Monday, September 26, 2005

A Righteous Rant

The Geek with a .45 is touching on one of my pet peeves, the inability of fast food types to get the simplest of orders correct.

{Speaking slowly, enunciating, and formatting my request in a manner that it will be understood} "Hi. I'd like a #1 with cheese, fries and a coke. I'd also like two cheeseburgers, and a pie."

It's the simplest farging job on the planet. All it requires is that you understand highly formulaic English. I've already interpreted my desires into a form you can understand, so you don't have to think at all. When, for example, I tender the order above, you push the following buttons: "#1", "w/ cheese", "med fries", "med coke", "cheeseburger", "cheeseburger", "pie".

If you do this correctly, two things will happen. The first is that an amount of money will magically appear. You collect from me an amount greater than or equal to this number, and tell the machine how much I gave you. If I gave you more than the first number, a second number will appear, labeled as "change", and that is the amount of money you give back to me. The other thing that will happen is that a list will appear elsewhere in the store, which is an exact match of the buttons you pushed. Someone else will select each of these items from bins, put them into a bag, and hand them to me.

It's the simplest retail transaction possible, honed to absolute efficiency by 50,000 years of societal development and relentless market forces. It has been analysed and reduced to its smallest, leanest components, so that it cannot be perturbed by anything other than monumental incompetence.

If you can tie your shoes in the morning, wipe your own butt, and somehow miraculously manage to get food from your plate to your mouth without stabbing yourself in the face with your fork, you should be able to do this job.

My friend, I know exactly that of which you rant.

I hate mayonaise, and I am allergic to onions.

Fresh onions are the worst, with onions in soup or stews leaving me with just heartburn.

If I eat a single burgers worth of fresh onion, I will have violent intestinal disturbances, which are quite unpleasant, and may require me to seek medical attention.

A single bite worth of onion on a burger will generally cause me to be unable to finish my meal. The reaction isn't that fast in my stomach, but the unpleasantness I know is sure to follow is so imprented, that the mear taste of onion like that will make me ill, or at least unable to eat further.

I ALWAYS order everything either "no onions" or "plain" - sometimes with mustard and ketchup.

Long years of experience have brought me to spelling out exactly what must be and what must not be on my sandwiches for me to eat them "I'd like a bacon double cheeseburger with nothing but meat, bacon, cheese, ketchup, and mustard. No onions please, I am allergic to onions."

Still, perhaps 25% of the time, I recieve my sandwich with onions.

Frequently I simply order food that cannot possibly be served with onions without asking for them specially.

Tell me, how hard is it to understand the word "plain"???