It had been a long day.
Trying to clean and organize my house in a back-to-school frenzy while nursing a still-under-the-weather (and mighty crabby) almost-4-year-old and locking horns with a mouthy 6-(and-a-half)-year-old. Running to the dance shop to purchase new tap shoes and Target for a school backpack for said mouthy 6-(and-a-half)-year-old, and attending dance practice with him for an upcoming State Fair performance.
I had dug garbage and dirty clothes out from under Boy #1’s dresser, organized an overflowing bookshelf, done laundry, cleaned up dog pee from the hardwood floor, warmed up “noodles” (Dora Spaghettios) for Boy #3 approximately 13 times, rocked with Boy #3 too many times to count, broken up fights between Boys #2 and #3, looked at a new 3-D book Boy #3 got from Grandma until I was nearly cross-eyed, and picked up an entire container of foam letters that had gotten dumped across my bedroom floor.
Did I mention that I had also gotten my monthly visit from “Aunt Flo”?
Yeah, so I was tired and a wee bit irritable. And it was 7:30 and we hadn’t eaten supper yet. So I was looking for some food—fast. Naturally, then, I turned to a “fast food” restaurant. Silly me…
Now, I really hate to be
bitchy judgmental, but honestly, just HOW difficult is it to take orders at a certain McRestaurant? I mean, the computer is there in front of you. I’ve never actually worked at a McRestaurant, but my guess is that they make the cash register/computer as EASY AS POSSIBLE considering that many of the workers aren’t even able yet to drive and haven’t even passed General Math yet.
Obviously, this woman I got to wait on me was new. At least, I’m hoping she was new. But, really, there was just no reason it should’ve been THAT HARD to get it right.
First off, the woman (let’s call her “Marge”), a 50-something gal, asked if she could take my order. Okay, we’re off to a good start. Here’s what I ordered:
1 chicken nuggets Happy Meal with fries and a Sprite
1 double cheeseburger
1 yogurt parfait
1 medium Coke
“You want a 6-piece nugget then?” Marge asked.
“No, I want the 4-piece.”
Pause as Marge continues to press buttons on the computer for literally 3 minutes. All the while, a woman approaches one of the other workers to say that she just went through the drive-thru and was shorted two large fries. Apparently, Marge wasn’t the only one who found the job a bit too difficult that evening. And a line continued to grow behind me because for some reason, even though I saw at least 5 other people behind the counter, no one else opened a register.
“So, the 6-piece nuggets right?” Marge finally spoke again.
“No, I want the 4-piece nuggets that come with the Happy Meal. The 6-piece nuggets come with the Mighty Kids Meal,” I said, trying to not be as rude on the outside as I was feeling on the inside.
Another pause of at least 3 minutes as Marge again pushed buttons on the computer. I’m pretty sure she was playing a hand of Solitaire or something, because she wasn’t doing anything to get my order right. I was to the point where I was about to just jump behind the counter and say, “Here, Marge, move over and let me do it. I’m pretty sure I can figure this out in about 2 seconds.” Seriously, it can’t be rocket science! I’m pretty sure there’s a button that says “Chicken nuggets Happy Meal” or something to that effect. It’s not like it’s a real obscure order or anything. I’m sure at least 3 million other kids have ordered chicken nugget Happy Meals just today!
Finally, Marge said, “OK, so you want a 4-piece nuggets, small fries, small drink, double cheeseburger, and medium drink.”
“And a yogurt parfait,” I added.
I should’ve just forgotten the parfait because that seemed to throw her off completely. Another long pause, a furrowed brow, and lots of button pushing.
“$8.21,” she said.
So I paid Marge as the crowd behind me started to growl (Maybe it was just their stomachs.), and I stepped aside to wait for my food.
Finally, my order was placed on the tray, and Boy #2 and I went to sit down and consume our extremely healthy meal.
I handed Boy #2 his Happy Meal, and he took his chicken nuggets out of the box.
Wouldn’t you know it? Six nuggets.
I looked at the receipt. Yup, I paid $1 more for the Mighty Kids Meal.
Apparently, Marge just said “4 chicken nuggets” when she read my order back to me just to make me go away, but she didn’t really change the order on the computer.
No, I didn’t go back and tell Marge about her mistake and demand my dollar back. Maybe I should’ve, but as the line was still about 6 people deep, I didn’t feel like waiting again, and I was pretty sure Marge still wouldn’t be able to get it right. And from the looks of the other workers at that time, I wasn’t sure anyone else was going to be any more help.
One of the women came out from behind the counter “on break” to get some ice. I then noticed that her “uniform” was a red McRestaurant shirt and black sweatpants, cut off at the knees. And not neatly cut off either. No, one leg was about two inches longer than the other leg, and they were cut all jagged, like she had just come from a shipwrecked island, where she had had to use a pocketknife to fashion her pants into shorts. This didn’t really scream “professional” to me. Now, I realize that black pants cost money, but being the Goodwill connoisseur I am, I KNOW she could find a pair of black pants for less than $3. That’s less than a half-hour’s wages.
It was then that I noticed the “Help Wanted” sign that had been posted on the soft drink machine. I suppose beggars can’t be choosers, but what kind of a worker cannot even get the simplest order right, after 3 attempts and 10 minutes? And if she honestly isn’t capable of running a cash register, why is she put on the “front lines”? And what does this say about the state of our workforce?
Maybe this is what I get for giving in to the “fast food frenzy” and feeding my child McFood for supper. Maybe, you’re thinking, I got what I deserved. This wouldn’t have happened if I had just made a home-cooked meal for my family… (Don’t think this guilt trip didn’t cross my mind.) Maybe…
By the way, Boy #2 DID eat all 6 nuggets, if you were wondering. Great, now he’s going to expect a Mighty Kids Meal EVERY time! Thanks a lot, Marge!