I'm not a regular eater of fast food, but there is one particular fast-food restaurant I love. There was one of them near my old apartment, and my roommate and I would go there frequently.
At least, we USED to go there frequently.
For a long time, I learned to put up with the fact that they seemed absolutely incapable of making our orders correctly. She always ordered a grilled chicken sandwich, no tomato, with a sweet tea. They always gave her a sandwich with a tomato and an unsweetened tea. I always got a cheeseburger with lettuce, mayo, pickles, and onions. I wish I had kept track of the many ways they managed to screw up my order. It was always--and I am not employing hyperbole here--wrong. I tried everything to get them to get my food right--I tried ordering the cheeseburger with what I wanted on it; I tried ordering it WITHOUT what I wanted ("I'd like a cheeseburger with NO TOMATOES, MUSTARD, OR KETCHUP"). I would speak clearly and politely. They got it wrong every time.
Now, I understand that the fast-food industry does not pay very much at all. I understand that that fact could attract people who really care very little for providing accuracy in orders or pleasant customer service. However, if you are going to allow people to order their food the way they want to receive it, then you should at least make an effort, oh, let's say, 25% of the time to deliver it to them.
But I digress.
So we put up with this for a long time, because this restaurant was one we liked, and it was so close to where we lived; we either learned to ALWAYS check the bag before leaving, or we just got used to disassembling our food. I suppose we just acquiesced to mediocre service.
Until two fateful visits. There were two instances leading directly to our never going there EVER AGAIN.
One day, she and I went through the drive-through, and she ordered what she always ordered, a (let's say) # 5 combo. I ordered mine. Of course, it was wrong (no mayo, but we had some at home). She had gotten a completely wrong sandwich--a bacon cheeseburger. I know she'd never eat it, because she doesn't like bacon or red meat. So we went back through the drive-thru, talked to the same guy, and told him we were returning an order. "I'd like a # 5, please," she said. We handed them our bag, and pulled up to check it. Another bacon cheeseburger.
At this point, we parked the car, went inside, and told them we needed to return an order AGAIN. "I'd like a # 5, please," she said.
The guy who'd been at the window saw us, and walked over. "I just gave you a # 5," he said.
"No, you gave me a [let's say] # 2."
"No, I didn't," he said, "I gave you a # 5."
"Then why does it have a bacon cheeseburger in it?" she asked.
He smirked at her and said, "Because that's what a # 5 is--you should know, you ordered it."
She stopped herself from jumping over the counter and throttling him, and said, "No, a # 5 is a grilled chicken. # 2 is a bacon cheeseburger." She pointed at the large, brightly lit menu on the wall behind him--clearly displaying a # 5, which contains a grilled chicken sandwich--and said, "You should know--you work here."
That was bad enough.
Then came the final straw.
One day, I had no cash with me, and I went to an ATM across the street and withdrew $20 (this is important). I went to the fast-food place and ordered my meal. I drove to the pickup window, and the woman at the window told me my total (say it was $5). I gave her the $20, and she handed me my drink and shut the window. I sat there for a moment, waiting, and then she opened the window and said (none too politely), "Ma'am, you're going to have to move--there are other customers behind you."
"Okay," I said politely (I am always excrutiatingly polite to anyone waiting on me--at least until they give me a reason not to be). "Should I just pull up a little and wait for my food?"
She looked at me incredulously and said, "I gave you your food."
For a second, I honestly wondered if I'd lost my mind. Maybe she had handed me my food, and I somehow managed to not notice. I actually looked in the passenger seat and all around the back seat. Nope, no food. I turned back to her and said, very pleasantly, "No ma'am, I'm sorry--you didn't give me my food yet."
Apparently, this was the wrong thing to say.
"YES I DID GIVE YOU YOUR FOOD!" She thundered. "I don't know what you're trying to pull, getting free food from us, but I gave you your food. I don't know what you did with it, but I gave it to you."
Her response alerted the manager, who walked over and asked, "Is there some sort of problem here?"
She replied, "This girl is trying to tell me I never gave her her food, and I know I did. I don't know where she hid it, but she has it. She just wants to trick me out of food."
The manager raised an eyebrow at her and turned to me. "Ma'am, what's your order?"
I told him, and he looked into the bag next to him. "Here's your order, ma'am," he said, handing it to me and shooting her an evil look. I had my food, and she shut the window.
But I still didn't have my change.
I sighed and sat there for about 10 seconds, before she opened the window and said, "What do you want now?"
"I'd like my change," I replied, still with a modicum of pleasantness, as much as I could muster, given the circumstances.
She rolled her eyes, opened the cash register, and handed me $5.
Before she could shut the window back, I said wearily, "This isn't my change."
"Yes it is."
"No, it isn't. I gave you a $20 bill. You owe me $15. This is only $5."
"I don't know what you're trying to pull here today, but you never gave me any $20 bill. You gave me a $10."
That was it.
"Look," I barked, "I gave you a $20. That's all the money I have. I don't have a $10 bill. I never had a $10 bill." I picked up the receipt from the ATM, held it up so she could see it, and said, "See? $20."
"You could have gotten that receipt anytime."
"CAN YOU READ? CAN YOU SEE THE TIME STAMP ON IT? IT SAYS TODAY, FIFTEEN MINUTES AGO."
The manager came back. "Is there a problem?"
She said, "This girl's now saying I gave her the wrong change. She gave me a $10, and she's trying to say she gave me a $20--"
He didn't even respond. He brushed past her, opened the cash register, and handed me a $20. "I'm very sorry for the inconvenience, ma'am. I certainly hope you'll come back and see us."
"Not likely," I said, and drove away.
Haven't been back since.
emeraldsage85's comment: How much do you want to bet that the girl was fired?