I Don't Belong Here.

a humor blog from the trenches of suburbia.

Man, I am REALLY enjoying working from McDonald’s.

I think it’s something about physically leaving the house that helps shift my brain into work mode. Because there’s no temptation for me to get out of my chair and procrastinate with a load of laundry or a Netflix show, I’m staying way more focused and productive.

It’s also just nice to see people again. I forgot how fun it can be to watch them in the real world.

For most of yesterday morning, I had this guy two booths down from me who sat there looking at two different phones. He wore a red, flat-brimmed baseball cap and a North Face jacket and alternated between sighing and moaning at whatever was on his phone screens.

After sitting there for like two hours, he sighed heavily, muttered “fuck this shit,” and walked out the door.

Not long after, a guy in navy slacks and a green tucked-in polo came in the door and made a beeline for the bathroom. Then he came back around the corner and stood there bouncing in place, which I understood to be the international I’m going to shit my pants dance.

He grooved with the jarring rhythm of his small intestines for awhile, and when a woman in a fluorescent orange vest came out of the women’s room, he touched her elbow. “Hi, can you see if someone’s in there?” he said. “The door’s locked and I really have to go.”

I’m not sure if he thought she was a McDonald’s employee or if all people with orange vests on had some sort of authority to open locked bathroom doors, but the woman looked at him like he had four heads. “Um, no, sorry,” she said.

Panic welled in the man’s face, and he dashed out the door. I watched him look left, then right, and then stride quickly but gingerly toward the 7-Eleven next door.

I hope everything turned out okay for him. Those slacks looked too nice to shit in.

After the emergency shitter, a Black man in a cowboy hat and boots strode in the door like he’d just been rounding up dogies in the parking lot. “Good morning everybody, good morning!” he said as he came in. I’m not sure who he was talking to, since it was just me and five landscapers waiting for coffee in the whole place. “Hey Steve!” he said to one man on the other side of the lobby.

“Hey Jim,” said Steve.

“How was your walk down here this morning?”

“Good.”

“You feel good?”

“No.”

“Ok man, well, God bless you.”

Read the room and shut the fuck up, Jim. Not everyone’s stoked to be at McDonald’s at 10:30.

I got a lot done and stayed until about 1:30.

I would’ve gotten MORE done, but around 11:30, I started getting hungry and decided to order a McDouble and some nuggets. And then I waited for that McDouble and nuggets for HALF AN HOUR.

At first it was no big deal. I saw they were busy, cranking out orders for the drive thru. I saw my order number on the screen, so clearly their computer system had received it.

I stood there and watched all of the numbers around me get called, and then I watched a landscaper in grass-stained boots come in, order two number Big Macs, and leave five minutes later. Then another customer did the same.

Hold on a tick, I thought. These guys are getting their food super fast.

I reached my breaking point when I watched a sketchy dude who was poorly concealing a fifth of Wray & Nephew rum behind his back order a 20 piece nugget and get it instantly.

“Yo dude,” I said to the guy behind the counter. “I’m sorry, but I’ve been waiting 30 minutes. Could you check on my order?”

“Thirty minutes?” said the rummy. “Goddamn that’s a long time!”

See? I wanted to say. Even the guy who’s drunk at noon knows you shouldn’t have to wait a half hour for two things off the Dollar Menu. You order shit off the Dollar Menu because it’s already ready already.

The kid looked at the timestamp on my receipt and went into the back and bagged my order. It took 30 seconds.

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked when he handed me the food.

“What do you mean?” he said.

“Like, did I order incorrectly or something? Hit a wrong button?”

Only I could take a customer service issue like this and assume that it was somehow MY FAULT.

The cashier assured me no, it just happens sometimes, sorry about that. He leaned toward me conspiratorially. “I put a little extra in there for you.”

I told him I appreciated it, thinking maybe he swapped a 10 piece for my 6 piece nuggets or dropped in an order of fries, but when I opened my bag at the table, I discovered that to compensate for their customer service blunder, he’d given me an apple pie.

Ah, the McDonald’s apple pie. Does anyone even order these things? Nothing says sorry for our shitty service quite like 250 empty calories.

But I’d ordered nearly 50 minutes ago at this point, and I was starving, and I shoveled that shit down.

Apology accepted, McDonald’s.

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