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Gave a Quarter and His Order…

#RunDMC #BusinessConsulting #CustomerService #BasicMath #Awareness #Options #Choices #Lesson #Learn

 
Shawn Trautman Lessons - Life - Learning - Blog by SHAWN TRAUTMAN
“He gave a quarter and his order, small fry, Big Mac, you be illin…” – anyone remember that Run DMC song?

Doesn’t matter for this story, but it kind of does as it involves a quarter and McDonald’s.

First, I rarely go to McDonald’s, but this morning found myself without coffee and an hour to spare so I made an exception.

In the front door I went and I immediately stopped to take in my surroundings as I regularly do.

To my left sat a young lady in her McDonald’s outfit who looked ready to man her register but didn’t move as she was on break and on the edge of her booth seat.

To the right, and behind the registers by the fries were two middle-ages ladies talking about the last drive-thru customer and how they didn’t care for how he spoke to them about his coffee.

Oh, and it smelled like a McDonald’s smells. It was an old familiar smell that doesn’t go away over time.

In front of me was another lady in her McDonald’s get-up. She was sweeping a pile and undoubtedly was not getting paid by the job. The sweeping speed resembled someone who was super careful not to kick up any dust while brushing the floor.

Imagine a slow brush of the bristles over the floor that covered about a foot of space and took about 3 seconds. Now imagine it again. And then again from a different direction.

It was painfully slow. Reminded me of what one might assume it’s like while waiting at the DMV.

I’ve now been inside for near 30 seconds and have moved up near the counter but no one’s there.

I can feel eyes upon me from the left and right, but no one moves. Then, slowly, the broom lady makes her way behind the counter with her mask half-covering her chin and partially on her mouth.

I want to ask her about this, but I choose against it. It’s probably best to not rock the boat at this point.

I order a medium coffee and the total came to $1.26. Any chance there’s an extra penny anywhere back there? I ask. She looks up at me without moving her head, but doesn’t respond. I assume that’s a no as the silence was deafening.

“Okay then, out of 200 cents” I tell her as I hand her two dollar bills. Again, no response. No smile. No reaction whatsoever and then she slowly extends her hands and takes the money.

Now, this next part is probably why they put those automatic change machines into most McDonald’s. I assumed they had one here, but I looked and nope, not here.

74 cents coming my way.

One coin at a time was plucked from one hand and then transferred to the other. One quarter. Then another. Then a dime. Then another dime. Then a penny. Then another penny. Then another penny. Then another penny.

I watched and was in pain as I desperately wanted to say something or help in some way. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t do anything but wait in silence while biting my lip.

Luckily, I was the only one in line. I assume frustration levels would be high at this point if anyone else was anywhere close to in a hurry.

I received my change and my coffee and am walking towards the restroom when I happen to look down and spot a penny. I smile and squat carefully with my coffee while I pluck this little gem up and turn to head back towards the register.

I hear “what do you want?” and see the lady who just handed me my money now placing her own order to what looks like the manager. Then, the young lady who was on break when I walked in, walks to the next register and just looks at me so I approach her.

With my hand outstretched, I show her the two dimes and five pennies. I spread them all out so she could easily see them and I asked “could I please trade these for a quarter?”

She looks at my hand (seemingly to count them), then asked me “how many?” I wanted to make sure I heard her right so I leaned in a bit and turned my head so one ear was closer as I said “I’m sorry?” with my eyebrows raised.

My right hand was outstretched with all coins still clearly visible. She glanced towards them. I glanced towards them to confirm and then I looked back up.

“How many quarters?” she asked. At this point, words failed me. there was a lot I wanted to say, but I froze. I just couldn’t spit it out as my lips were now pursed and my heart was now pounding from some kind of weird chemical release that my body just initiated.

She’s patiently waiting for an answer when, as slowly as the broom had swept minutes earlier, a single finger rose from my left hand.

My seven coins turned into one, but it wasn’t quick. As this was not a normal transaction, she had to get another person to come show her how to open the cash drawer to make the exchange.

Mind you, my mind has already wandered in about ten different directions on everything from training to human behavior to work ethic to efficiency to customer service and patience.

But, then, I remind myself that it’s just not my place. It’s not my lane. It’s not my monkeys. It’s not my problem.

But, it is my story and it is my quarter. I mean, after all, I did have to work for it.

PS – this was in no way meant to be demeaning or to call anyone out. It was merely my exact experience from my perspective and my internal dialogue and thought processes so you can experience it with me.

Perhaps my next visit will be less eventful?

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