Driving around, doing my errands, being a good Mommy & getting frivolous things my children wanted, things like boots & food & medicine, & going to appointments, I got a hankering for a Coke. Now, it's not entirely common for me to get a hankering for a good ol' Coke. It's only a few times a day, no big deal.
So I get this hankering for a Coke & where is the best place to get Coke? McDonald's of course. Not only do they have the best tasting Coke ever but I can get a ridiculously large amount of this sugar-caffeine sensation for only $1.06. When I'm near a McDonald's, my truck goes into auto pilot because it just knows that I must go through that drive thru & get that large Coke to satisfy my hankerings.
So this day I pulled into McDonald's, with just enough time to get through the line, get my Coke, & be on my way to my appointment. It's just 1 large stinkin' Coke, how much time can this take, right?
Oh, how much time indeed.
When I ordered at the little screen with a mouth box, I said, "Just a large Coke, please." The man behind the little screen with a mouth box asked, "Anything else?" I looked at the seat next to me but it was empty, so I had to say it to myself, "Didn't I say 'just a large Coke' or was that in my head?" To the little screen with the mouth box I said, "No, thank you, just the large Coke."
I looked at the little screen. I did. It said 1 large Coke.
When I got to the window, the boy-man wanted to charge me for 2 Cokes. Two! Um, I said it twice, dude. Because I made this horrendous decision to point out that I only want, thus should pay for, 1 large Coke, the manager had to be called over to correct what was apparently my mistake. Once this 2-minute task was completed, I was allowed to pay my $1.06 for my 1 large Coke.
The boy-man took my $2.00, said, "Thank you. Have a nice day" & shut the window & walked away. I sat there in my truck, unsure whether I should knock on the window, yell "Boy-man!!", drive forward & tell the next window person, or wait until the vehicles behind me honk their horns causing someone to surely come running back to the window to see why I'm not moving forward. Lost in thought, weighing my options, the manager walked past & saw me sitting there with my hands in the air, moving up & down, literally weighing each option. He went to get the boy-man. That's when the boy-man came running with a look on his face of "oh shit" as he realized that he just stole 94 cents from me.
After I was given my change & apologies for the mistake, I went to the next window. Yay, Coke is in my near, near future! Relief flooded over me. I took my Coke & felt a rush of euphoria flood over me as I knew I was ever so close to drinking my oh so wonderful Coke.
I drove away while opening the straw. That damn straw. I swear the wrapper was super glued to that straw. As my mouth watered at the thought of this delicious Coke sitting in the cup holder, waiting for me to drink it, I resorted to gnawing the wrapper off the damn straw. Driving down the road, on my merry way, I gnawed at the wrapper, spitting pieces of thin white paper out of my mouth, while keeping my eyes on the road but my mind was on my Coke. I finally chewed through all of that super glued wrapper & released my straw from its prison. Yes! I plunged that straw deep into the large cup of Coke while at a stop light & drool dripped from the right side of my mouth while I brought it to my mouth.
Aah...sweet Coca-Cola, how I dearly love you. How I...WTF? This is DIET Coke!
Hear that sound? That record suddenly screeching to a halt? That was me.
I whipped my truck into the next parking lot, turned that sucker around with the speed of a woman on a hell-bent mission, & headed back in the direction of that damn McDonald's.
I pulled into the McDonald's parking lot, parked, grabbed my Coke & my receipt that clearly did not have diet printed anywhere on it, & marched into that store. At the counter all 12 workers simultaneously looked up as the door blew open on its own allowing me to walked through, the music stopped, customers at the counter turned to watch me, & babies stopped crying. No one spoke. I walked to the counter & set my non-Coke on it & eyed down one of the workers.
This worker walked over to me & said, "What can I get you?"
"I ordered a Coke & this is a Diet Coke. I would like a Coke, please." While I was not happy & I had steam encircling my entire body from it rolling it so heavily out of my ears, I did say please.
This worker turned & looked at the window worker. I followed her gaze. I looked at the window worker. The window worker, given this opportunity to apologize for a mistake, said, "That's my machine's fault, not mine."
Are you kidding me? I just looked at her. She looked down. I kept looking at her. Finally she said, without looking up...ready for it?...here is what she said..."Give her a cup & she can get it on her own from the other machine. I'm too busy to get it."
Oh, no, she didn't.
The worker in front of me grabbed a medium cup & tossed it across the counter. Then...
I grabbed that cup, knowing I'm already late for my appointment now, & went to the other Coke machine. I put ice into my medium, not large, cup & put it under the Coke spout. When I pushed the Coke spout, I was immediately sprayed head to toe with Coke water. I threw my cup into the garbage can, walked back to the counter where the first worker came back to me, & said, "You need to change the Coke" while holding my arms, dripping Coke, out at my side.
She didn't say a word to me, walked to the back, & disappeared on me. As each 10-second increment of time passed, the more then steam rolled out of my ears. I just wanted a damn Coke!
The worker finally reappeared only to walk over to the window worker & ask her, "Can you get her a Diet Coke now?"
Did she just say that?
Not a Diet Coke! What is wrong with these people? Diet makes me want to puke. It's gross. It has an after taste that lasts for hours. It gives me a headache. It's gross. I said, "Coke."
They looked at me & then quickly looked away. Window worker said, "Here, give her this one. I'll make a new one for this order." Gee, was that so hard?
The worker brought me a soda, set it on the counter, & said, "See if this one works."
Works? What works? That the Diet didn't magically appear in my soda again & this one remains regular Coke? I'm not understanding this command.
I took it & walked out to my truck, where amazingly the wrapper relinquished the straw immediately this time, so even the straw knew not to mess with me, & tasted my Coke. Finally a real Coke.
Before I tossed the receipt into the garbage in my truck, I had a flashback to when the window worker gave it to me with the original dreadful Diet Coke. In slow motion, I saw her reaching out through the window with the cup, straw, & receipt in her hand. In that slow motion voice she said, "There's a survey request on your receipt. We would love it if you would go online & fill out the survey about your experience here today."
As the picture of this flashback filled my truck & I again heard the words she said, a grin very slowly spread across my face. Very, very slowly spread across my face. As the flashback dissipated, leaving me in a truck by myself, I put the receipt into a safe place in my purse. Quietly I said, "Oh, I will. And you will love it" as I lifted that Coke to my lips for a nice sip of cold real-Coke.
And I did fill out that online survey.
And guess who got a call, apologies, & freebies?