They Butter Be Joking

, , , , , , | Working | September 23, 2018

(My family tasks me with bringing food to a game night while one of my uncles is in town. Said uncle nearly exclusively eats chicken and corn, so I am given the choice between the big national chain and a smaller national chain. I’m a big fan of gizzards, which the big national chain doesn’t have at our local store, and my wife likes the smaller chain’s popcorn shrimp, so we go out of our way a little to try to visit them. The setup of the store is drive-thru only, with two lanes that go to either side of the building. One line has two cars in it, and the other has none, so I go to the unused side. Being a NAR fan, I carefully look for any indication that the empty side is empty because the speaker isn’t working or something like that, but there is nothing. Regardless, we wait through the first car in the other line getting their order taken. No problem; I figure there is only one cashier. We then notice the other car is getting served. No problem; they must have some system letting them see who was actually first. During this time, an employee steps out, makes eye contact with me, says something to someone inside, and leaves. When a third car pulls up and gets their order taken, I turn to my wife:)

Me: “Watch that car behind them, and if they get served before we do, let me know.”

(I continue to wait to be ready to order, looking for some indication that my lane is out of order, while my wife looks at the other lane. After a while:)

Wife: “Other lane just got served.”

Me: “Our lane must be out of order. I’ll pull around.”

(By this point, another car has pulled up behind me. As I pull around, about to enter the other lane, I hear the speaker I was waiting by turn on and the car that was behind me give an order.)

Me: “Nope. I guess they refused to serve me because I’m [race of other customers, generally the minority in this neighborhood, and not used in this chain’s advertising].”

Wife: “Clearly not that.”

Me: “Well, call my father and ask him to give us an order for [Big National Chain].”

(She calls:)

Wife: “Hey, we just pulled up to [Smaller Chain] and they didn’t serve us.”

(My father says something.)

Wife: “No, an employee saw us and said something, but they still didn’t do anything.”

(My father says something else.)

Wife: “No, the other customers being served were [Race], too.”

(We get the new order and go to the big national chain. I pull up into the drive-thru.)

Employee #1: “How can I help you?”

Me: “Let me get a 16-piece family meal, extra crispy, with two mashed potatoes, gravy on the side, coleslaw, and corn.”

Employee #1: “You want the 16-piece extra crispy bucket or the meal?”

Me: *pause* “The meal, please.”

Employee #1: “It comes with four sides.”

Me: “Two mashed potatoes, gravy on the side, coleslaw, and corn, please.”

Employee #1: “It comes with two mashed potatoes and two coleslaw.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine.”

Employee #1: “Would you like potato wedges?”

Me: “I thought you just said it came with mashed potatoes and coleslaw?”

(There is no answer.)

Me: “No, I do not want potato wedges.”

Employee #1: “Could you move a little closer to the speaker, please?”

(I back up, turn my car in, and get closer. I try to speak up.)

Me: “Okay. No, if the meal comes with mashed potatoes and coleslaw, that’s fine.”

Employee #1: “Anything else?”

Me: “I’ll have a four-piece chicken tenders meal with corn.”

Employee #1: “Those come in three-, six-, and twelve-piece.”

(The menu lists three-, four-, and five-piece, but figuring it will be shared amongst my family, I decide to go up on the order, instead.)

Me: “Okay, a six-piece, with corn.”

Employee #1: “That comes with two sides.”

Me: “Okay, both corn.”

Employee #1: *pause* “So, that was two corn?”

(At this point, my wife reaches over and pulls my hand from my forehead, as I have facepalmed for so long she believes it is impeding my voice).

Me: “Yes. I’d also like twelve extra biscuits, and that will complete my order.”

(The employee gives me a total and has me pull around.)

Employee #2: “That’ll be $66.99. Do you want butter and honey for your biscuits?”

Me: “Yes, please.”

([Employee #2] walks away with my credit card. [Employee #1] returns with a bag only containing a chicken bucket and my card and receipt.)

Employee #1: “Here’s your receipt. Do you want any butter and honey?”

Me: “Yes!”

(At this point, it is 100+ degree weather, I’ve been denied service at my preferred restaurant and had a difficult time with a new employee who did not know the menu, and now I am having to repeat myself. I don’t perceive any anger or frustration in my voice, but given what happens after I get the rest of my food and bring it to the family gathering, I might have seemed gruff.)

Mom: *pulling out food from the bags* “Okay, here’s the tenders and the biscuits.”

Me: “Yeah, about the tenders, though the menu said they had a four-piece, they said it came in three or six, so I ordered six.”

Uncle: “Um… This has five.”

Mom: “And here is… an entire sack filled with butter and honey.”

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