Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reasons to be Done With Fast Food (Part 7)

(I'm going with a smaller font, because this might take a while.)

I know this is technically the first post I've made on the subject, but I assure you that 1) there had to have been no less than 6 other events in my life that should have convinced me that it was a good idea to quit it and B) there is no way on earth that you'd actually want me to recount all of those stories. For starters, some of them are horribly boring.

But this story involves this afternoon, and why not even the lure of the almighty barbeque glory will get me to revisit a certain store again in the near future.

First, the backstory. There are several seasonal things that occur in life that always grab my attention. Some grab it obssessively so, and most revolve around some sort of foodstuff. Of the many things I become incredibly excited over are the return of egg nog to store shelves in November (an event counterbalanced by the sadness of its departure almost exactly at midnight January 1st) and... the McRib.

Now I know that the McRib is not a quality sandwich. It's probably more hip or foot than rib (assuming that it's even meat to begin with) and there are any number of barbeque sandwiches that would be considered better. Still, for reasons I can't fully comprehend, I truly enjoy the "limited time only" that the McRib exists on the McDonald's menu. Perhaps it's the memories of being treated to the specialty sandwich as a child (I have similar memories of the McDLT) or even the pitch offered by the stores themselves (the signs proudly proclaim "McRib is back", which sounds like the start of a great blaxploitation movie, by the way).

So it is with great joy that today, having encountered the perfect combination of availability, global postioning, and hunger, that I found myself at the McDonald's on Victory and Montgomery. Mind you, I don't stop there often; I much prefer the other stores to begin with. But it is the closest McD's to my house, and it gives me the opportunity, upon leaving, to have a near straight shot to said house. Yes, I am that lazy.

For whatever reason (let's call it that laziness thing I just referenced), I decided to make use of the drive thru. There are several reasons I tend not to do this, the most prevalent being that entering the building tends to give you some idea of who might be working there and in what environment. Sometimes all it takes is the right eye contact to convice you that maybe a PB&J at the house is a better idea. But we forge on here, since my love of McRib is worth the risk.

So I'm at the drive thru speaker, and I get prompted for my order. I, of course, order a McRib extra value meal (but what a Shamaylanian twist it would have been if I hadn't, huh?). The young man coming through the speaker then asks me the question that is the cornerstone of this story:

"Medium or Large?"

Now, I should note that I really couldn't care at all about fries or a soda at this juncture. I'm getting them just because it's cheaper to pick them up, and I can almost convince myself that this passes as a real meal. It's at this point that I opt to go for the Medium, because hey, it's not like I need to go large on this one.

I'm halfway to picking my beverage of choice when I look at the LED screen (provided, by the way, to allow you to check your order, and notice that the cost seems to be higher than I had guesstimated. The reason? From looking at the screen, my guess would be this: "1 MCRIB ML-LRG". Now, I'd like to think that LRG stood for "Looking Really Good", but I know that it stands for Large. So I go against my natural instinct not to raise too big of a fuss at a drive thru (because I know I can't see what anyone's doing in the building there), and I ask.

"You do have that as a medium, right?"
"Yes, it's a medium."

Now I know the kid is full of crap, because I'm looking right at the screen and it's saying that it's a large. It's also saying that I owe them 50 cents more than I expected to pay, which is aggravating me to no end. But again, this is about the McRib. So I suck it up, and decide to ask about it when I drive around to the first window. The conversation goes something like this:

"That'll be $5.61."
"Are you sure that's a medium and not a large?"
"Because the screen back there said it was a large, and this costs more than the medium."
"... $5.61."

At this point, I'm incredulous. I'm actually in a zen state where I cannot conceive that the events that happened just happened. I understand fully how the Jedi mind trick works now, since I was so stunned that I paid the poor kid and pulled ahead. So now I'm at the pick-up window, and I get my food, and... big surprise here... large fries, large drink.

At this point, I don't particularly care that it's a large. All I need is for someone to tell me that I'm not crazy. So I ask the guy at the second window if this is a medium or a large. He tells me, of course, that it's a large. I tell him that I asked for and was told that I had a medium. He tells me that he can refund me difference.

Now I know that in theory that would be fair compensation, but I don't want fair compensation at this point. I don't particularly care that I bought more than I actually wanted to (it's just 50 cents, and I can actually afford that). What I care about is that in the back of the store is some kid who either is so woefully trained that he can't find the right button to press on the register or so blatantly deceitful that he's upsizing people for no reason. That, and the fact that I'm the only one that seems to care about the fact that this kid effectively called me a liar by insisting that he was right.

So Kudos, you wacky McDonald's. For screwing me out of 50 cents when all you had to do is admit that you were so very wrong and that I'm not stupid, you earn the right to have me not stop at your restaurant in the near future. That's right. You've lost all of my McRib business. I'd rather pick up one at some further away location and have to reheat it at my house than give you any more business. But thank you for giving me yet another... Reason to Be Done... With Fast Food!


Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

The layout of this blog looks awfully familiar...I just wish I could remember where I've seen it before.

~ScotchBiscuits~ said...

I haven't read anything about egg nog and a mcrib that was even remotely as good:)
good luck with quitting!!