There used to be two things you could famously be sure of Death and taxes. I realized today this is wrong – taxes can be avoided.
One could live on an island, fishing & bartering, essentially living like Santiago from “Old Man and the Sea” and in doing so avoid all taxes. Death is still death. Pity.
The new certainty I garnered today is that every encounter one has with Burger King will suck. In some small, minuscule way, no exchange will ever result in even an atom’s worth of joy for the consumer. It is perfectly bad.
No small feat, that.
It never has to be a complete disaster and it usually isn’t. It’s the small things. Somehow, Burger King has found a way to ensure every single interaction is just, well… kind of shitty. I don’t know where they’re recruiting from, or how they manage to get exclusive rights to the worst in the fast food industry, but they are unrivaled in terrible service.
It’s everywhere too, and it has always been thus. In 2002 I sat in a BK drive-through for 45 minutes. Why would I do such a thing? Dear reader, I had nothing better to do at 8:30 P.M. on a Wednesday night, and I desperately needed to see how far down the rabbit hole went. BTW, it goes pretty damn far.
I finally turned off my engine 25 minutes in and walked to the window to see the problem. Broken equipment? Out of stock? Nope. Just plain old naked incompetence. Five workers were attempting to run the store and apparently, none knew how to do anything. Instead of going to the grill area to help, all sat perfectly still in their respective stations, looking desperately lost.
It’s typically the little things though – the getting some small aspect of your order wrong – fries vs. onion rings, coke vs. diet. Other times it’s something far more insidious.
A request for ketchup is always met with the derisive sneer of someone you’ve just trapped into helping you move your sleeper sofa up and down three flights of stairs. The (apparently required) once-over will scan your soul in order to analyze exactly how many packets of red gold you are worthy of. Please know, this is in no way related to the number of fries you’ve ordered. Your presumed social status, religious preference, job, hairstyle, politics, favorite movie, etc…- all come into play to complete the formula.
Regardless of how many patrons are seeking to fill their face holes with Whoppers, the service will be agonizingly slow. Almost suspiciously so. Because they make it your way, you may offer in their defense? Hardly. I’m convinced a rousing game of Mahjong is going on back there, with those glorious ketchup packets serving as the prize, fully redeemable for BK Swag at the end of the year.
And I won’t even address the end product – you know, the actual burgers. I’m almost in awe really. Having frequented a number of stores in a number of cities, I can’t help but conclude this consistently bad performance is anything other than deliberate. It’s too consistent to be accidental or chalked up to a few poor performers. No, this goes all the way to the top. To the creepy dude wearing the crown.
If Apple made it their mission to make technology easy and accessible with minimalist design, then BK has surely made it their mission to ensure you have a bad time.
Somewhere, on a plaque in the royal palace, is a mission statement reminding the King to crap all over everyone’s day.
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