The past few weeks, I’ve been working from the McDonald’s down the street to get a change of scenery. Aside from some assorted homeless people and a couple of old men drinking black coffee and arguing about politics, I seem to be the only one who patronizes the restaurant portion.
The McDonald’s employees were really in the weeds this morning. A dozen customers shuffled their feet in the lobby waiting for their food, and when the poor guy behind the counter handed me my order, I could tell immediately it was not mine.
Normally I’d rather just eat the incorrect order than be forced to confront the McDonald’s employees about their mistake, but this one was INCREDIBLY wrong. I’d ordered a Sausage McMuffin with extra cheese, and this was an Egg McMuffin with no meat and extra cheese. The egg on McDonald’s sandwiches is a crime against humanity, and I could not imagine choking this abortion down.
When I tried to correct the employee, he compared the two receipts. “You wanted extra cheese, right?” he said. “The extra cheese is on there.”
“Right, but that’s literally the only thing that’s correct,” I said. “Look, not even the order numbers match.”
When the worker disappeared into the back to rectify his mistake, a redneck stormed through the door with a frozen drink topped with whipped cream.
“Anybody work here?” he yelled into the back.
The worker timidly stuck his head around the corner. “Yes sir?”
“I got this drink from the drive thru, and it’s supposed to be some kind of mocha thing.”
“I’m saying, ain’t it supposed to have some chocolate shit on the top?”
The redneck looked at me to form some kind of bond over the fact that McDonald’s couldn’t get our orders right, but I kept my eyes forward. Imagine having enough time in your day to get out of your car, walk inside, and then wait five minutes get some chocolate shit drizzled on your whipped cream-topped iced coffee.
Later that day, I watched an old man accost a woman in a McDonald’s uniform while she worked on a laptop in the booth next to mine. “Are you a manager here?” was his first question, and I muted the music in my headphones because I knew it would be good.
The problem, it seemed, was that it was his birthday last week, and even though his McDonald’s iPhone app wished him a happy birthday, it didn’t give him his birthday points.
“I just feel like I should have those points,” he said, “and none of the managers here can help me. They’re all idiots.”
For the next half-hour, the woman patiently sat on speakerphone with McDonald’s IT to resolve what was clearly a critical customer service issue. Finally, IT was able to deliver. Congratulations, on not dying yet, sir. Here’s a free shamrock shake.
“Okay Mr. Thurber,” the manager said. “Your points are in your account and you’re all set. We’re so sorry about the inconvenience.”
“Doctor,” he said.
“DOCTOR Thurber. I have a PhD.”
Damn, I thought. I should’ve just eaten that egg sandwich.