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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Slow Food

An article on an elderly couple shooed out of a McDonald's in Virginia ends in a first comment speculating whether the customer service may be the reason fast food places have been having a hard time recently.

Couple kicked out of McDonald’s for sitting ‘too long’ offered free meals for life
By Charlene Sakoda | Odd News – 16 hrs ago

First, I did not know fast foods were having a tough time. I thought when times were tough, they did well.
Maybe it is because they continually say that they cannot have the minimum wage increase, because then their razor-thin margins will collapse.

Second, I thought the industry - or at least McDonald's - gave up being Fast Food. I thought that they had become the Drab-Slightly Innovative Sandwich Wrap-Radically Downsized Milkshake-And Wait 12 Minutes For Your Order With A Crowd Industry.

I really did.

I mean, I do not go to McD's unless I am traveling, and then we stop frequently. McD is our target when on the road. Burger King comes in second, then Wendy's. I will not even stop for the washroom at an Arby's. Taco Bell has too many unpleasant memories.
Of course, I am quirky about restaurants. I am repulsed by the whole restaurant experience, from "Hi, guys! My name is Earl, and I'll be taking care of you this evening" to having to remember to ask for water nowadays... and when someone does ask, make sure you ask for water all around, otherwise they only bring water to the one who specifically did the deed.

I often find myself forlornly doodling on the paper table cloth with the crayons supplied by a thoughtful management. I often write doggerel qasida in Arabic, so Earl can call the NSA after we depart. Letting him be grilled by the Homeland Security boys will pay him back for the twenty minutes I had to wait for my check.

I wish I had an album of the various McDonalds we have stopped at. Try as they do for uniformity, everything is very different, from the speech patterns of the employees to the setting and scenery, some of which is wonderful.

I will not name names,  but I think the worst was in the vicinity of Refugee Road in the south-eastern quadrant of an unnamed metropolitan area. The waitstaff there - and in most of the near-by stores - were from West Virginia, and although they were prompt and courteous, I had never experienced people who spoke with such monotonous lack of emphasis.
It was very much like being in a low budget made-for-TV film about robots who invade Earth.


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