I’d like to think that every person holds his or her own share of common knowledge, but after a recent trip through a McDonald’s drive thru, I’m really not so sure.
I always go through the drive thru at McDonald’s. I love the thrill of knowing that if something may go wrong; whether it’s screwing up my order or something else, I’m certain the adventure will be worthwhile. Today was one of those days. The lady working the drive thru, an older woman about 40, proved to me that anyone could survive through this scary thing called life.
I place my order in the new, high tech intercom that stresses the importance of getting an order right. This bit of info gives me a secure feeling knowing that my order will be received properly, but what I’m aware of is, there’s still a person filling it. Hmm. Oh well.
The total comes to $3.63, which I already know, because I order the exact same thing every time I visit McDonald’s.
I don’t like having so many pennies. During my lifetime, I’ve successfully acquired an enormous amount of pennies that I’ve stored in a jug that should be filled with a miniature ship, like the Titanic. And on that ship would stand a little Leonardo figurine that would say, “I’m on top of the world,” every other hour. But instead, I have pennies.
So knowing that total ahead of time, and in order to unleash my pennies to one day fulfill my dream of storing a miniature ship in this jug, I bring along three pennies. This, so I can, in turn, receive back, normal human, spendable change, such as a dime or a nickel.
When the lady greets me at register one, because register two is for picking up the order (apparently they’ve taken a lesson out of the movie theater’s handbook, “Here’s your ticket, now go three feet to have it ripped.”), I give her $5.03.
She looks at the three pennies and stresses that the total is $3.63. I look at her, and she looks back, waiting for me to respond to, “The total is $3.63.”
I reply, “I’m aware.” So she gives me back my three pennies and waits. I inform her that I may have some change, and then I give her back the three pennies.
It is now that she understands. Either that, or the sudden build up of cars has shaken her up. After all, it is lunchtime. The common cents we share has now jumped to common sense.
I ended up not being screwed of my order because I’ve already had my incident in the drive thru. I begin to drive away and realize this experience has forced me to think, “This woman is working the register? I wonder if she ever ends up short?” I must have been thinking out loud because I used quotes a sentence ago. When I think to myself I use a ‘ and a ‘.
To this she replies, “I’m not short. I’m vertically challenged.”
Before I have a chance to leave, she hands me a receipt. A memento. But what do I need a receipt for? Like all of a sudden some person will want me to furnish proof that these fries are actually paid for.
“Did you pay for those fries?”
“These? Yeah, I have the receipt right here.”
Then I’ll show it and things will be fine again. Either that, or McDonald’s all of a sudden has a 30 day price guarantee. “If you find McDonald’s fries cheaper at Hardees or Burger King, then you’ll get a price discount.” Right, for McDonald’s fries.
If the receipt incident ever happens, I would have met two people with a lack of common sense. I finally pull away with my value meal. About a week later, I notice the value meal I always get is 30 cents cheaper. I smile, knowing that in my possession (my file cabinet) is the receipt for my value meal. “Plus 30 cents for Jason,” I say. I go to my file cabinet and look under the ‘F’ label, for fries, and find that it’s not there. Just my luck, I lost the receipt. I pick up the phone and call McDonald’s, hoping that they may have record of my purchase of a value meal.
The McManager gets on the phone and says to me, “What do you need a receipt for?”
“For the price guarantee.”
“There is no price guarantee.”
“No,” he adds. “Listen, when you were here the last time, did they short you?”
In the background, the 40 year old drive thru operator says, “I can’t help it. My parents are both short.”
And that’s why I love the drive thru.