Thursday, July 13, 2006

A true story

...repeated word for word exactly as I heard it:
"Can I help you?"
Yes, thank you - I'd like a #3 meal with a Coke, and a caramel sundae.
"We're out of ice cream."
Oh. OK, then... I'd like one of those iced coffees - decaf, please, with no milk or sugar.
"You want milk and sugar?"
[Double take.] No, thank you.
"$6.66, please drive up." [Yes, that was the cost. I drove around.]
"$6.66." [Give twenty, get change.]
"Next window." [Said while I am counting the change.]

The coffee was HOT. Apparently, this nameless establishment prepares the iced coffee by putting hot coffee in a big tub with milk and sugar already included, and then chills it - and then gives it to you in a cup. But how hard would it have been to simply take the decaf and pour it into a large plastic cup full of ice? Or even to give me a cup of ice on the side?

Needless to add, but when I handed it to the Ladybug, she discovered that it had both cream and sugar added.

The Follow-Up:
We decided to quest for a sundae. I've avoided this joint's sundaes for many years but I felt badly after the debacle of the Backup Dessert Plan. The next two stops were also "out of ice cream." Worse, they were also out of courtesy. Is my business that much of an inconvenience?

Then we reached our last chance before turning back around, and I discovered that, without noticing, I've become accustomed to grouchy people on the phone, at the cash register, in the car... Not that I don't notice, nor that I enjoy it, but I've grown so used to it that competence seems like magnificence. "Hello," said the voice, and you could hear the smile. "Welcome to McDonald's! Can I help you?" I was so impressed that I ordered a sundae for myself as well as the Ladybug, even though I'd given up on them years before because of the sharp, unnatural aftertaste.

We pulled around, and the clerk said, "$2.12, please." And "Thank you." And "Have a good night." And I have no doubt that, if he had to tell us that the Great Ice Cream Outage had affected his store as well, he would have apologized instead of just saying that they had none.

By the way, it was actually a pretty good sundae for a buck-ought-six. Apparently they scrapped the petrochemical-based mix for a more foodlike substance.

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