Monday, November 18, 2013

McDonalds - A True Horror Story

Really, this post should be labeled: Why Do I Keep Going There? (Bangs Head Against Wall). Regardless, you'll understand why both titles are appropriate soon enough.

A few years ago I had a fast food coming to Jesus moment when I watched Super Size Me. You remember that lovely little flick starring Morgan Spurlock. The guy ate McDonalds and only McDonalds for a month. By the end of the harrowing ordeal, I swear I was watching an extended version of Fear Factor for all the wretching and belching packed into the 90 minute show.

After that, I severely cut back on my fast food addiction.

However, every now and then, the Devil himself worms into my soccer-mom brain. And on a busy night like tonight (after running four kiddos to their various practices and games), I don't have time to make dinner. Heck, if I had a chance to use the bathroom without my five year old banging on the door, I probably wouldn't know what to do with myself.

Tonight I went to McDonalds. MISTAKE #1.

My kids were moaning like Katniss starving for Peeta's bread as we waited in the drive-thru. If I didn't get them fed immediately, Hunger Games MMXIII was gonna go down in the Mini (minivan).
I ordered two hamburgers, a box of chicken wings, a BBQ ranch burger, drinks and fries. After paying, I pulled forward and accepted my food from the employee.

Because this ain't my first time at the rodeo, I DID NOT pull away. No, I've been shorted by enough McDonald's establishments to know you hand out food to each of your kids before leaving. (Mark that down as a life tip.)

I handed out fries, drinks, chicken wings and two burgers. But hold up! There was no BBQ ranch burger.

I turned back to the window and waited. After three long minutes while my second oldest boy was dying of hunger pains (or so he complained), I knocked on the window.

"Yeah?" the girl said when she opened the slider. Always nice to see customer service at it's best.
"I didn't get the BBQ ranch burger."
She gave me a look--same look I give my kids when I know they're full of it.
"Really," I insisted. "I didn't get it." After listing what I did get, and then pointing to my one unfed son, the girl left for a moment and returned with a bag that contained my son's burger.

Grateful, I passed the bag to my son, and pulled away from the drive-thru. MISTAKE #2. 

We were exiting the parking lot when my son said, "Uh Mom, what's this?"

I looked over. Blinked twice.
He held two buns that contained a whopping load of ranch-type-mayo-sauce, four Fritos, and a piece of cheese. No burger. Seriously, no burger.

I went to the drive-thru again.

"My son didn't get any burger with his BBQ burger."

"Yeah, it's supposed to have the burger," the girl said.

Um. Really?

"Ok, could he get another BBQ burger?"

She took the patty-less buns with the wrapper from me. I watched as she went to the assembly table and said to another guy, "Hey, you forgot the meat. Can you put a piece of meat on this?"

My jaw dropped.

Sixty seconds later she returned with the same burger I'd just handed her, now with a piece of meat on it. Gag. Really, I gagged.

"Uh, I was hoping we could get a new one," I said, trying to politely not point out that her hands had just been all over the bun and had broken the piece of cheese.

She scowled at me. "You want another one?"

What was I thinking, expecting a new sandwich after someone else has manhandled and fondled the thing? Call me crazy. 

"Yes," I said. MISTAKE #3. 

She rolled her eyes and marched to the assembly line. "The lady wants another one," she told the other employee. Then she left us to wait for 8 minutes. I didn't realize making a BBQ burger would take so long, but in an effort to remain positive, I figured they had to grill another patty. Maybe that's what was taking 8 whole minutes.
The girl returned and handed me a burger wrapped in paper that looked crumpled and barely holding itself together. I looked at the creased paper, then at the cold burger inside that held a bent piece of cheese, a slathering of ranch-mayo-concoction and FOUR Fritos.

"You just gave me back The. Same. Burger!" I was shocked. And a little ready to throw down. Don't mess with a momma bear when her baby cubs are hungry!

She pursed her lips and crossed her arms. "How do you know?"

Oh yeah, that's what she said. I looked around for the candid camera crew. Or Jamie Kennedy. They were no where to be found.

"It's cold." I pointed to the broken cheese. "This is where you bent the cheese when you examined it. And I'm pretty sure it's not standard to only put four Fritos on your BBQ burger."

"So, what do you want me to do?"

I'm gonna let my original thought to her question slide because this is a family blog. What I ended up saying was: "Can you make me a new one, for real this time?"

"There are other people in line, Mam. If you want to go through the drive through again . . ."

"Alright," I said, losing it. "Just get me your manager."

The girl left and her manager replaced her. I explained the entire story to the lady. It was at the end of my rant that I realized she didn't understand everything I was saying. I don't fault her for this, because English as a second language can be a trial. So I explained it once more, hoping it made sense. And when I was done, she said:

"What do you want me to do about it?"

Well, this was one of those moments when you realize, you're fighting a lost cause. When you have to walk away and just accept nobody's perfect. And that customer service is a dying form. (At least at the McDonalds on 1600 North and State Street in Orem, Utah.)

Next time, I'll have to remember Morgan Spurlock's sage advice and steer clear of McDonald's because if it isn't the food that'll kill you, it'll be the customer service.


The Goff Family said...

There is usually an email or number to call. Seriously, I would call and let them know. YIKES!

Robyn said...

Wow! Just wow!

Nikki said...

So awesome you put it on Pinterest. Hahahahahahaha

Nikki said...

I would've asked the manager for my money back.

Becky said...

I have been to that McDonalds and will never go back. It was terrible! We have had much better luck in Idaho.

Christene said...

I'm still in shock that she made you wait and then handed you the SAME burger. GROSS! And the manager - pu-lease! This is the worst service ever.

i'm erin. said...

Nikki, I wish I thought about that. I was seriously so shocked and nearly speechless. I really thought it was like some comedy show.

Christene, I know, right? Seriously the same burger!

Kira said...

Barf, not cool.

Alayna said...

Wow. Though, sadly not surprising.

Tammy Theriault said...! wow, you need to come here to whidbey island in WA. you make us look like the golden arch haven for customer service! my gosh! don't file those mamma bear talons at all, next time use them to rip 'em a new one... :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

When the manager could care less, then you know you're in trouble.
Thanks for reminding me why I never eat fast food.

Skippy Bo Bippy said...

Probably good they didn't get you a new burger.. it wouldn't have been a BBQ Burger.. it would've been a spit-burger. Fast Food places are horrendous, and I strongly urge you to contact their corporate offices and give them a total ear full of your disgust and anger. Just a nice email describing what you went through should do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Just... I have no words. Holy crap. For real?? Seriously. Yeah, I think a major boycott is in order, how can people be so downright insulting?? Geeze, makes me want to skip micky-d's forever. I think I will.

Unknown said...

When food tastes gross my husband places the establishment in "time out" for 1 to 3 years (depending on how bad it is). After that time he might give it another go. :) And he seriously refuses to spend any money in there or eat their food. McDonalds would have been banned for life. That was horrible Erin!!! Gag!

Karly said...

Seriously fill out a form. Corporate McDonald's supposedly values customer service, and they need to know what an awful experience that was!

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

How ridiculous! Worst customer service!

I would seriously write in to McD's and complain about it. You'll get free devil food if you do.

Bryan Waldon Pope said...

Sadly, there are no surprises in this story. Service-oriented businesses are becoming the exception.

nattyg said...

I saw your story on a friends facebook wall. I'm nearly 100% positive that what happened to you is a violation of health codes. You should report this McD's to the Utah County Health Department ASAP...

And then drive to Wendy's :)

Anonymous said...

McDonalds has already been on my, short, lifetime boycott list. They dont deserve anyone's business. This story just reminds me of why I never go back

Elana Johnson said...

You should be writing comedy, Erin. Seriously. This is awesome. :)

Emily R. King said...

Poor management is nearly a visible flaw of some McDonald's. I don't eat fast food much anymore either. It's amazing how much more I'll pay for good service!

Funny post, Erin!

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Wanna wiseabove to help a 'Plethora Of Wurdz' [POW!] which are look'n for a new home in your novel?? Yay!

Q: Can anyone tell me the difference between K2 and IQ? A: Nthn. In Seventh-Heaven, we gitt'm both for eternity HawrHawr Need a few more thots, ideers, wild wurdz or ironclad iconoclasms? Voila!!

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"This finite existence is only a test, son," God Almighty told me in my coma. "Far beyond thy earthly tempest is where you'll find tangible, corpulent eloquence". Lemme tella youse without d'New Joisey accent...

I actually saw Seventh-Heaven when we died: you couldn't GET! any moe curly, party-hardy-endorphins, extravagantly-surplus-lush Upstairs (in [the] end without end -Saint Augustine) when my beautifull, brilliant, bombastic girly passed-away due to those wry, sardonic satires.

"Those who are wise will shine as brightly as the expanse of the Heavens, and those who have instructed many in uprightousness as bright as stars for all eternity" -Daniel 12:3, NJB

Here's also what the prolific, exquisite GODy sed: 'the more you shall honor Me, the more I shall bless you' -the Infant Jesus of Prague.

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