My family went through the drive through of a local McDonalds recently. (Ok, it was last night) We were buying food for ourselves and a couple of friends who had recently gotten home after a couple of weeks away. They, for obvious reasons, wanted to just relax, and not have to cook, but were too happy to be home to go out. So, since we were already visiting, we offered to go and get some food. Subway was the first choice, but, it turns out, they were closed for Easter Sunday. So, McDonalds it was.
We went through the drive through, ordered our food ($40), and then waited while they made up the food. They were waiting on an fryer of chicken nuggets to finish up, so we even got to go to the special parking space that they have for cases like ours. A few minutes later, out comes one of the McD’s workers, with our bag, and happy meals. Awesome. We’re on our way.
All the way across town, we start opening bags, and divvying up the food. Cue disaster. You might think disaster is too strong of a word. But, if you have children who have their expectations set, and then those expectations are crushed, you know it is the right word. Funnily, the kids’ meals were the items that were the closest to right. We ordered four adult value meals. Two of them were identical except for one minor adjustment of having no onions. Using the convenient labels that they stick on the burger boxes, we gave those out, only to find that the labels were wrong. The burgers were right, they just had the labels crossed. The one order of chicken nuggets that we ordered (and waited for) had no sauces (or so we thought). Then, the kids opened their meals. Instead of caramel sauce for their apple dippers, they had honey mustard sauce. Well, that’s where the sauce went for the chicken nuggets! The biggest part that they messed up? There were no fries! None! And no straws, either. What a complete disaster of a trip.
Of course, having spent $40 on food, and only getting half the order right, I was a bit upset. But, then I got to thinking, did I get what I paid for? Well, in a more philosophical sense, not in a precise sense. Set aside the healthy-ness concerns of fast food. When it’s all said and done, should we expect that our orders won’t be right, the food won’t look like it does on the menu, and that we are just a dollar bill passing through to be collected and sent on our way? Just how much should we expect from our fast food exchanges?