When I was in my twenties and early thirties, Wendy’s was probably my favorite fast food place. I especially liked that I could choose what went on my burger. And then, about ten or fifteen years ago, I stopped eating there. I wasn’t sure why; I just didn’t feel like it anymore.
I had a nighttime work assignment last night, so my usual strategy is to pig out at lunchtime and try to get a few hours’ sleep before having to go to work. I was doing paperwork in the office through lunchtime, and the usual places I go to for lunch aren’t really for pigging out (as I get older, I have to worry about keeping my figure), so I thought I’d revisit Wendy’s, and get a double burger and a Frosty.
“Hi,” I said to the staffer behind the counter. “I’d like a double, with cheese, ketchup, pickles, and onions….”
“Um… what?” she replied.
“A double, with cheese, ketchup, pickles, and onions.”
“I can’t follow…. Can you tell me what you don’t want on it? Would you like mayonnaise?”
Oh, bother. Now what are all the possible things I can get on a burger at Wendy’s?
“No, no mayonnaise. I’d like a burger with cheese, ketchup, pickles, and onions. Nothing else.” How hard can that be?
My burger came with… cheese, pickles, onions, lettuce, and tomato. No ketchup, and no mayonnaise (thankfully: I really don’t like mayo on a burger). My wife is always after me to eat my vegetables, so I kept the lettuce and tomato; I put ketchup on myself; the experience was salvaged.
And I realized why I stopped going to Wendy’s. It’s really annoying to deal with the staff stumbling about with an order that was uniformly handled with deft precision twenty years ago.
At least the Frosty hasn’t changed.