1 August 2008
Take a look at this photo and tell me what's wrong.
This is a McDonald's I visited recently...but it could just as easily be most fast food drive throughs. Notice that the very first thing you see is the sign saying "please have your order ready," and the second thing you see is the menu! How in the hell can you "have your order ready" when you haven't even seen the menu yet?
Yes, I know we should all have all fast food menus committed to memory, but I don't go through fast food places all that much. As it turns out, I always order the same thing. Always. Because the very second the car gets opposite the menu, someone asks for my order. I can't handle the pressure. I just order the same thing.
Look at all the potential income they are losing by not posting two menus (actually some, very few, do...a menu, THEN the sign, then a second menu). Maybe I'd like one of your more expensive items, but I can't handle thinking that someone is impatiently waiting for me to examine the choices while cars back up behind me.
Now, my second pet peeve about fast foods is about the people who work the microphones. Look. I love all people. I have had lots and lots of people from other countries living in my house. Many of my best friends are from foreign countries. I learned to speak halting Portuguese so I could speak with the parents of exchange students, or help a student struggling with English.
That said, if you are the person who is taking my order through what is already a bad microphone system, please know English! And if you don't know English, please do another job in the fast food place. I don't care if you mop floors or manage the place, just please don't try to communicate with me when you don't understand what I'm saying and I can't understand what you're saying.
[At least it's not a matter of life and death with fast foods. I had a battle with my doctor's office once because I needed to get some information from the doctor, but the one person who made the decision about whether I should be put through to the doctor's office did not speak English. Or rather she spoke English so badly that she could not understand anything I was saying and I couldn't understand anything she was saying. And I'm generally pretty good at understanding people struggling to learn English. I was the only person who could transcribe notes of an Iranian doctor spending a year in our office, for example. But why, if you are a medical facility, would you put the person who speaks and understands English so badly on the damn telephone?]
And here's a final fast food peeve. Have you noticed that people don't give you your change the way they used to? They used to put the coins in your hand first and then follow with the paper money. Now they hand you a stack with the paper on the bottom and coins on top. It's not so bad if you're standing up next to a clerk who is taking your money, but if you're sitting in a car, your arm is up and your hand is stretched out in an unnatural position and you have to then bring it all back into the car without dropping the coins. It would be so much easier if the coins were on the bottom.
But then, since it seems that everybody has started giving change in this fashion, I suppose some idiot decided that this saves a nannosecond in dealing with customers or something. But I don't understand what was wrong with doing it the other way.
Maybe I'm just getting crotchety in my old age.
You know what I do like, though, is when you do something without knowing what you're doing, and it turns out just great. The other night I was totally uninspired when it came to cooking dinner ("why is this night different from other nights?") but I had some chicken tenders in the freezer, so I took a bunch of them and spread them out in a pan. I had just purchased fresh basil, so I took basil leaves and covered each tender with a leaf. Then I thickly chopped a bunch of mushrooms and put them all over the top.
That was it. No spices--not even salt or pepper. I covered it loosely with foil and cooked for about 30 minutes.
The end result was fantastic, and the juice in the pan went great over the rice I cooked.
Best of all, I didn't have to read any menu, try to understand someone who is struggling with English, or worry about dropping my change on the ground. I should get uninspired more often.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I just love this photo!
MILES TO NOWHERE: 61 miles