Confession #20- I think McDonald's employees are overpaid.
There was a dog today in a Ford F-250. The back window of the crewcab was rolled down and it was barking incessantly at me as I was putting along on the road. Normally this doesn't bother me, a glance and a wave to the dog and it usually either continues barking or stops and start panting. Either way the dog is having a good time and, lets face it, looks cute even when it's trying to be angry.
This dog was not cute. Instead of becoming happy, as soon as I glanced at the dog it looked like it wanted to eat the flesh off my bones. It started hopping up and down in the seat and, before long, was hanging half of its body out the window, dangling precariously on the narrow ledge as it attempted to snag my arm in its tiny little jaws.
I moved forward a bit and glanced at the driver. She was oblivious to what was going on. I blipped my horn and she just gave me a nasty look before returning to her zombie-like stare at the road ahead. The dog was still hanging out of the window.
So I moved ahead of her, not wanting to be attacked nor wanting to run over the poor undisciplined mutt with my bike should he decide to take a bounding leap for my throat. At some point the dog returned to the interior of the vehicle...but I was sad. At some point, certainly, the dog will die due to the neglect of its incompetent owner.
But incompetence isn't just resigned to truck-driving-dog-lovers. Saturday evening I was riding to a weekend job and decided, spur-of-the-moment, that I had a craving for some french fries. I have sufficient space in my bike luggage to cater for 20, so I stopped into a McDonalds.
There was a woman who ran in front of me in the door holding a salad. Okay.
I get to the register and that's when the entertainment began. She was furious, but unfortunately this woman was not entirely assimilated, obviously, into the American culture. Or at least, she managed to make money without learning our language. Because despite her rage, the only words she was capable of speaking in english were "bad...salad...bacon...bad no...REFUND!"
One would assume that the first word anyone learns in the English language as a new citizen (of which I had doubts she was) is the word "refund". Now at first I wanted to try to explain to her that she was at McDonalds. The food is cheap, nasty, and old. If you want a good salad, go to the salad bar at a local grocery store. These McDonalds salads are nothing more than to bring in families who have one health-nut that refuses to go unless they have a health option. They don't care about their salads, they don't make money off them and they have a long shelf time. It is made in Iowa, shipped across the country by truck, lands in the local storeroom 2 weeks later and then sits in a chilled metal shelf all day. And you wonder why it tastes gross...hmmm.
By the end of it all however, I felt sorry for this woman. She just wanted her dollar refunded. The cashier couldn't do it (correction, the 35 year old adult cashier could not do it). She called another employee, the two of them couldn't do it, they called a third. 5 minutes later there were 3 cashiers and a manager standing around the cash register trying to figure out how to make it give a refund.
Finally the original cashier broke off and said "Can I help you?" which, by her tone of voice, she may as well have said "Are you still here?!?"
I ordered a fries and a small coke. This too obviously annoyed her. I paid my due and went to fill my coke. She went to go gab with a fellow employee (she was quite obviously complaining about the refund customer). There were no small lids stocked (little of anything was stocked). I go back to the register in search of a lid. Here is what happened:
Me: "Excuse me ma'am," she turns and looks at me, "could I please have a small lid? You're out."
Her: Points to obviously empty condiment station "Lids are over there." Turns her back to me to continue talking to other employee.
Me: "Sorry you're out of small lids. Can I get a small lid please?"
Her: "Medium lids fit small cups, over there." Points then turns away again.
Me: "Excuse me, there are no lids, can I get a lid please?" In a loud and annoyed tone. This got her moving, and she took the 3 seconds to grab a lid from under the counter and hand it to me.
I've now been in the place 10 minutes and I've managed to wrestle a coke and a box of fries (which takes 5 seconds to shovel into the box) out of these people. Fast friendly service my eye! Whatever these people are making, it's too much.
When I left, they were still trying to figure out how to give the lady a refund.