When Patience Runs Out
People that know me say I’m a very easy going guy; casual to a fault. Not lazy, mind you — just terribly understanding. So, when I get upset – even angry – there’s almost certainly a good reason.
I was flat-out PISSED OFF last night. I feel it’s my duty to tell you why.
I was getting some work done at Beans and Bytes on Woodward in Midtown last evening, ready to pack up and get home to watch my adopted Colts run roughshod over the hapless Patriots, when hunger struck. The golden arches were calling me from across the street, so a quick run through the drive-thru seemed just the ticket. I drove across to McDonalds, and got in the drive-thru line.
This was the fatal mistake. It was 8:38pm.
There were 2 cars between me and the ‘order speaker’. Normally, this would take, what, 3 minutes? It was 8:49pm by the time I got to the bloody speaker alone. Now, I’m normally a person that would drive off, leaving well enough alone. But, for some reason, I felt compelled to ride this through to the end, no matter how long it would take.
Little did I know.
I waited another 4 minutes AT the speaker, waiting for the person to take the order. She finally asked, and I told her: 5 pc. Chicken Selects and a Diet Coke. Easy, right?
I was forced to repeat the order 4 times. FOUR. Now, I’m getting a little perturbed, which for me is a big deal. I wait another 3 minutes to move away from the speaker. It’s 8:59pm, and I realize I’m missing the start of the game if it weren’t for my trusted TiVo. I’m POd, though, because I know I’ve missed my daughter’s bedtime, which is important to me.
It takes another 7 minutes to get the the pay window. We’re all honking our horns now. I’ve seen 8 cars leave the line (one or two in front of me, of course), with more than one shouting angrily at the drive-thru window as they sped around the lot (brilliant move, by the way).
I get up to the register, and am asked to pay the wrong amount. I don’t realize this quite yet, as I’m trying to clear the blood swelling in my eyeballs.
Twelve minutes later, I’m at the food window. I’m now hanging out the window, peering inside. There are babies crying inside, a line of angry customers and 3 employees that appear not to be able to care less.
Four minutes later, an employee comes to the window and explains that I’ve paid the wrong amount, and would I please pull over and wait while they bring my food and the correct change out to me. WHY I AGREED to do this is now beyond my understanding of my own psyche. Maybe I like secretly watching a train wreck like everyone else…
Six minutes later, at 8:23pm, I’ve had enough waiting in the special parking spot. I’m standing at the side of my car, arms folded, peering in to the restaurant. I see employees staring out at me, chatting about it.
The requisite panhandler comes by with a request for a dollar. I gladly offer it to him, simply because he’s not wearing a nametag.
I march in to the restaurant. They SEE ME COMING, and scatter for a bit. This is funny, because without hockey gear, I’m not what you might call imposing. Finally, someone comes up to me and offers a free sundae.
A sundae. They offered a free sundae.
I asked where my food might be, and they told me they were waiting on my fries. I informed them that I didn’t order fries. When they asked what I had ordered with my Filet O’ Fish, I started to feel my fists clench and my teeth chatter. You have to understand how over-the-top emotional this is for me when dealing with people.
I explained my order to them, and they claimed they’d get it right and refund my money.
Another 4 minutes later, I received my bag of food and my soda. They said the Manager was out right now, and I’d have to wait for the refund until she got back. “Forget it,” I said.
Then she said what I was looking for. “I’m really sorry for the wait,” she said. It didn’t make it any better, but it took the situation from DefCon 5 to DefCon 3.
It was 8:28pm, 50 minutes since I entered the drive-thru line.
I got home to find my 5 pc. Chicken Select had been downgraded to a 4 piece. They also gave me fries. And a regular Coke.
I’m not one to tell people where to go, where to shop, where to eat. You should make your own judgments on these matters.
I hope I have helped you make a future decision easier.