Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Life In the Fast Food Lane: The Horror Returns

Back in January 2014, I posted a couple of things here and here on the woes of fast food drive through. This past weekend I had a couple of encounters that I just felt compelled to share. 

Friday I had a request from the family to go by a certain fast food chain whose name rhymes with "Dick Guh May".* 


*And if you've figured out that crafty code and you're gay, lesbian, transgender or differently gendered in some other way, I do most sincerely apologize but their dicken sandwiches are SO good! I am so weak, I can't help myself! I'm sorry! 


Now there are places I go where I wish I could just tell them, "I'd like to order the Long family special" because I get the same damn thing every time (with the occasional variation 'cause I'm a rebel like that.) In the case of "Dick Guh May", my standard order goes like this: 


"I'd like to get two #1 combos with no pickles on the sandwich, fruit cups instead of fries for the side and and to drink, two small chocolate** shakes with no toppings. I also would like to get a large order of waffle fries and another small chocolate*** shake with no toppings."  


**When they have 'em, I get the peach shakes. Oh so good!

***Will always be chocolate. Always! 

The combos are for my wife and I while the fries and the 3rd shake are for my daughter. My daughter loves "Dick Guh May"...except for the dicken. (Go figure!)   


So Friday night evening I set forth from the Fortress of Ineptitude (bedazzling with a freshly mowed lawn, thank you very much!) to bring back sustenance for my family. I get to "Dick Guh May" and see that, yeah, peach shakes are back. Awesome! 


So I get to the speaker and a very pleasant voice, sounds like a young man, asks for my order. So I begin my practiced spiel. 


"I'd like to get two #1 combos with no pickles on the sandwich, fruit cups instead of fries for the side and to drink, two small peach shakes with no toppings. I also would like to get a large order of waffle fries and another small chocolate shake with no toppings."   


"Could you repeat that?" asked the still pleasant but now more confused voice. 


You may think that maybe since I know this bit so well, I might say it a bit fast. Actually I'm cognizant of that risk so I make every effort to speak deliberately and at a modest pace. I even pause a bit between the combos and my daughter's fries and shake. Still, maybe it was a bit much to process at one time, so I go again, a bit slower this time. 


"I'd like to get two #1 combos with no pickles on the sandwich, fruit cups instead of fries for the side and to drink, two small peach shakes with no toppings. I also would like to get a large order of waffle fries and another small chocolate shake with no toppings."  


Pause. 


"Uh, OK. Is that all?"


I have a bad feeling about this but when I confirm that yes, that will be all, he repeats the order correctly. Then he says, "Your total is $24. Please drive around. It has been my pleasure to serve you." 


Besides the impossibly good dicken sandwiches, "Dick Guh May" has the most polite people, always saying, "It's been my pleasure to serve you."


But as I drove around, I began to ponder the amount I was given. "Dick Guh May" is not a cheap place to eat but the Long family special is usually closer to $20, not $24. What gives? Have prices gone up again? 


As I drive up to the window, they have my beverages ready for me: 3 small shakes and 2 Cokes. 


2 Cokes? 


I take this up with the very patient lady at the window who says the order shows I asked for Cokes and sure enough its on the paper she shows me. Now at the risk of annoying you, gentle reader (I know, too late) but let me present ONE MORE TIME my order for the evening. 


"I'd like to get two #1 combos with no pickles on the sandwich, fruit cups instead of fries for the side and to drink, two small peach shakes with no toppings. I also would like to get a large order of waffle fries and another small chocolate shake with no toppings."  


At no point does the word "Coke" ever appear. At all! 


So here's what I'm guessing: the guy taking the order didn't grasp that I was ordering the shakes as my beverages with the combos. But since I never said what he was expecting as a beverage, he defaulted to Coke. Well, the lady at the window and her manager did grasp what I wanted and very graciously changed the order and reduced the tab by $4.00. (Damn, that's a lot for two Cokes!) 


When I got back to the Fortress of Ineptitude, there were pickles on the sandwiches. Yeah, you can peel 'em off but there's still that taint of pickle juice. Why, oh why does there have to be a pickle?


But "Dick Guh May" makes a damn fine dicken sandwich.****


****Again, gay people, I am so sorry! I do support marriage equality, does that help? 

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My second tale of fast food drive thru takes place at, let's say McDonald's.  Because this happened at McDonald's. 

As you know, the Golden Arches have not been faring well of late as people are going to other places with actual food substances in their food instead of simulated food-like stuff that I call "McMatter". (For a previous posts on McDonald's, click here and here.) One really good innovation was the concept of having options for what you wanted with your McMeal. Instead of fries, you could substitute, among other things, a side salad. McDonald's salads aren't that great but they're not that bad and every little bit helps when one decides to indulge in a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.*****


*****Hold the pickle, natch! 

So here we go on a recent Saturday at the McDonald's drive thru. (Oh and let me say I am so glad they have the screen where you can see your order. That really comes in handy.) 

Woman's voice: Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order.

Me: Yes, I would like to get a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a Mickey D's Sweet Tea******, 3 piece Chicken Selects  with a small mango pineapple smoothie, 10 piece chicken McNuggets and another small mango pineapple smoothie.

******Mickey D's Sweet Tea = liquid crack  

Woman's voice: Would you like to make any of those a meal?

Me: Sure, let's do that for the burger and the selects but I want to get side salads instead of fries. 

Woman's voice: OK

So I watch the screen and I notice that the meals still reference fries and not side salads. 

Woman's voice: Does your order appear correct?

Me: Well, I said I wanted to get side salads instead of fries.

Woman's voice: Sorry about that. Hold on please. 

Then two salads appear on the order increasing the price as I noticed the fries are still listed as part of the meal deals.

Me: Uh, it still says fries under the burger and the chicken.

Woman's voice: Yes sir. You said you wanted to make those value meals. 

Me: Yeah but I don't want fries. 

Woman's voice: So you don't want these as value meals? 

Me: Yes I do but I want side salads INSTEAD of fries!

Woman's voice: Oh.

<Pause>

Woman's voice: We don't do that anymore. 

Me: What? 

Woman's voice: Yeah, the choice of side items for value meals, they stopped doing that. 

To be honest, I hadn't really paid attention to the menu board but damn, the option to select sides for the value meals was indeed gone. 

But I'm still not happy. How many times had I said I wanted side salads INSTEAD of fries? Yet she was trying to ring me up for fries AND salads! 

If I hadn't been in a hurry (which is the only reason I was at McDonald's in the first place), I would've drove off in a huff just to make a point. But I say, "Just drop the fries and the salads."

Woman's voice: You don't want these as meals? 

Me: (Sigh!) No, not as meals. 

So I drive around and I pay, then I drive up to get my order. I get the two smoothies, my iced tea (my precious!), the burger, the McChicken Selects and the McNuggets. And also two orders of fries. I double checked the receipts and no, I did not get charged for them. But nonetheless, I had fries I didn't want. 

Yes, I ate the damn fries! 

And I'm so glad my suffering amuses you. 

All Things Must Pass

Hi there. Today is post # 1,600 to I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. I'm not sure I should count all of them since some were ...