The place where I work supplies a small room that offers a few vending machines (snacks, pop, ice cream) and a small kitchenette type option. Small counter, sink, 2 paper towel dispensers, and a bank of 12 microwaves to heat up whatever you can imagine.
Being an engineering company you should be able to make some basic assumptions that these are educated people working here. Now I say that because in my mind formal education does NOT equate to ‘smarts.’ These are 2 prime examples of that.
At any given time around lunch the small room is pretty full of people mulling around waiting for their leftovers to heat up for lunch. Nothing tests Americans’ patience like waiting on a microwave. But I digress.
This day there were probably 8 of the 12 microwaves humming away irradiating their contents. Standing back a few feet (who knows how the seals are on these old models?) I can watch as the flurry of activity builds as there is a constant flow of people swapping out their items for those patiently waiting behind them.
Then in strolls this individual.
She isn’t carrying anything in her hands but has a meaningful stride about her. She walks up to 1 microwave and presses open the door button stopping the cooking cycle. I assumed this item was hers and she either thought it was cooked enough or maybe she wanted to stir the item (who doesn’t love the frozen chunk in the middle/bottom of their lunch?). But something caught my eye with this person. She held the door open, looked at the item, then closed the door. She then reached over and opened another door. And then another repeating the process on about 5 microwaves. Now I am thinking she forgot where she placed her item. But the part that was sticking out was the fact that with each miss she never restarted the cooking process. She just closed the door and moved on to the next one.
After another minute she finally just got feed up and walked out. I guess that was her version of “No thanks, just looking.”
Same 12 microwaves, 4 rows 3 in each row. One row is actually below the counter so it is more like 3 rows of 3 which places 1 right in the middle of the stack. At this time that is the only one occupied with an item that is currently cooking with about 3:30 left on it. I am standing at the counter prepping my food to put in one of the open ovens. Just then this man walks up with his lunch in his hand, pops open the running oven, pulls out the item, sets it on the counter, and replaces it with his. I assumed he had 2 items to cook so I went back to my meal prep. 45 seconds later he pops out his item, shuts the door and turns to walk away.
I call out to him “Excuse me sir, you left your other tub there on the counter.”
“Oh, that’s not mine.” And strides away.
As I pulled into the local Golden Arched fast food establishment I had a feeling something wasn’t going right in the world that day but I continued on into the drive-thru lane.
I placed my order which consisted of a few items: 20 piece Nuggets for the kids, 2 hamburgers for me, 1 cheeseburger for my wife, a medium Cherry Berry Chiller (my new obsession), and 1 large Fry for everyone to share (since no one ever seems to eat their own fries).
I pulled up to the 1st window (to pay). Total: $13.55. I gave the person 1 $10 bill, 4 $1 bills, and a nickel to try and make everyone’s life easier and get back 2 Quarters. This should have been my next sign to just pull away and consider my $14.05 a donation to educate the stupid of the world but I had people waiting for me at home. I’m not sure if the genius behind the register was just stunned that I could do such advanced mathematics right there on the fly or he had a dial-up modem for a brain. I swear it took him at least 2 minutes of staring at the register before he finally looked back at me and then the register and finally scrambled to gather up the advanced change that I should have received. Meanwhile the 3 vehicles ahead of me have already pulled up, received their orders, and pulled away, making me ‘that guy’ in line holding up the rest of the orders.
I pulled up to the pick-up window and was handed my Medium Chiller (only filled 3/4) and soupy as a pop. Figuring it was 99 degrees outside I didn’t protest TOO much, just a disapproving look.
“You’re order will just take another minute sir.”
Which makes me wonder how difficult of an order was it that I placed considering the advanced economic transaction I just pulled off at the prior window I would have thought they would have had time to cook a complete Thanksgiving meal already. Oh well, such is life.
2 minutes later I am handed a large bag and told “Have a nice day.”
I ask “Can I have some ketchup for my fries?” Which is odd since my usual question is simply “Can I have some ketchup please?” Another sign of things to come.
She looked at me like I just asked for the secret to life. “But you don’t have any fries in your bag sir.”
“I ordered a Large Fry. Here is my receipt.”
“Yes sir, but you don’t have any fries in your bag.”
A long pause accompanied with an awkward silence and then she handed over 5 ketchups.
The warning sirens were going off in my head like we were at DEFCON1. I pulled up as not to hold up the line any longer and opened the bag. Guess what I didn’t find? Just like Captain Obvious pointed out a moment ago “..no fries in the bag.”
So I pulled around and parked and went inside with my fry-less bag and my receipt. Walking up to the counter I said “I just went through the drive-thru lane and you shorted me a large fry.” Holding out the receipt and the bag.
One of the older, maybe 20 years old, turned and glared at Captain Obvious and said “I told you the fries for that order were in a separate bag!” Grabbing the bag and walking it over to me. Apolgizing the whole time.
“Well I told him ‘there were no fries in the bag’!”
Upon getting home and setting out the meal and replaying the whole ordeal to the family the icing on the cake: a cheeseburger in a cheeseburger wrapper with…wait for it….no cheese.
Well at least we ended up with ‘fries in the bag.’
Stupidity stikes again.