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A Number On The Board Is Worth Two Burgers In The Bag

, , , | Working | August 3, 2020

I’ve had a fairly stressful day and am at a popular fast-food chain to treat myself. I’ve ordered and paid for my meal at a self-service machine. I got a receipt with a number — let’s say it’s 72 — which is supposed to be called out and shown on a board when my meal comes up.

I wear headphones but sit down in a seat with a clear view of the board and don’t let it out of sight for more than a few seconds at a time. The ones currently on the board are 36, 37, and 124. Order 73 comes up after a while, but not 72. It’s packed and I don’t want to be THAT customer, but after waiting for twenty minutes and watching several people who came in after me collect their orders, I go up to the counter.

Me: “Excuse me. I ordered some time ago, but my number still hasn’t come up. It was order number 72. Did I miss it?”

Waiter: “Oh! Yes, that was up quite a while ago!”

Me: “Oh, really? I’m sorry, the number didn’t show up on the board.”

Waiter: “Huh, that’s strange. I believe it was on the board.”

Me: “No, I’m sure it wasn’t. Order 73 was up for quite a while, but not 72.”

Waiter: “Really? Well, anyway, let me get your order.”

He walks to a table with several bagged orders piled up, picks up a bag, looks at the receipt, and trashes it. He then picks up something else, stuffs it into the bag, and comes back to hand it to me.

Waiter: “Here you go. Enjoy your meal!”

I look into the bag and find not only my order, but also two extra cheeseburgers.

Me: “Excuse me, there are two cheeseburgers I didn’t order.”

Waiter: “Yes, those are for you to make up for the wait.”

Getting free extra items as compensation isn’t very common in Germany, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

Me: “Really? Thank you so much!”

Waiter: “You’re welcome. Have a wonderful day!”

I went to sit down to eat — free cheeseburgers, yay! Only then did I realize that since he’d trashed the receipt, I had no idea if they’d accidentally displayed it as 73, or not at all, or if I’d somehow missed it. I keep wondering, was this a Not Always Working or Not Always Right?