The local McDonald's recently began doing something that I find sort of disconcerting. When you pull up to the drive-through menu order board (something I do far too often), a cheery voice greets you. Usually it is something like, "Welcome to McDonald's would you like to try an iced mocha coffee this afternoon?" That, in itself, is nothing unusual. But I have learned that the cheery voice is prerecorded.
The voice that follows is not the same. Sometimes it is a different person. Once it was even a different gender. Usually it is the same person, but the cheery voice that welcomed me is in sharp contrast to the dreary voice that takes my order. I understand that. It is easier to record one cheerful "hello" each morning than it is to repeat "So that's a number 5 with a large diet Coke?" fifty times an hour. By the end of the shift - maybe even by the time I arrive in the drive-thru halfway through a shift - the order-taker is tired.
And yet, I can't help but feel like the victim of a bait and switch.
I wonder how often I reflect two voices. One cheery voice for people I've just met, and a more shrill, dreary voice for the people I love yet take for granted. Truth be told, I do this far too often. And, if I find it disconcerting when I encounter two voices from a fast-food employee I don't even know, how much more troubling must it be for the people who know me when they experience the "Frank version" of this troubling inconsistency? These are just some of the lessons that God is teaching me this week.
I'm grateful for the refining, for the molding and shaping.
I just wish it wasn't so painful.