Going out

When you grow stir crazy, you’ll do almost anything to get out of the house. I needed to cash a check and make a deposit so I bribed my kid to drive me through the bank drive through with the promise of running through McDonalds on our way home. He agreed and off we went. It was so good to get out of the house.

At McDonalds I had to shout my order from the passenger seat and combine it with Derek’s order, as well. We slowly inched our way forward and as we did I began to do the math in my head and wondered why it was cheaper than I expected.

We finally made it to the window. Recognizing that I’d not received or paid for the fish sandwich I’d ordered, I made the young lady who had taken my money at the drive through window aware of it and asked if it was possible to still add it to my order. She said it was no problem. She lied.

She started punching keys on the register and then called out to a co-worker for help. The co-worker soon exhibited her own confusion and they discussed it among themselves before finally calling for the manager. Meanwhile the line of cars behind me was growing longer…

I hate being ‘that guy’. I hate being the problem child that gums up the works. I call out from the passenger seat that they can just skip the sandwich, but they don’t hear me. My son is trying to figure out how to disown me. By now the manager is flexing her muscles and considering this a teaching moment for her employees and forges ahead trying to add another item to an already paid for order. Apparently there isn’t a simple button on the register that can easily accomplish the task and she is also unsure of what is necessary to make it happen. She is determined, however to solve the problem. More cars join the line. Drivers become restless. I’m wishing they would just forget the whole thing. Derek is considering patricide.

Eventually they figured out a way to accomplish the task and the helper cheerfully tells me the additional amount I needed to pay while apologizing for the delay. I paid it. I swear I heard her say, “$3.14, please.” but apparently it was $3.40. Does anyone else do a little happy dance in their head when they have exact change? Well, I had the exact amount in my pocket and I passed it over to her via Derek who is cursing under his breath. She counted it out and informed me I was 26 cents short. Sigh… I suspect people in the cars behind me are now joining Derek in cursing me. How long does it take to pay for lunch anyway?

I pulled a five dollar bill from my wallet and exchanged funds with the frustrated worker and we pulled forward to the next window where the original order was sitting on the counter growing cold while we, and the cars behind us, had to wait for the fish sandwich to finish cooking. The guy handing us the order managed to say thank you, but I’m sure it was perfunctory and not at all sincere. He certainly didn’t add the usual, “and please come again.” when he handed the sandwich over.

I explained to Derek that in the olden days before all the fancy new technology the person taking the order would have yelled back to the cook to add a fish sandwich to the order and rattled off the additional amount I owed, but that in the age of technology a simple thing like adding a fish sandwich to an order becomes infinitely complex. He snorted in disgust. Perhaps my timing was not ideal…

The good news is that I got out of the house. That said, I may not yet be ready to rejoin society. Or, society may not be ready for my return.