Wednesday, March 29, 2023

60 Seconds or Less

Did you know that the crew at McDonalds is expected to have your order ready and through the pickup line in 60 seconds?  Sixty seconds.  One minute.  That is insane.  Some of us cannot even walk across our living room in

sixty seconds.  Me, I am some of us, because I will trip over things, but that is another story.  

I pulled up at the drive thru window at McDonalds the other day and the girl was rushing to get my drink, take an order, make change.  She must have been barely sixteen.  Stress was all over her face.  I sat there as she shuffled, giving me my drink, straw, and change.  I smiled and told her to have a nice day, but the automatic window slammed shut.  It was a sad scene from an unpersonable world.  

When I grew up there was a different dining joint that sat where McDonalds sat.  The only thing that came in sixty seconds was the next tall tale, the smoke clung in the air for more than sixty seconds, and the grease on the wall was older than me.  The food was as good as the now popular AJ’s (I do recommend AJ’s, tell Rob hello, and ask if he is working hard), the staff was sometimes as friendly as the late Jer (I miss Jer), and you could feed the whole family for less than a thin crust pizza from Harps.   

Now I am not downing McDonald’s; my own daughter learned customer service there or as we sometimes call it customer patience.  Some of you might remember her or she remembers you - as you might have yelled and cussed her out when she asked you to pull forward or advised that the ice cream machine was down for a third time that week.  

The first time I saw her walk the other way in the grocery store away from a well-known and respected businessman, I questioned her.  She said “Mom, that man is the most hateful man I know, he uses words I didn’t know existed over ice cream.”  I chuckled, but was sad at the same time.  What businessman cusses at a group of part-time teenage fast food workers making minimum wage that has 60 seconds to get your order ready? 

I wonder if that man cussed out the workers at the 3-Way Cafe?  I know he dined there a time or two, I sat at a table diagonal from him at least once.
Then I wonder if he would behave that way at the grocery store, the bank, the doctor's office, or anywhere else that normally hires adults?  Would he walk into my business and yell and scream at my employees?  Most of them are other local business owner’s teenage kids working part time for me.  

Is he the only one that doesn’t have it his way in 60 seconds has a toddler-like meltdown? I can answer that - NO, follow any local Facebook feed and you will see pages of rants on our local McDonalds, Dollar General, and the price of eggs at Harps. 

60 seconds or less to have our order right, must be $5 cheaper than Walmart even if it cost $10 in gas to get to Walmart, and must have 42 professionally trained people working for free to keep up with never ending stock trucks and lack of manpower. 

There are some real champions in our community.  I don’t always know their names, because sometimes they hide their name badges - I would too. 
At McDonald’s you will find 60 Second Match Winners; they take your order, work hard to get it right, and often take 3 more before you get to the window. They take your payment with people talking in their ear, and they make sure you have enough or little enough ice to make your day right!  Cheers to you Marble Hill McDonalds!  You are my People!  

At Dollar General; Patton, Marble Hill, and Arab the 900,000 Pallets of Freight Winners.  Dollar General is the second largest retail store in our county - never a slow day of customers.  They get Christmas merchandise in July and Easter at Thanksgiving.  Their card machines are broken 90% percent of the time and this is a nationwide problem, go to any Dollar General anywhere.  So yes, I once made a joke about their hours, but in truth, it’s not them, it’s corporate and our local people are working hard!  Thank you for serving our county!  

The Heart-Filled Harps Team!  The sad truth is Harps bought Country Mart at a bad time - Covid 2020.  The shortages, inflation, stock changes, remodels, supplier changes, no toilet paper, no beans, egg prices up, egg prices down, egg prices up, are they going down again? I have seen front row Christians say horrible things about one of the largest non-tax funded employers and their staff in our county.   A business that hires and trains young men and women from stocker to management.  A business that is one of our largest sales tax producers in the county - sales tax that supports our schools, road and bridge, and law enforcement.  The Harps team works hard, they are knowledgeable, giving, and care about our community.  There has never been a time that I have had to ask for extra supplies for our community gardens, because Harps covers it.  They also cover free food giveaway, Senior breakfast, and many more activities.  They love our community and still take a beating.  

Corporations make a lot of decisions for big local businesses, but the people who work there are still our people.  They still matter.  They are still part of our community.  

So the next time the ice cream machine is down at McDonald’s remember that might be a future customer of yours, sir.  

Mam’ the next time you don’t have it your way, remember that Facebook post might be read by your former customer, as they might not be your customer anymore.  

Take those 60 seconds, Give Grace.   

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