I do seriously wonder about people sometimes

Originally posted July 17, 2014.

My wife and I went to the local McDonald’s drive-through last night after I picked her up from the train.

We normally get pizza Tuesday nights (the staff is not just familiar with my regular order of a large pizza with half cheese and half sausage, they know it’s us regardless of who calls) and go out Thursday nights, but there was nothing to make for dinner in our house, so to the Golden Arches it was.

I think we can pretty much all agree that cutting in line is generally not cool, although if you’re going to just stare at the cab pulling into the taxi stand during an epic New York City rainstorm, I will do it again. However, there’s cutting in line, and then there’s cutting in line at a restaurant drive-through after you give your order.

The drive-through was a little backed up, so it was a few minutes before we could order, but while I was talking to the disembodied voice on the other side of the speaker, a few people must have gotten their orders in pretty quick succession, because some of the cars in front of me pulled ahead, leaving a gap between me and the corner people pulled around to get to the pay window.

And as soon as I started to pull away, a minivan dive-bombed that very gap. First of all, yes, you can dive-bomb with a minivan (who knew?), and secondly, if I had pulled away a couple seconds earlier, his little power move (again, it’s a minivan, so the term “power move” is perhaps more an approximation) would have resulted in a collision, which would have made what followed that much more interesting.

I think we can pretty much all agree that cutting in line is generally not cool, although if you’re going to just stare at the cab pulling into the taxi stand during an epic New York City rainstorm, I will do it again. However, there’s cutting in line, and then there’s cutting in line at a restaurant drive-through after you give your order.

This, combined with what I could clearly see was the distinct bright yellow wrapping of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, meant a complaint was in the offing.

I will not be such a hypocrite as to denounce complaining, since I have been known to toss off epic rants both in the restaurant and on Facebook about Wendy’s staff insisting on giving me a cheeseburger when I ask for a hamburger because hamburgers aren’t on the menu, even though anyone with even moderate intelligence above the age of 7 knows that a “hamburger” is a specific thing, and that thing does not have cheese on it. (Note: I’ve given up on that. Now I tell them I want a hamburger with no cheese.)

However, there is at least a tiny bit of protocol to complaining, and nowhere in that protocol is there anything about going back through the drive-through if the problem happened at the drive-through. You park your vehicle, walk inside, flag down an employee and calmly (or not-so-calmly … see “me at Wendy’s”) describe the error and seek correction.

So what this guy was doing, which from what I could hear was over requesting two plain cheeseburgers but only getting one, was bad enough. What’s worse was that it clearly threw the entire staff off their game.

I do not know the mechanics of a drive-through, since the McDonald’s I worked at in college was in a mall and therefore didn’t have one. However, there must be a system where the staff knows to take the money and give out the food from the first order on the list to the first car in line, the second to the second and so on.

But when someone cuts that line, clearly no one knows what to do. At the pay window, the kid didn’t know how much I was supposed to pay him. Out of sympathy for him due to the jerkwad I just saw him deal with, I calmly repeated my order multiple times, and eventually they got it right.

Then, when I pulled up to the window for my food, they gave me a salad. We did not order a salad. I don’t eat salads, and my wife does not get them from McDonald’s. I, calmly again, repeated my order, and we eventually did get it.

So all of that was bad enough, and a master class on being an a-hole. Yet as I thought about it more, I realized it was actually worse than I thought.

You see, confronted with an incorrect order, he went through whatever thought process he went through, and decided the best course of action was to go back through the drive-through to address it, even if it meant cutting off a whole line of cars and/or taking the chance that there would either be no breaks in the line or that he would cause an accident.

May I never be driving in the opposite direction from him should he be turning left.

Photo by Quentin Bounias on Unsplash.

4 thoughts on “I do seriously wonder about people sometimes

  1. There are so many problems with drive-throughs (incorrect orders, long waits, insufficient ketchup) that I’m surprised they’re so popular. The same applies to banks and pharmacies, where sometimes you find yourself almost shouting, or at least frustrated with the communication issue.

    Like

  2. Pingback: The week gone by – A Silly Place

  3. Pingback: Remember regular, ‘ordinary’ days? – A Silly Place

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