Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Sugar Machine

Honestly, if it wasn't for the Happy Meals, I'd let it slide. But ever since the commercials started, I've been obsessed with getting McDonald's employees to put sugar in my coffee.

Normally, I wouldn't care whether someone put condiments in my coffee or not. I don't have the baristas do it at Starbuck's; I've never requested help with my coffee at 7-11. I once asked my wife to do it, but that ended badly. But a few things are different this time.

First and foremost, McDonald's promised me. The company's commercials say that if I buy coffee at one of their restaurants, one of the employees will add cream and sugar if I request it. And it's more than that. Judging from the smiles on the faces of the employees in the commercials (they are clearly lovin' it), the McDonald's employees might actually be disappointed if I don't let them fix the coffee to my taste.

Finally, I'm a parent and I can't take my kids out to eat anywhere without them crying for a toy. I blame McDonald's Happy Meals for this behavior. I'm bitter, McDonald's, and, frankly, I think you owe me.

I've ordered coffee three times from three different McDonald's restaurants since the commercials began. The first time I requested cream and sugar, the counter person handed me my admittedly delicious coffee and pointed me toward the condiment bar. The service improved the second time because, after I requested cream and sugar, the counter person actually handed me the condiments.

This is when my obsession fired into life. Was it just me? I kept seeing the commercials, but none of the McDonald's people actually seemed interested in helping me make my coffee. None of the employees actually seemed to be lovin' it at all. Had I offended someone? Was that bastard Ronald in the back secretly making coffee drinks for other customers? I had to find out.

On my third visit, I hit the drive-thru and specifically asked the order taker to put cream and sugar in my coffee. When I drove up to the window, I cheerfully asked, "Is there cream and sugar in this?" I gestured to the coffee.

"Nope," the lady replied back cheerfully. And then she handed me some creamers. I pressed on.

"I thought you guys added the cream and sugar?"

And, I swear to God, this is what she said:

"Normally, we do that. But today, the machine is broken."

This answer stunned me. They have a machine that adds cream and sugar to coffee? For a brief second, because I'm a guy, I had the overwhelming urge to buy one of those machines for my house. Then, I snapped to my senses.

"You couldn't add the cream and sugar by hand?" I asked.

She smiled. "We have a machine that does it - and it's broken. Sorry."

My quest for cream and sugar at McDonald's continues. It's a bittersweet quest - much like coffee - because only an asshole expects other people to make his coffee. At least that's what my wife says.

Honestly, if it weren't for the Happy Meals, I'd let it slide.

1 comment:

Grim Richard said...

I just tried a fourth McDonald's near my work. They pointed me to a bucket of creamers at the end of the counter. Damn your clown face, Ronald McDonald!