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.

10 Comments so far

  1. Mollika* (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 11:27 am

    I am so sorry. I thought it was rough when I was at a McDonalds in Plymouth at 3:30 am after a night of dancing for 33 minutes from order time to the time I got my meal. There were four visible employees, three of which were chatting and occasionally looking my way. I got an explaination of “we had to wait for fresh . . . ” the sentence was never completed and I was too angry to ask again. I am a big fan of the establishment and its dollar menu, but I refuse to do drive-through McDonalds anymore.

  2. MGal (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 11:37 am

    I was at a coffee shop near my apartment this morning and left without getting my coffee. A twenty minute+ wait for a mocha coffee is not acceptable.

  3. ToolBox (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 12:45 pm

    Hell you could have walked across the street to Sgt Pepperoni, had a sweet pie and be home in that amount of time.

  4. Bobby Alcott (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 1:04 pm

    Box, I could have secured a team of speculators, bought land, built coops, hired contractors to spec out and build processing plants, purchased seed and irrigation, started a gen of chickens, plowed an acre, planted wheat, cane & potatoes, harvested, rendered and processed the chicken, processed flour, processed the sugar…

    and made my own damn meal

    before they were done at MickeyD’s.

  5. mizjellybean (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 1:22 pm

    This is so terrible. I do not understood how businesses stay in operation with that kind of service.

  6. Mollika* (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 2:14 pm

    I don’t know what is in them but those McChicken sandwiches are pretty tasty . . .

  7. uadams (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 6:39 pm

    I’m all about letting corporate now when a branch has messed up royally, so I went to McD’s website to send them a link to your blog entry. Ironically I found this disclaimer, “We regret that we cannot accept your email at this time as we are in the process of performing a necessary technical upgrade.” Seems to be all ’round, ‘eh?

  8. Jeppy (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 8:10 pm

    Hmmm why all the fuss? Just pack your own lunches, and cook dinner at home… it’s cheaper, faster, and healthier.

  9. joojanta (unregistered) on November 8th, 2005 @ 10:15 pm

    About what’s on your plate; about a third of the kids between 8 and 14 not knowing fries are made from potatoes, cheese being made from milk, and so on… Food for thought (UK)… click around for a while to get rid of the “censored” bar to see the images in full.

  10. doug (unregistered) on November 9th, 2005 @ 7:03 pm


    I think you should have thrown a battery through the window of the McDonalds and stolen…err..umm…redistributed the food that was held in the hands of the bourgeous Capitalists, by proxy through the under-paid proletariat, Marx, survival of the fittest…blah blah blah

    J/K I think you are perfectly justified in being upset with the failure of the workers to do the right thing and get you your food in a reasonable amount of time.

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