10 March 2008

Adventures in Fast Food

You know, I am not an amateur when it comes to ordering fast food.
I have 3 kids.
It's kind of embarrassing to admit -- I mean, we do TRY to eat healthy most of the time -- but we have probably bankrolled several burger-flippers through Ronald McDonald University.

But I have never had an experience like I did yesterday.

It was 3:00 in the afternoon and due to a very late breakfast and an insanely hectic Sunday morning, none of us had eaten lunch.
Nadia wanted Taco Bell and Natasha and Raisha wanted Sonic.

No big deal, right?
They are across the street from each other and within 5 minutes of my house, so it shouldn't take long...

I pull up to the speaker/menu board for Taco Bell and place my order. Then I pull forward. There are only 3 cars in front of me (yay me!) so I've obviously come at a good time. Five minutes go by before I can pull up to the window to pay, but still I don't worry because this particular Taco Bell is notoriously SLOW.
When the guy at the register hands me my bag of hot sauce and closes the window, I get a little anxious. I knock on the window to no avail so then I blow my horn. He comes back to the window eying me warily.

"You forgot to give me my credit card back."
He sighs and rolls his eyes as though I am a complete moron and informs me shortly, "It's in the bag."
Oh, well silly me.
How could I not know that you tossed my CREDIT CARD into a plastic bag filled with
napkins and little, plastic packets of liquid MSG?

I then continue to sit in the drive-thru lane for another THIRTEEN MINUTES.
I know this because I was watching the clock as I proceeded to edit every single contact in my cell phone directory.
When I do finally pull up to the window, a woman who is missing her front teeth informs me that they are out of ground beef.


And would I like steak or chicken in my tacos instead?
NO, I would NOT like steak or chicken in my tacos.
I try to stay calm and pleasant as I ask, incredulously, "WHY didn't the guy at the register tell me that 18 minutes ago???"
"Uh, I forgot to tell him."
I could go off on this lady, but let's face it; she probably makes minimum wage and her life is no picnic working at the Bell. Besides, there are NINE other cars behind me who have also been sitting in line for at least 15 minutes.
She gives me my refund and I head across the street. Nadia will just have to eat Sonic today.

Good, old Sonic.
Trusty, reliable Sonic.
I pull up to the speaker/menu and start to place my order:
"I'd like a chicken strip meal with..."
The overly-excited, teen girl with a very squeaky voice on the other end of the intercom interrupts me:
"Oh, do you want the chicken strip KID'S meal???"
"No, I want the Adult chicken strip meal."
"We don't have an adult chicken strip meal."

Really? Since when? I have been ordering this meal for almost 7 years!
I ask her to clarify.

"Well, ma'am we have a chicken strip DINNER."

I look around for the hidden cameras and Ashton Kutcher and kind of give a little laugh...
"Well, yeah, that's what I mean; the chicken strip meal/dinner whatever."
"But it's not a meal, it's a dinner."

It starts to occur to me that I am NOT on another episode of Punk'd and this girl is NOT JOKING. She's serious!

"Excuse me? What's the difference? Never mind, let me just finish my order."
"But ma'am do you still want the chicken strip dinner?"
"Yes, please."

I pull up to the pick-up window and I try to chuckle as I say to the girl -- who looks to be about 17 -- "I thought you were pulling my leg back there."

"What do you mean?" she asks completely wide-eyed.
"Well, I've been ordering that as the 'chicken strip meal' for nearly 7 years."
"And no one has ever CORRECTED YOU?!"
Good grief.

I could stop here and try to expound on the benefits of homeschooling and why my child will never confuse a meal and a dinner, but I'll restrain myself.

Besides, surely this was all just a bad dream.
I mean, seriously??
Taco Bell runs out of ground beef in the middle of the day and Sonic employees all have head injuries??

But then I pull out my credit card to pay for my Starbucks and there, in the corner, is just a *tiny* drop of dried-on, spicy Fire sauce...


FeatherIron said...

I LOVE that story!!

Lesley said...

You have to be kidding me!!!

A while back Mike went to get supper for us from the Popeye's in Prairieville... chicken, fries and red beans & rice. Only to be told "We are out of rice. Do you still want the beans?"

When he got home and told me what happened, I honestly thought he was kidding - 'cause he's funny like that. But, nope... he was serious. I was like, they are 2 blocks away from WinnDixie AND WalMart... can't someone from Popeye's go GET some?????

I try really hard to remind myself that these poor people working there, like you pointed out, can't be happy about working there and dealing with the public day in and day out and are probably paid next to nothing. God bless them... they are working hard and making an honest living.

But, as exasperating as stuff like that can be... it does make for good story-telling later!!

Thanks for the giggles girl!! I needed it today!

Lesley :-)

Dawn said...

I have to tell you, Britt and I are laughing hysterically at your story!!! OH MY! Can I tell you about the time that Britt went to Arby's and they were out of roast beef???? He still keeps talking about that.. Oh.. and the time the guy at Burger King couldn't get my order right and said "can you just look at the screen??" very rudely.. That one warranted a trip inside to speak to the manager. Elijah still says "mom, don't go all BK or anything" when he thinks I am about to get upset about something.. Customer Service is surely lacking in our country, isn't it?
Good Grief!!
Much love.. and I feel your pain!

Summer said...

Ok, Arby's running out of roast beef?? That might actually be worse! LOL

My kids are cracking up at Elijah's wit: "Don't go all BK or anything!"
That is too funny.

Aleica "Red" said...

I am laughing on the floor! A friend of mine went to McD's for gift cards as a teenager's Christmas present and asked for $20in gift cards. The employee informed her that she could not by $20 in gift cards. "Why not?" she asked. "They don't come that way, only in $5, $10 and $25..." She says, "Oh, well are 2 $10 or 4 $5 gift cards legal?" The blank stare response was all she got, well and 2 $10 gift cards (which equals $20!). I sympathize. I can't count the times I have rolled out of the drive through banging on my steering wheel wondering how these kids function in the world!! too funny Summer.