So here’s the thing:
While I have labored mightily to throw off the oppressive chains of fast-food enslavement that shackle so many of us to the granite mill-wheel known as Conspicuous Consumerism, I will admit a certain fondness for a certain fast food chain’s coffee. This fondness will, at least once a week, lead me to make a pit stop on my way to work for some coffee and one of their okay-but-certainly-not-in-the-same-league-as-the-coffee sandwiches. Being allergic to pork, I cast aside the hunk of meat nestled within the carbolicious interior and eat the egg and cheese biscuit (sometimes with a little salsa) while I read my morning e-mails at the office.
“Why don’t you just order the sandwich without sausage in the first place, crazy?” you ask in a tone I’m not sure I care for at all. To which I reply: “Because I obey Sov’s First Rule of Drive-Thru’s, which is rendered thusly: “When ordering “off the menu” at a drive-thru of any kind, you may as well say “Hi, can I have a bunch of stuff I didn’t order, and none of the stuff I did?”, because that is what you will get if you deviate one whit from the pre-programmed glyphs chiseled into the register.” Therefore, in the interest of both efficiency and contentment, I order the sandwich as-is and chuck the sausage patty out into the now-deserted factory floor so the weasels and feral cats that have taken up residence can fight for it.
But I digress. My point in sharing with you my fondness for the King’s coffee is not to explain the best way to deal with surplus meat by-products; rather, it is to set up the story of today’s encounter with my local BK, where I am sufficiently well-known that my large coffee is waiting for me even before I place my order and I’m pretty sure the register gal types in my card from memory.
Today, driving into Tipp City behind one of my least favorite vehicles, the R.E.S.T. (Ridiculously, Excrutiatingly Slow Tractor), I checked the time and thought “Yeah, I could go for some delicious BK Joe this morning!” So I pull in, place my order, and pull around to the proverbial second window. Within seconds, I had my coffee, and was waiting on my food to appear with equal alacrity (the appearance, that is, not my waiting. I’m not an especially alacrious waiter). This morning, however, rather than receiving my debit card and a smile, I heard only a series of ominous beeps, followed by the small noises of frustration one commonly makes when stymied by a piece of electronic equipment that’s being muley. A minute or so later, the shift supervisor was called over, and I began to have those thoughts…you know, “Oh, God, did someone steal my identity and empty my account? Did I accidentally order something from eBay in my sleep again? How am I going to pay for this? It’s too early for hooking!”
However, even as I applied additional lipgloss and practiced my “Why don’t we work this out in the back room?” look, the shift supervisor opened the window, handed me my card, and declared:
“It’s on us today – our credit card machine is screwed up.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, here, kids – I’m aware that, as far as Burger King’s concerned, my $4 breakfast is a drop in the greasy, greasy bucket of their world-wide profits. That said, having been on the receiving end of so many negative experiences at fast-food restaurants, it was both refreshing and wonderful to be treated so kindly and competently…so my thanks, I suppose, go not to the megalithic corporation, but to the fine ladies of Burger King #5280, who saw a problem, solved it, and did so in such a friendly and professional way that I must shout to the world (ok, the twelve people who read this) about it!
Oh, and go get a coffee, seriously. It’s so good I drink it black, which, since my conversion to the tribe of canela-and-cream, is exceedingly rare. Of course, I only ever get the coffee in Tipp, so it may be that this particular Burger King has slipped through a wormhole from a parallel universe where all fast food is delicious, fast, and served by smiling, friendly ladies in crisp uniforms (or possibly the alternate timeline in Treehouse of Horror V where it rains donuts).