Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Would You Like Flies with That?
Or: Yet Another Reason to Boycott McDonald's

So I don't often eat at McDonald's, but when I do it's because I need something fast and hassle-free. I prefer my order to be correct though — if it's not, I expect the cashier to be just as friendly when s/he corrects it, as I am when I point out the discrepancy.

This past Monday I was on the road when I opted to stop at a McDonald's first to use the restroom. And then second to get something fast so I could get back on the road and get home.

I was buying for two, so I ordered a #1 (for him) and a #9 (for me). The cashier (who was actually a manager) didn't tell me my total before she took my credit card, and she didn't read my order back to me. And since she didn't give me my receipt, either, I was a little surprised when she slopped a Big Mac (his) and a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (not mine) onto the tray.

"There you go," she said before turning her back to me and yelling at an employee about who-knows-what while she gathered a handful of creamers and rolled her eyes at him.

I looked at the tray. I looked at Washington. I looked at her.

"Um," I said to whomever would listen. "I don't think that's my order."

So I stared at this manager's back while she continued to chew out the aforementioned employee, rolling her head and exerting whatever degree of authority she gets by wearing that light blue denim shirt (which compares to his red).

I waited a minute or so, but she didn't turn around.

"Excuse me," I said.

She turned around, with one eye raised.


"I need my receipt, and also — I don't think this is my order."

She rolled her eyes, sighing loudly. She put her hands on the counter and offered me a look that simultaneously served as disdain and condescension. She tore my receipt from the dispenser and placed it onto the counter.

"You ordered a #1 and a #3. So that's what you got, and that's what you're getting."

She just stood there, with her hands on my tray.

"Um. I ordered a #9, actually."

"You ordered a #3," she said, her voice growing and her head rolling. "So that's what I gave you."

"But I don't eat red meat, so I won't eat this. And I wanted a #9."

She took the quarter pounder from my tray, threw it into the trash, and barked my order over her shoulder. The proper item was placed onto my tray a couple minutes later.

"There," she said, again turning her back to me.

"Wait," I said, "I should be getting change back."

Suffice it to say, she was not happy when I said that. And her face showed it.

"What I ordered costs 55 cents less than what you charged me for. And that's before tax."

She stared at me for a moment, resting her arms on the counter and thrusting her neck out. She rolled her eyes.

She looked at the prices on the display, walked around for a bit, and then came back to me. She looked at the display again.

"Actually, it cost more, so... " She let her thoughts hang on that long, drawn out "so."

I waited for her to continue. She didn't.

"No," I said, reciting the price differences to her.

She walked away and recovered a band of keys. Another minute passes while she determines the best course of action.

"Here," she said, handing me two quarters and walking away.


OK, so technically she owed me more than 50 cents. But by this point I was so frustrated by her, I was most eager to be done with her. So I walked away with my tray, fuming over how I'd just been treated.

If you think my comments regarding rolled eyes, sighs, and abrupt speech are exaggerations... they're not. I've honestly never been treated so poorly by anyone in the service industry.

When I later realized that she'd also kept my receipt — and I figured I needed her name to write a letter to the franchise owner — Washington went back up and ordered a dessert from her. Turns out she wasn't wearing a name tag AND she didn't have her name entered onto the register (as is custom at most fast food joints these days).

But she was also the only female manager on duty, so it should be pretty easy for them to figure out who she is.

My question to you is... do I write the letter? Or let it go?

It is the "holiday season," after all. But then again, I also got the feeling that she's in the habit of ruining afternoons.


Anonymous said...

Personally, I say, drop a rock on her head. I am someone who has a fairly high threshold for mistreatment but once you exceed that threshold, all bets are off. I would have found newer and neater ways to ruin her day. But that is me. Write the letter and make sure you include as much detail as you can. I don't care what time of year it is, you don't really need that treatment.

Anonymous said...

I agree with BPP! Honestly! I have had some pretty crappy days that I drudge through without being rude, and not to mention disrespectful to random people. There are times when you could just let something go. You know, like the old lady at wal mart that gives you a dime instead of a quarter back, or the sweaty stock boy that didn't really bring you the correct item. This lady should have been dunked in the fryer.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Oh, my! Head bashing. Throwing her into a frier...

And here I was worried that writing a stern letter would be taking it too far.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Go for it! No mercy is called for in this case! Service is an art and if she sucks at it, she should go get another job!