Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Fast, but WRONG Food
I went to a local convenience store chain recently that had a computer-driven self ordering kiosk. You punch the buttons on the touchscreen for the type of food (sandwich, burger, hot dog, angiogram etc..) and add toppings, and side orders, and pay. Then a clerk brings the order by number to the counter for you to pick up.
I think a few years ago I would have voiced concern for this trend, thinking that it would eliminate jobs in our fast food restaurants once the idea spreads to the big chains.
I saw an article recently that one of the larger Hardee's franchisees was installing these kiosks in their restaurants, and these days I think it might actually be a good idea. You see, my experiences lately in these places have been awful. I order and get the deer in the headlights look if I ask a question, or try to make a special order.
I had an experience at a Wendy's drive-thru, where I had ordered a baked potato and hadn't received a fork. I realized this after I had driven a mile down the road to a store I needed to go to, and attempted to eat my food in the parking lot before shopping. I stashed the food back in the bag, thinking that I would just swing back through the drive-thru to grab a Frosty. It was hot after all. I ordered my Frosty and this is how the conversation went:
Speaker: Welcome to Wendy's, may I take your order
Me: Yes, I would like a small frosty
Speaker: Would you like anything else?
Me: Yes, I ordered a baked potato before and didn't get a fork. May I have a fork?
Speaker: You want baked potato?
Me: No, I need a fork
Speaker: Frosty come with spoon
Me: I know that, but I ordered a potato before and didn't get a fork so I need a fork
Speaker: So you want potato?
Me: No, just the Frosty, with a spoon, and a fork!
Speaker: We don't give forks with Frostys
Me: Fine, I'll drive up!
(I drove up to the window where she was and held up the potato)
Me: Remember me? CAN I HAVE A FORK NOW?!?!
Speaker: Oh, OK.
Me: Can you call me an ambulance now, because this little exchange we have had seems to have caused me to have a stroke
On a side note, KFC feels that this whole exchange can be solved by merging the fork and spoon into one completely fucking useless object: THE SPORK! Why do people accept this useless invention without rebellion? Great, a fork with tines too-short to spear anything and hold on to it, and a spoon with damned holes in it!
I was at another fast food place recently for breakfast, and stood at the front counter for 5 minutes waiting for someone to help me. There were two people working in the kitchen, and they looked at me with some vague form of acknowledgment, but still nothing. Finally a manger-looking type came out and said, "I'm sorry, I was busy, and we're very short handed. No one showed up today". The man behind me said, "Then why are you OPEN?" Upon ordering my food, I watched as he tried then to explain to one of the kitchen-workers how to make my food. This exchange went back and forth between them, with him even yelling at her once in front of me. Finally, she asked him to look over the final product. He looked at it, and ROLLED HIS EYES! And then, wait for it.... GAVE IT TO ME ANYWAY!!! Needless to say, it wasn't what I wanted, but had taken so long that as long as it was edible I didn't care.
Maybe I'm being picky, expecting perfection from minimum wage earners? Or maybe I'm just being punished for even considering to eat this shit. I think if I ever attempted to make a movie like Supersize Me, I would end up being hauled away for stabbing someone to death with a fucking spork long before the food had an effect on my health. Oh, wait.. you can't do that with a spork either!