Daily Archives: February 28, 2008

My love/hate relationship with “fast food” part 2

I politely told the clerk there were four in my family and needed four of the burgers. She then said I needed to go through the line again. Initially, I found that funny. Then, glancing back to see at least 4-5 more cars stretched out in line behind me, realized she was serious. I told her that I was not going through line again. I pulled out my wallet and said I’d just pay for it here.

She still refused. She said they couldn’t take money at that window. I said, a little perturbed at this stage, that I wasn’t going to go back through the line again. I wouldn’t move without burger #4.

She got a manager. Manager said it was against some policy to take money there and for me to pull up and come to the counter. Well, as the golden arches like to do, there was already someone pulled up waiting on something. So, I inched forward about six feet–not enough for the next car to reach the window and certainly not enough for anyone to get by me–and shut my truck off as I walked inside.

Believe it or not, that’s not the end of the story. I had to stand in line, the clerk knowing the situation. I heard someone in the back yell about the drive-through not moving and that someone had it blocked. The manager asked me to move my truck and I told her I would as soon as I had burger #4. She said I wouldn’t get burger #4 until I moved my truck.

I smiled.

I said I’d wait. But that as soon as I had burger #4, I’d be out the door and gone.

You see, by this time, I could see out the other side of the building that the line had indeed backed up equal to the Taco Bell line. Not a pretty sight.

She shoved burger #4 at me. I politely handed her the money and apologized that her clerk had made an error. I took burger #4 and went home.

But, y’know, I can remember the time when the golden arches would ask you if you wanted fries with your order before you could walk through the door. Seriously, I’m sure you all remember the “Welcome to XX, may I take your order” the minute you open the door days. Guiltily, I remember being annoyed with it then. I can remember thinking, “no, I haven’t even looked at the menu yet. Chill.”

Boy, do I regret those thoughts these days. What I would give to have someone ask me what I’d like to order and do it with a smile on their face.

Most folks I know have equal horror stories regarding fast food joints. Yet, companies still build them by leaps and bounds on every corner and in every community. So that means somebody’s buying. I know that my family still does on occasion…and then we complain about it.

Does anyone else see the irony in that? I mean, if it really drove us that crazy, wouldn’t we stop buying our fast food there?

My final thought is this, though. Nearly all of us agree that customer service is pretty non-existent in the fast food world. But why? What happened to it? What happened to the idea that the employee is there to serve the customer? After all, isn’t it still called the service industry?

While I lived in California, I had a friend and co-worker who said she never ate Taco Bell. She said she was just too afraid to eat anything that could be made and sold for .79 cents.

There’s something to think about.

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