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Rejected at the drive-through.

Rejected by two fast food places

On Sunday nights, I work the third of my three main jobs, doing the evening Sunday night show on 103.7 Kiss FM (and no, I can't play that song you called in next, especially if it's by Soulja Boy, but I digress). It's fun but the only drawback is that you're stuck in a studio for six hours -- you literally can't leave or else the station would go silent, which may cause an accidental increase in ratings.

Often, I bring some food with me and graze while I work on the air. It's usually a sandwich from Subway. I'd call up, order a sandwich on my drive and have it ready for me to pick up as I hastily try to make it to the studio on time.

I've learned over the years to call ahead, eliminating the risk of getting there and having to wait behind an overfed family of six spending five minutes each deciding what toppings they want. So I called the Subway on Highway 100 in Greenfield to cheerfully place my usual order.

"Subway."

"Hi, can I order a sub to be picked up?"

"Ummm ... No."

(brief pause, eyebrows change direction) "What?"

"No."

"I can't order a sub to be picked up?"

"No."

"Uh, Why not?"

"Well, some people have called and placed orders for like five subs and never picked 'em up, so we don't do call-in orders any more."

"Wait, I've ordered a foot-long sub Sunday nights quite a bit over the past few years here. You're really not going to make me a sub I can pick up on my way to work?"

"No."

"Hmmm," I pondered, "Well, okay ... um ... thanks."

Click.

So, that was my Subway experience. Off to work I go, a little confused but not willing to bitch about it on the air because they're a sponsor.

After work -- six hours and nine spins of random Rihanna songs later -- I recalled spying a nearby McDonald's that advertised 24-hour drive-through service. I decided to pick up something ... maybe a Big Mac Snack Wrap or perhaps go the "healthy" route with a Filet-O-Fish. After nothing but vending machine consumables available for six hours, anything sounds appetizing.

So I pull into the McDonald's in Hales Corners, with the bright red sign in the front window that barks "Drive-Thru Open 24 Hours" so brightly it would make a casino blush. Looks like of dark inside, but I see kitchen lights on. I approach the speaker thingy.

"Hi, welcome to McDonald's. Would you like to try a McMocha McLatte McCafe today?" says the friendly, apparently pre-recorded voice.

"No, thanks. I'll just have a Big Mac Snack Wrap."

Silence. The screen, which would normally flash the order and price, isn't budging.

"Hello?" I call to the speaker.

If it were summer, crickets would be audible.

"Hellllooooo?" I call. Nothin'.

After another 15 seconds, I pull around. There's a girl visible in the first window. I motioned her. As she heads my way, I see a piece of paper tacked up in the window that announces they're only 24 hours now on Thursdays through Saturdays. It's now Sunday night / Monday morning. I'm SOL.

She opens the window, "sorry, we're not serving now."

"Mmm, okay," I said. "Is there a reason somebody still asked what I wanted to order when I pulled up?"

"I'm trying to shut that off now."

"Ah. You might want to turn off the big sign out front that says your drive-thru is open 24 hours a day, too."

Not like I was really mad, but geez. Excuse me for wanting to fill my pie hole at your establishment, which screams that it's open. But, at least she used the word "sorry." I didn't even get that at Subway.

So there you have it. Sure, I could have tried another place ... Wendy's, Taco Bell, even Webb's for a nice, greasy omelet. But it's not like these meals were important ... they just sounded kinda tasty at the right time. It's like most fast food purchases: impulsive, momentarily appealing, but not necessary (remember, we can live quite well without you, fast food places!).

I went home, had some cereal and went to bed thinking, "how does a guy get rejected twice by places that are supposed to be easy and quick in a single night?"

Based on that criteria, I decided to re-name that evening "Prom Revisited." And I took it as a sign that I should try to eat healthier.

Talkbacks

FunkyBrewster | March 20, 2009 at 7:20 a.m. (report)

You wasted more of your time and now ours trying to call in your order and whining about it on here. You are obviously one of those types who waste more time by being over prepared than you could possibly ever save. Now shut up and wait in line like everyone else... you aren't special.

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lks | March 3, 2009 at 9:14 p.m. (report)

Perhaps we all should have called 911: http://perezhilton.com/2009-03-03-chicken-mcnuggets-shortage-leads-to-florida-womans-arrest

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upofan | March 3, 2009 at 3:46 p.m. (report)

Here's a thought. Maybe pack your own healthy lunch and stop getting fatty foods at McDonald's and Subway. Yes that's right people. If you get cheese, mayo, and use white bread for your sandwiches...Subway is not good for you. Eat better...then you'll avoid the bad service too.

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LoisDemille | Feb. 20, 2009 at 8:36 a.m. (report)

Hey Eric, that blog left me feeling amused and sorry for you at the same time. While your story indicates a small inconvenience, it also highlights the problems with fast food. Entry level pay buys entry level experience in customer service. The really bad thing is that there are no managers to complain to about these types of impressions. It's the risk of fast food. Although it makes you wonder where common sense falls away in these employees?!?!?

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lks | Feb. 18, 2009 at 6:59 p.m. (report)

A few years back, I called Papa Johns on the Marquette campus around 8 or 9 p.m.. They took the pizza order than said, "oh, sorry we are out of dough." I inquired why they could not make more, they just said, they couldn't. I wondered why they answered the phone but you could still purchase chicken wings or pop.

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