Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Buying a Burger

How hard is it to buy a cheeseburger at Jack in the Box?

Apparently more difficult than you would think.

I went to Atria today.  I didn't want to go for lunch, so waited until 12:30 and saw that my mother was at a table, apparently talking to someone.  I felt like I used to when Tom started kindergarten and cried every morning when I dropped him off.  I would leave him, turn my back and walk away, but then find a place across the street where he couldn't see me, but I could watch him...and then the crossing guard would let me know later how he had done during the day.

Seeing my mother interacting with women at her table made me feel as hopeful as I felt when we were looking for places for her to move and I watched groups of women talking and laughing together over lunch.  She needs to interact with others and today she did that.  Of course for all I know she does it every day, but I hadn't really witnessed it before, since I'm always with her.

Anyway, I had come to refill her pill holder.  I normally bring her new set of pills over the weekend, but with the combination of pouring rain on Friday and not having a car Saturday or Sunday it was today before I could get them to her.  Fortunately, nothing she takes is keeping her alive, so missing a day isn't a big deal.
We visited for about half an hour, but I had a coughing fit (first one I'd had today, I think...I am much better) and decided to cut the visit short.

However, it was 1:30 and I had not had lunch.  I rarely eat at fast food places any more, but occasionally a burger just calls out to me.  My place to go is Jack in the Box, because it has a drive through and I am inherently too lazy to get out of the car, and also because I can order a cheeseburger plain, i.e., with nothing on it, and nobody ever questions it.  Also like their curly fries.

So I pulled into the drive-thru behind 2 cars and ordered a cheeseburger, plain, curly fries, and a diet Coke with the disembodied voice in the speaker.  I almost never have soft drinks, but there was no bottled water in the car and it just sounded like it would go well with my burger.

The guy who greeted me at the window was all smiles, his big grin revealing a mouth of mostly silver teeth.  But he was cheerful, and asked me how my day was going, which almost never happens.  I was impressed that they had such a friendly guy working the window. We exchanged pleasantries.

He got my order together and said "You wanted Sprite, right?"  I corrected him and told him that no, I wanted a diet Coke.  I handed him a $20 bill and he handed back my change.  Before I took the bag with my food in it, I looked at change and it appeared he had shortchanged me by more than $5. 

I questioned him and he got the tag and told me that my order had come to >$12.  On the screen it had said $5.94.  I told him what I had ordered and he got flustered, realizing that he had filled the wrong order for me.

So he asked me again what I ordered.

"Cheeseburger plain, small curly fries, and medium diet Coke," I repeated.

He still seemed flustered.

"Cheeseburger...and turkey....?"

"No," I stopped him, repeating my order for the third time.

He turned back and was gone for awhile and then asked what I wanted with my burger.  I repeated that I wanted curly fries and he asked me what size.  I repeated "small."

In the meantime I could see that about four cars were patiently waiting behind me now (or maybe impatiently, but where were they going to go?  Once you get into line you are stuck until you pass the food window).

The guy and I exchanged money twice.  I gave him back the paper change he had given me for my $20 and he started to give me change from that, but I had to remind him that I needed to give him back the coins he had given me too. (Of course when I got the coins, I dropped them into the slot between the seats with other coins, so I just guessed at what he had given me.)

He finally handed me a bag which, when I checked, seemed to have the right food in it and the change from my $20 seemed to be right, so I quickly moved my car ahead so the next car could move into the space by the window where I had been.

I really wanted to write to Jack in the Box to compliment them on such a friendly face at the window, but given how totally incompetent the guy seemed to be, ultimately, I decided against that!

On the way home, a guy on a bike was riding on his bike in the bike lane, while texting on his phone, unaware that he was riding right into the car lane in front of me and I had to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him.  He didn't even know it.

This is the kind of day that makes me feel that I don't belong in downtown Davis any more!

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