You? The Brass at Wendy’s Wants to Know
Six-year-old T.F. Krause has a very short list of preferred foods, which
readers of this column know includes Hershey bars. But the staple of
T.F.’s diet is, thankfully, a vegetable. Wendy’s Fries. It warms a
father’s heart to see his son eat such healthy fare, so it is with great
pride that I pull up to the drive-through window six or seven times a
week to order medium fries, formerly Biggie fries, and yes I know that
makes no sense.
makes more sense than this:
man-to-speaker dialogue once went as follows:
Wendy’s, may I take your order?”
Medium) Fry please!”
(You have to say “fry” and not “fries” so they don’t ask you how many
“One-sixty-nine, thank you!” (If the employee is a newbie, they will
say, “Is that all?” But if it’s a seasoned pro who recognizes the
approach of the Krause men, it is understood that the fry order is it.)
Straightforward. What do you want? This. OK. Pay this much. OK. Drive
up. Now that’s efficient dialogue.
weeks ago, something new started. No more welcome-to-Wendy’s. No more
may-I-take-your-order. It started out as an ordinary day, but when I
pulled up to the Wendy’s drive-through with young, impressionable T.F.
in tow, the voice from the speaker said: “How are you?”
How am I?
What an interesting question. I’ve been feeling a little melancholy
lately. I slammed my finger in a door some months ago and the
discoloration is slowly fading.
How am I?
What response is appropriate when delivered through a fast-food
drive-through speaker? An even better question: Whose idea was it to
stop asking for orders and start asking for life assessments?
“Bibblyblop! We need to show our customers that we’re concerned for
going to stop putting beef grizzle in the chili?”
ridiculous, Bibblyblop. I love the grizzle chili. We need to start
asking our customers how things are going in their lives. Show them that
do we care, boss?”
What does that have to do with anything? We just have to ask. When do we
have a chance to talk to them?”
ask for their orders.”
Bibblyblop. We’re going to stop doing that.”
asking for orders?”
asking for orders! Ask our customers how their lives are going instead!”
boss . . .”
It can’t be
easy to be Bibblyblop. But it’s not easy being a Wendy’s customer these
days either. Now, before I pull up to the drive-through window, it’s not
enough to simply know what I want to order. I have to take stock of my
life. My hopes. My dreams. Do I have my priorities in a logical order?
1-2-3-5 . . . here goes!
recently I’ve been questioning certain directions. Choices about which I
felt so certain are now called into question as I examine the
consequences of my actions. Have I been completely honest with myself?
With others? Have I chosen for the right reasons? Or have I done too
much hoping and not enough honest assessing . . . ?”
“May I take
Now I don’t remember what I wanted to get. Looks like T.F. will have to
settle for a Hershey bar.
© 2006 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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