Friday, March 27, 2009

Still figuring it out . . .

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.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haha - I stopped at McDonald's this morning and discovered that too. It really did throw me off for a second.

Anonymous said...

Frank, you think this is disconcerting, what about when the voice is from a different state? This is actually going on at McDonalds in Charlotte, MI. A customer asked the person behind the voice if he was inside. The voice said "No, I'm in N. Dakota."
From Terry

Rod Bisher said...

In traveling the Midwest, I have encountered this same situation, and I learned at a business conference a couple of months ago, that now, the order takers are, in a number of cases, from foreign countries, such as India and your order is satellite beamed to them. So I'm not surprised at the discrepancies you experienced and the lack of true customer relations. I guess we're finally here, back to the future.

Jan from JRCC said...

LOL! I noticed the same thing and try to put it out of my mind. It is so refreshing that it bothers others also. It is such a sharp contrast with the two different voices. I will just pray about it.

Julie said...

I am a frequent visitor of that establishment and I never caught that. I always say 'No thank you' and then a voice always says 'I'm sorry. Could you repeat your order?'. Guess I'm being polite to NO ONE!

When I drive up to the first window I'm always looking for the face that belonged to the cheery person. Because I go there so often I recognize the voices. The prerecorded one is someone who works there. Or... so I always thought.

Faith said...

Wow, I was wondering why I was always hearing two people... I thought They were just helping out each other. And I'm in Sturgis. Guess it's all over. I have to admit, I'm sometimes puttin on two voices myself. :(