’re more likely to get it right.”
I got exasperated at being told how to talk.
“I said no cheese, No Cheese, NO CHEESE!”
And I scared her. I was a big man shouting at a girl a third my size and age.
I clapped my hand over my mouth and took a breath.
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” I said in a quieter voice. “It’s just a burger, and I shouldn’t be so ugly to you about it. If you could just fix it for me….”
And she did.
A few weeks later, I ordered again from the same drive-through, and they got it wrong again. I parked the car, went inside, and politely asked them to fix it. I’ll give the two young men credit for trying, but they got it wrong a second time. And then a third time.
Just then, I heard another drive-through customer screaming into the speaker that their order was wrong, too. The two guys were overwhelmed and froze for a moment. They looked at each other, at the blaring speaker, and then at me.
“Take care of your customer outside,” I said quietly. “Then come back and fix my order.”
It took them a long time to get back to me. One of them handed me the bag, and I noticed his hands shaking.
“Is this your first day on the job?” I asked.
“I’ve had them, too,” I said. “You’ll get the hang of it.”
I drove home, brought the burgers inside, and my wife and I ate them while we watched the news. It was the evening of January 6th, and we watched the coverage again of a gang of thugs laying siege to the nation’s Capital earlier that day, hurting some of their fellow citizens and trying to harm their elected officials.
I have never been so ashamed of our country. And I didn’t want to remotely act like them over a hamburger.
2 thoughts on “A Slow Fuse and Fast Food”
I have kind of sort of solved this for myself by doing what I consider reasonable which is lowering my expectations. This with not really giving a shit how my burger at McDonalds comes out really helps. I mean realistically unless you are famished or hungry it will mediocre with or without the cheese.
“McDonalds is not food” said my father on many occasions as we drove thru town past it. Who would guess a dairy farmer would make so much sense to me as I grew older and wiser. Buy the stock, don’t eat the food.
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