Another Rant About McDonald’s

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Comic relief, Rants and Raves

About once a week, or once every two weeks,  I go down to McDonald’s in the basement floor of the building I work in to buy a medium container of fries and a small vanilla milk shake.  Yeah I know, not too healthy or nutritious but it’s an occassional craving I get, and a stress reliever.  Anyways, it seems that everytime I go down there, the service gets increasingly worse.   Today was no exception. 

Today, I was helped by a young woman who looked to be in her early twenties.  She seemed to be  attempting a new customer service speed record,  because she was really working quickly.  With me being a person who lacks in the patience area, I saw this as a good thing, until I actually got to the counter.

I ordered my usual, a small vanilla milk shake, and medium french fries.  Now before I go any further, let me explain how the McDonald’s  in Japan operates, in comparison to the rest of the world (or at least from my experience). The employees are trained to do everything by the book.  No exceptions, no improvising. You could almost guarantee that each burger, each filet-o-fish, each container of french fires that rolls of their assembly line is exactly the same as the one before it. The amount of lettuce -the same, the amount of cheese -the same, the amount of mayonaise -all exactly the same down to the last nanogram, and all well documented in their operations manual.

Their employees follow a strict protocol that must be followed to the letter.  Everything is well scripted and correographed -no ad-libs allowed.   For example, and many people may have missed this, but when employees at a Japanese McDonald’s serve you your meal on the little brown trays,  you’ll see that they have maticulously arranged it so that the “M” logo or the “golden arches” are either facing up or facing towards you, and that each food item is arranged in their own proper location on the tray.  A coinidence?  I think not.

Now, I’m personally not too particular about the way my food is arranged on my tray, or if my cold drink is too close to my hot fries, but I do appreciate quick service…but only if it’s done right. 

So going back to my McDonald’s experience today, the young lady took my money which I happily paid for.  Being in such a rush that she was in, she failed to ask me if my food was here or to go, which was a HUGE breach of standard operating procedures in any fast food restaurant. I know, because I use to work in one.   So without knowing whether I would be staying or going, she loaded my shake and fries in a very staggard and unorderly fashion onto a tray, without the golden arches on my milk shake cup facing towards me, and the container of hot fries touching the cup of frozen milk shake causing a heat exchange between the two food items and exponentially degrading their quality by every ticking second.   Now,  people who know me know that I am not this anal and frankly don’t give a rats ass about how my food is arraged or if they are touching each other or not.  However, again being the impatient person that I am, I do care about efficiency.  You see, I wanted my food to go, and she never asked.  She just assumed that I was staying and started loading my food onto a tray.

Half way through her hastened work, I interrupted her, and informed her that I wanted everything to go.  Apparently, my utterly rude and untimely request ruined her day, because she let out a huge sigh, and grabbed a paper bag from underneath the counter and shoved my fries in it.  She then turned to me and asked if I was going to be drinking my shake immediately.  I assumed that she asked this so that she can decide whether or not to put the shake into another paper bag.  So, trying to be considerate to her (so that I wouldn’t waste too much more of her valuable time and not ruin what was left of her day which I had already ruined)  and trying to be green too (so as to not use too many paper bags), I told her yes.  

Now this is where it goes weird.  I don’t consider myself a clean or a neat freak, but I prefer that items that ultimately go into my mouth remain as free from human contact, and as sterile as possible.  I don’t know.   Maybe it’s just me; call me weird..I don’t care.   So when the young lady did what she did next, not only did it puzzle me, but it just through up some alarm bells  in my head.

After I told her that I would be drinking my shake immediately, she pulled out a straw from underneath the counter where she got the paper bag,  proceeded to ripped the paper container off of the straw, and pulled it out of the container with her bare hands, of which just several seconds earlier, those very  same hands were typing in my order on the cash register and handling my money as well as other people’s money -people who may be sick or diseased or whatever, and god only know where else those hand may have been.  Again, maybe I am being completely anal about this.  Since she is serving food, she’s probably required to scrub her hands at least 50 times a day, but at the very least,  I know she didn’t scrub before touching my straw.  Her hands may be a lot cleaner than mine, and I may have more germs and micro organisms living on my hands than she does, but the point is, that they are my germs and  micro organisms and so I know that won’t make me sick or kill me.  Also, I seem to recall from my fast food serving days, that employees who worked the registers were not allowed to handle food.  And if we absolutely needed to, we needed to scrub up before doing it.  Yet, this lady was handling food and working the register.  Hmmm…

None the less,  I interrupted her unorthodox food serving methods once again, and did the most outrageous, rudest, out right dispiteous thing anyone could do in a situation like this. I  asked for another straw -an unopened one. 

If my earlier request to have my food to go ruined her day, then this request probably ruined her entire year.  She threw the opend straw aside, grabbed another bag from the usual stash of goodies underneath the counter, and shoved my shake and an unopened straw inside the bag.  She then, very ironically handed both bags to me very politely with a smile on her face and thanked me.  I couldn’t help but think that she had gone absolutely mad at this point.   Utterly confused and dumbfounded at this point, I looked around to see if anyone else was surprised by her as I was, but oddly enough -no one was.  I guess that makes me the mad one.

After my little ordeal with the mad woman at McDonald’s, I returned to by desk to enjoy my weekly snack, only to find that by then, my fries had gone cold and my shake was no longer a shake but a loose and runny coffee creamer.  Now I know how Latreasa Goodman must have felt.

911 is a Joke in Yo Town!

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves

Growing up in small suburban town in Northern California a part of my life, I never really understood the true meaning to the lyrics to 911 is a Joke by Public Enemy.  I never really had to ever use 911 before, so it was always in my mind that 911 was flawless.  I was wrong!

I recently came across, what seemed to be an article about a crazy woman named Latreasa Goodman, who called 911 three times to complain about not receiving Chicken McNuggets at her local McDonald’s.  For giggles, I played the video and it was edited and cut in such a way, that  it made it sound like another black person, not knowing the system too well, and calling emergency over not getting her food.   And to compound the matters in the attempt to stir up ratings, and to make the situation sound more dumber that it really was, it was followed by insulting comments by the news presenters.

Listening to the report, I personally was able to see that there was probably more to the story other than what CNN and tobe fair MSNBC (who also carried he story) was delivering.  So I went to YouTube and Google and actually found the full or perhaps nearly full  911 call placed by Goodman (ignore the little immature video comments by the poster):

 

and Latreasa Goodman’s response to the situatuon:

 

 

I am not defending Latreasa Goodman on her inappropriate use of 911 to call the police about Mc Donald’s getting her order wrong.  However, having said this, who really knows, or carries around  the number of their local police station and/or knows what department to get a hold of in situations like this?  I sure don’t.  And I’m sure that whole lot of people don’t know, so  I think that it is only appropriate  that  there should be a system in place to redirect civil disputes received through 911, to the local police department.  Although I can’t speak for Goodman nor do I know what she was thinking at the time she made the call, I know that if someone misrepresented themselves (unintentionally or otherwise) and took my money, whether it’d be a theif or a fast food restaurant, and tried to force me to buy something I didn’t want, and refused to give be a refund, the police will be called and I would expect them to cooperate, rather than making a mockery of the situation.

Now, getting back to the subject matter (well sort of).  As a teenager, I have worked in a fast food restaurants and fast food types of environments.  I know for a fact that refunds ARE possible, ESPECIALLY when the restaurant or any other establishments cannot provide what the customer ordered.  It’s a pain in the butt because you’ve got to call a supervisor and get their siginature on the voided receipt etc, but it is possible none-the less.  When a customer orders something from the menu and money is exchanged for goods or services, an invisible sales contract is put in motion and the provider bears the burden of living up to the  contract or the obligation of providing the goods.  If they can’t, the money must be refunded in full -plain and simple.  This is common sense in any  retail, sales, or service environment.  So who’s the ignorant one here?   The provider, who claimed that she was the manager, and yet didn’t know the proper procedures for taking and facilitating food orders, nor did she know how to give refunds  -or the customer, who was simply  defending her right to get  what she ordered.  I think the answer is pretty clear.

And I hate playing the race card here, but if Latreasa Goodman had been more articulate and explained the situation better during her 911 call, or perhaps  even white, I don’t thing she would have been played as a crazy woman who called 911 because she didn’t get her nuggets by the media, but rather someone who merely called the wrong number to bring attention to her common civil rights.