You Deserve a Break Today, Unless You Buy a Gift Card

Posted on September 28, 2013. Filed under: Society | Tags: , |


McDonalds (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

I normally don’t post on the weekend, but something so weird happened today, that I just had to share. First, a little back story.

My wife is from Arkansas. She moved here to Oregon to be with me, but her family still lives in Arkansas. Earlier this year, we received news that her mother is battling a life threatening illness. She is on a limited income, and my wife likes to send her little gift packages to cheer her up and help with the groceries (she mails her a Walmart card so she can do some shopping). Recently her mom mentioned that there was an item at McDonald’s that she had fallen in love with, so my wife decided to send her a McD’s gift card so she could get her treat.

After swinging through Walmart to get a gift card there, we drove to McDonald’s to pick up a one there. We pull up to the drive thru, where my wife orders an iced tea, and when the girl on the other end asked if there was anything else, we ordered a $30 gift card.


A long, awkward silence.

After what seemed like an eternity, the girl comes back and said “we only offer gift cards in$5, $25, and $50 values”.

Since cars were starting to back up behind us, we said that $25 was fine.

That’s when the fun began.

When we pulled up to the window to pay, my wife, as she was counting out the cash, leaned over from her passenger seat, and asked, “couldn’t you have just done a $25 and a $5 card?”

The girl at the window, I’ll call her Blondie, stopped, and she suddenly had a look on her face that you could tell that her brain had just short circuited. She tried to speak, stammered a bit, then looked at the girl standing next to her (I’ll call her Brunette).

Brunette said something to Blondie that I didn’t catch, and Blondie stepped away from the window.

Brunette said she could give us two cards totalling $30 in value, if that’s what we wanted. My wife said that yes, she would like that, and we handed the money over.

After asking what kind of card we wanted, she began to load the card. She had to program the amount in, and we saw her try several cards, and heard her say that the second card wouldn’t load. At this point, the cars behind us had placed their orders, and were lining up behind us. We were still at the first window trying to pay, mind you.

Calling for whom I’m assuming was the assistant manager (I’ll call her AM), Brunette was getting desperate. In the meantime, Blondie was standing behind, taking orders, but that short circuited look of constipation had never left her face.

Brunette tried a couple more cards, none of them loading before AM, wasting little time in making a command decision, called over to Manager. Manager walked over, got the story, and took the card that had been loaded and started to program, then he suddenly stopped, turned to Brunette and asked her why she hadn’t just programmed $30 on a single card, then asked us, “would you like this on a single card,” which was what we had asked for in the beginning.

Of course, Brunette started to say something, and Manager shushed her.

“I’m trying to hear the customer.”

“Yes, that we be great!” my wife replied.

So, Manager took the card, an loaded $30 on it, telling the two girls that they had to press “load”.

We got my wife her card and left, laughing as we drove off.

The reason I’m telling this story is because these are the people who feel they “deserve” more than minimum wage. I’m not disparaging Brunette, because she was being helpful, if not successful, but folks like Einstein who couldn’t handle basic math without her brain getting overtaxed. She never lost that look on her face the entire time. I run into these people all the time, no matter what fast food joint I go to.

While she doesn’t deserve a “living wage” now, I see her going far up the McDonald’s management chain.

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