Monday, December 31, 2007

I apologize . . .

I feel as though I need to apologize to Ken from McDonald's. Two nights ago at 10 PM, I stopped in the drive through at the Marshall, Michigan Mickie D's (1260 W. Michigan Ave, Marshall, MI). I was impressed upon pulling in. It is a two-station drive through. Naturally, I chose the wrong one. I waited for five minutes for the woman to come on and take my order. She looked out the window at me. I could see her lips moving, but couldn't hear her talking. I waited. And I waited. I waited some more.

Finally I just pulled up to the window. She said, "that will be $4.58, please." "But I didn't order anything," I explained, "I've been sitting in the drive through for five minutes waiting to order something, but nobody wants to talk to me." "Wait a minute," she said as she slammed the window on me. I waited. And I waited some more.

I pulled away from the window (rather quickly), and went inside. Beverly met me at the counter and, after about a five minute wait for the two other gentlemen standing at the counter, she took my order. After buying burgers I was asked, "can I get you anything else?" "I would like to speak to the manager, please," I said. She turned and said, "Ken, this gentlemen needs to talk to you." "He'll need to wait."

When Ken finally stopped by to speak with me, admittedly, I was pretty hacked off. "The reason for a drive-through, Ken, is so I don't have to come inside and get my food. I waited for five minutes without ordering my food before coming inside, and when I got inside I waited another five minutes. That's not acceptable." Ken said, "How does that give you the right to yell at my drive-through staff?" Huh? "I did not yell," I told Ken. "But you gave her an attitude," he replied. "If rolling up my window and pulling away is giving her attitude then, yes, I am guilty."

"Well, we don't have to tolerate it," Ken said.

At this point I began getting pretty upset, and this is the part I need to apologize for. "You know, Ken," I said, "I worked in food service, and whenever we messed up, we simply apologized and tried to make it right." Blank stare. Then, "So what do you want me to do about it?" "Maybe I need to go to Burger King," I said. "Maybe you do," he replied.

"You know, Ken," I said, "I hope you like working a minimum wage job, because I suspect you're going to be at it awhile." (That's the part where I crossed the line, I think.)

Ken spun around on his heel and walked away. Beverly handed me my food and said sweetly, "I'm really sorry about that." "Thanks, Beverly." I think she was the only one who got it.

Maybe it was because it was so late, or maybe it was because I'm tired of all the holiday hoopla, but I didn't handle that as well as I could have . . .


Anonymous said...

Well Frank...I reckon we've all been there. Now what to do ...

1) Bring Ken a 10 dollar gift card... to Burger King.

2) Dress up like the burger king and give out gift cards to those standing in line

3) Buy newspaper space and expose Ken for the horrible manager he is, even sending this report to the IRS! (This is really getting nasty!)

4) Go into the restaurant and give Ken a big ole bear hug, while taping a KICK ME HARD sign to his back.

5) Pray for Ken. Revisit his store. Go inside. Smile at him. Make it obvious that you are a good customer. Let him think whatever he wants about it. Next Christmas give him and his staff a card of thanks for a year of great food. Thank God for humility ... even if you're not feeling it.

Frank Weller said...

You're right, JD. . . My guess is I'll look out Sunday and see Ken in row 4 with his arms crossed and an unhappy frown on his mug

Anonymous said...

In your complete defense...

Consider having a couple of possible alternative sermons in the bag in the possibility that Ken should show in the fourth row with Barbie and Skipper in tow.

One avenue to consider may be a lesson on tolerance citing McDonald's customer service and add in Ken's bride having to awake and tolerate her own husband's insipidness on a far too frequent daily basis.

Another might be tithing your minimum wage and doing it joyfully.
Any thoughts as to whether Ken might speak up and say "we don't have to tolerate this!"



Soren said...

I hope you told him you were the minister at Trinity, or at the very least West Lansing.

Bless your heart, brother Ron never acted like that. Or Bob P.

I'm with ya bro. You blew it. but you're human. That's why people can relate to you -- you're real.
JD has a good suggestion.

You've confessed the eror of your ways. Now go and sin no more.

Oh, by the way -- Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Here's a suggestion:
Buy a copy of two books;
the first by Dale Carnegie
"How to Win Friends and Influence People",
and the second,
"Dynamic People Skills" by Dexter Yager
Read them both yourself, then send them to Ken or drop them off with
a letter of apology stating that you knew the principles in these books but failed to abide by them and that you would like to meet with him after he's read them to discuss what the two of you could have done differently. Could open a great door of opportunity and maybe not. But Ken will know and you will too, that you did your best in trying to make amends.
What a great story and witness that will make and show people how to "Walk across the room."
Love ya brother.

Anonymous said...


Part of what I appreciate about working with you is your willingness to make sure people understand that you are human and keep you off a pedestal that only God should be on. From your first sermon at South to this you've been clear to make sure people don't put unrealistic expectations on you.

What I appreciate more though, is how you are willing to admit wrong in a situation where you could successfully argue the other way.

While I worked at Arby's our key emphasis was ALWAYS customer service. If an issue rose up (and believe me they did) we were instructed to do our best to resolve it to the customer's satisfaction...and there are times when we were blatantly ripped off for it. Had I or the managers responded in that manner we would have been fired on the spot.

I look at your story and think you were completely justified...but our lives as Christians and the grace we are to emulate certainly puts everyday occurrences in a different light, as you have already pointed out.

Anonymous said...

same Frank different town