Most mornings when I go to work I stop at McDonald's to buy a single sausage burrito. A $1.00, 300 calorie breakfast. I am usually in the drive thru between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. It takes me 3 seconds to order, and since I have my $1.08 in hand (tax is $0.08), it take me about 5 seconds to pay. I know what I want, I know how much it costs and I have the money ready at the first window. At the second window, they hand me my bag as my car is still moving. My ordering, paying and pick up is almost like an art form. The whole thing is like a ballet where the young prince spins the dancing swan, lifts her up and she flies away creating joy in all who watch this dance.
However, I frequently get behind people at the order board who have no clue what McDonald's offers, who have no clue at what they want, who are ordering for nine people and who pay with a credit card.
Today, there was only one car at the order board ahead of me, a young woman in a white Honda SUV. She was alone and she was the only person between me and the second window, the pick up window. It looked like clear sailing for me. I could picture my breakfast order, payment and pickup ballet playing out like the New York Ballet Company's Swan Lake. Wrong. The lady in the white Honda, took approximately six minutes to order. Six minutes doesn't sound like a long time, but when you are behind someone who is ordering at a drive thru, it is an eternity. Try holding your breath for six minutes. Listen to Roseanne Barr sing for six minutes. Watch someone line up a putt for six minutes. If a space shuttle booster rocket ignites for six minutes too long, the astronauts miss the moon by something like a trillion miles.
As she ordered, I looked at my watch like 11 times. I heard an entire interview on the Dan Patrick sports talk radio show. After she left the order board, I ordered in my usual 3 seconds. "One sausage burrito with mild sauce". I almost beat her to the first window, but unfortunately, there is no passing lane in the drive thru. So we reach the first window at essentially the same time, with me one car length behind. Once she gets there, she reaches over to the empty passenger seat and finds her purse. She picks up her purse, puts it in her lap and opens it. I can see all of this through the back window of the white Honda. She pulls out her wallet, finds her credit card and finally hands the credit card to the clerk. From the time we both arrived at the first window to the time she handed over the credit card was about 2 minutes. Then it takes the clerk about two minutes to run the card through the register, hand the credit card slip back to the lady in the white Honda for signature, get the slip signed, hand the credit card back and finally the lady in the white Honda hands the signed credit card slip back to the clerk. Now she opens her purse again, pulls out her wallet, inserts her credit card in the wallet, puts the wallet back in the purse and drives to the second window. This entire payment process was painful to watch. It was not a ballet at all. It was like watching a goat give birth.
Now its my turn at the first window and it takes me less that 3 seconds to hand the clerk my $1.08 in exact change. I arrive at the second window 2 seconds behind the lady in the white Honda. My Buick Enclave was so close to the white Honda that I was actually drafting just like in NASCAR. I sit at the second window for approximately 7 minutes while the entire McDonald's staff is working on her order and they finally hand her 4 coffees and three large bags of food and I mean large bags, bags with handles.
It takes her about 45 seconds to secure the food and coffee on the passenger seat and then she crawls away, at the speed of a three toe sloth.
As my car is still in motion the clerk at the second window hands me my little bag containing only a single sausage burrito, a small bag of mild sauce and a napkin. As is I start to pull away from the second window, someone is entering the drive thru the wrong way. My front bumper is almost touching his front bumper by the time he realizes he is going the wrong way. I had to wait while he backed up into morning traffic on Seventh East.
Tomorrow I think I will make me a scrambled egg at home before I leave for work.
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