My Breakfast Confrontation At McDonald’s

mcd-checkout

I’ve been mulling this experience for a while, and since it still ticks me off, and since today seems like an especially provocative time to raise it, here it comes.

I was accompanying my wife as she went to a clinic for some early morning outpatient surgery, and as she waited in the one-chair-short reception room, I went next door to a McDonald’s to order breakfast. As usual, my wallet had moths flying out of it, so I knew it was going to be a debit card purchase. My apparently mute clerk took my order —remember when Ray Kroc insisted that every employee say “Hello!” and “Thank-you”? Now you are lucky to get eye contact and a grunt—the modest amount appeared,  and I swiped my card. The machine told me that the card was rejected. I swiped again. Rejected again.

“OK, now what am I supposed to do?” I asked. : This is a good card, and there is plenty on money in the bank.”

My clerk  said only, “Pay!”

“I can’t pay, because of your stupid machines. I want to buy my breakfast. This is my only means of payment. The card readers is  malfunctioning!”

She said again, louder and with irritation, “PAY! PAY!”

“Don’t tell me pay pay, because I just told you, I tried to pay pay, and  your equipment won’t let me pay pay! Find a way for me to pay!” I replied, with the delightful intensity for which I am well-known.

Now she started angrily shaking the receipt at me, shouting PAY three times and nothing else, apparently having reached the zenith of her language skills.

“LOOK!” I said. “This is your store. All I want to do is pay a lousy 7 bucks for a sausage biscuit and a coffee, and this machine is stopping me. I can’t pay if your lousy equipment isn’t maintained. FIND A WAY FOR ME TO PAY! That’s your job!”

You’ll never guess her response.

No, go ahead, guess.

She thrust the receipt into my hands and said, with an infuriating “You’re the idiot here” eye-roll, “PAY!”

I looked at the paper. The receipt showed a completed transaction! The machine had said DENIED, but the charge had gone through anyway.

“For future reference, ” I said to the red-face young woman, “the word you wanted was ‘PAID’, with a DEE on the end, not ‘PAY,’which means something entirely different.”

And I got my sausage biscuit.

It was yummy.

A citizen has an obligation to speak the language, and the language is English, sufficiently to perform the duties of that job efficiently and without making interactions with customers stressful and difficult. Employers have a duty not to place non-English speaking legal immigrants in jobs requiring levels of English proficiency that they can’t manage. (They also have an obligation not to hire illegal immigrants at all, even if they can speak English like Henry Higgins.)

I am kind, understanding and patient with new Americans with nearly impenetrable accents (unless they are on the drive-thru mic, in which case it is a case of intentionally torturing customers), people who stutter, and native citizens whose parents and the public school system never taught them how to speak properly for  a business setting. (I am especially kind, understanding and patient if they smile, look me in the eye, and don’t behave as if they are doing me a favor.) However, people who can’t speak or understand English sufficiently to interact with an English-speaking public, like my incompetent clerk, get no sympathy from me, and should not be enabled by their employers, customers or society. Learn the damn language.

And when the new administration took down all but the English text on the White House web page, that McDonald’s breakfast was still on my mind.

76 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Citizenship, Daily Life, Etiquette and manners, language, U.S. Society, Workplace

76 responses to “My Breakfast Confrontation At McDonald’s

  1. I was in complete agreement with the post until a comparison was made between a stutterer and non-English speaking immigrants working at the drive-through at fast food restaurants. I have been a speech pathologist for almost 30 years. It sickens me that anyone would compare a person with a stutter to a non-English speaking worker. Do you have any idea how much “guts” it takes for a stutterer to work in a job, usually forced by a manager because they are short handed, that makes them uncomfortable and destroys the small self-esteem they were able to keep by getting a minimum wage job? Stutterers were not failed by the public school system. Stuttering has many causes, it’s a complex speech disorder that may be a symptom of an emotional problem, or indicative of a neurological disorder that involves the brain and coordination of the nerves and muscles needed for fluent speech. The person that made this comparison is showing his own ignorance and it has nothing to do with non-English speaking immigrants. This person also has no patience or respect for those protected by IDEA. That is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act or ADA, The Americans with Disabilities Act which protects workers with disabilities. I guess the writer of this post should be grateful to have been born “perfect” but prejudiced, or biased, as well as possibly a racist.

    • What?

      Key terms bolded:
      I am kind, understanding and patient with new Americans with nearly impenetrable accents (unless they are on the drive-thru mic, in which case it is a case of intentionally torturing customers), people who stutter, and native citizens whose parents and the public school system never taught them how to speak properly for a business setting. (I am especially kind, understanding and patient if they smile, look me in the eye, and don’t behave as if they are doing me a favor.) However, people who can’t speak or understand English sufficiently to interact with an English-speaking public, like my incompetent clerk, get no sympathy from me, and should not be enabled by their employers, customers or society. Learn the damn language.

      Simplified:

      “I am kind, understanding and patient with people who stutter. However, people who can’t speak or understand English sufficiently to interact with an English-speaking public, like my incompetent clerk, get no sympathy from me.”

      That looks more like a contrast comparison, which is good…NOT a equating comparison, which might validly set off your hackles…

    • Well, THAT was uncalled for. I was comparing the compassion and patience required when anyone with speech problems—it’s nice you have special interest in stuttering, but for the listener who has limited time and a life to leave, it doesn’t matter WHY an individual can’t communicate, nor is someone trying to live and work in a country without being adept in the language any less at a disadvantage than a stutterer—is struggling to make himself or herself understood.

      You don’t know who you are talking to. (BOY, you are a pretentious jerk! Wow.) I have trained in dealing with stutterers. I have worked with them in the theater and as a teacher. I teach for a living, and on a clock: do you have any idea how difficult it is when a seminar student raises his hand and has to work through a question stammering while the rest of the class or 150 waits, and time is running out to cover the material? I’m sure you don’t care, being a tunnel-visioned, arrogant ass, but the fact is that it causes real problems, one person’s interests against 100 or more. And I am patient, and attentive, and don’t finish sentences, and am respectful, because I know its a handicap.

      This is the sentence you claim marks me as a “probable racist”:

      “I am kind, understanding and patient with new Americans with nearly impenetrable accents (unless they are on the drive-thru mic, in which case it is a case of intentionally torturing customers), people who stutter, and native citizens whose parents and the public school system never taught them how to speak properly for a business setting.”

      You are a rude, foolish idiot, and you can leave, permanently, unless you want to apologize for a completely unfair and hysterical attack. You can e-mail me, and it better be a grand grovel, because this was inexcusable. Mentioning a list of individuals who have one thing in common is not comparing them: it appears that you don’t understand English too well yourself..

      Unbelievable.

    • joed68

      So, you’re standing up for stutterers, but denigrating managers with short hands?

    • I’ll boil this down to a simple ‘meme’

      Colleen, you are an idiot. /meme

      The pure arrogance and ignorance of coming on AN ETHICS BLOG and ranting like that is national level stupid. You have no clue how many ethics you violated in your rush to misunderstand and judge, and probably should read the rules before you post on another’s site.

      This is not Facebook, and this style of rabid attack dogging is unwelcome.

    • Colleen,
      If a person is placed in a position to that is required to communicate directly with the public, then that person needs to be able to understand and speak English, at least reasonably fluently, and in a manner in which the average Joe in the public can understand. Would you give a job as a 911 operator to a person that stutters badly under pressure, no you wouldn’t; context is everything in this conversation. If the person is required to communicate with the public, then they must be reasonably prepared for their job and able to communicate.

      Now Colleen please climb down off your pompous horse and stop spewing rationalizations and personal insults.

    • Anonymous Coward

      I was in complete agreement with the post until he said the biscuit was yummy.

      No breakfast food from McDonald’s could be described as such.

      Also, as previously pointed out: you crazy

  2. So, as to the actual article: learning the language of your host country is polite as well as useful, when you move away from home. It also helps you assimilate into your chosen society.

    Many don’t seem to care when they move here these days, instead bitterly clinging to the mores, languages, and thought processes that chased them from their former homes, not seeing that our country is successful because of how we do things. Without our mores and thought processes, America would not be the country the world moves to for a better life.

    Therefore, I ask: to what extend (if any) does the common language of a country bind it’s society together? Is it positive or negative to declare an ‘official’ language, as many nations have done?

    Should English be the official language of the USA? Why or why not? If it is positive for other nations to have done so, why not here? If it is negative, why do so many nations have an official language? Are they all wrong while America is right?

    • I generally prefer the free-market approach when it is possible, and I think it works well here. The people have chosen English, and if you don’t speak it, you get excluded from economic activity with everyone else, and there is no one to rescue you, so learn English or perish.

      Declaring an official language seems unnecessary, or even presumptuous. Why must the government give its stamp of approval when the people have already spoken?

      • Emily

        I totally agree, and what’s more, it allows that there might be places in the US where English isn’t the predominant language, which is good and often necessary for new immigrant communities *in order to* assimilate.

        This is why you ended up with Chinatowns, Germantowns, and Little Italys in major cities: they offered space for first generation immigrants to get by on their first language, while being exposed to English in the rest of the city in case they wanted to venture out into the rest of the country.

        The problem comes when the multicultural ideologues try to argue that we need to make allowances for first generation immigrants. Not having a national language, and therefore allowing them to form spaces where they can communicate in whatever language they like, *is the allowance* of a multicultural society.

      • I have to tell you that sounds good. But having lived in Miami for 4 years in the past, I can tell you that if you go to a store in Little Havana, and can’t speak Spanish, you’re completely ignored by the store owners there. Happened more then once, they don’t even try to serve you or figure out what you want, they just help the next customers until you leave.

        Even in downtown Miami, near the business district, you get waiters in restaurants who can’t speak English. You then need to rely on a coworker or someone at another table to translate for you.

        • …can’t speak Spanish, you’re completely ignored by the store owners there…

          A little instructive story from my life.

          In and around San Antonio, there is a thriving Latino population, as well as an older, aging German one. Thus, one might be bilingual in either Spanish and German, or both. Growing up in Texas means I have a decent understanding of Tex-Mex (Spanish with English thrown in) and I learned German in the Army, back during the cold war.

          My girlfriend’s family (now my wife) was from north of San Antonio (German areas) so I could visit during school holidays and listen in on the oldsters who spoke Texaner-Deutch (German with English words thrown in where vocabulary has been lost over the generations), generally when they did not want the younger generation to understand. This was usually because they were being ‘earthy’ in commenting on the youngsters. This was generally civil as we were in polite company; just embarrassing or uncouth if it was said in English.

          San Antonio was the supply depot for bulk purchases, and it was not uncommon for my future Father-in-Law and I to drive into ‘the city’ for supplies on such visits. I first observed there how you could be ignored if you did not speak Spanish in even the most public of places, depending if a supervisor was in earshot.

          One grocery store trip found us in a long line behind two Latino ladies, who were being very derogatory in their conversation about the gringos around them. They spoke in Spanish, of course (we found that they were *quite* fluent (native speakers) in English once they got to the cashier, so this was similar to the German Oldsters in that respect). Both my future Father-in-Law and I understood them well enough, and so I started a conversations with him in German, mostly about the weather.

          You can guess that the Latino ladies were highly offended at not being able to understand us (note that even curses in Spanish are poetry on the ear, but ANYTHING in German sounds like curses to a non-speaker)

          It really upset the ladies, who knew good and well that they had been caught being rude, and that they could not complain because they were doing the same.

          The difference was that we were not speaking of them, and never implied that we were. They assumed we were talking critically about them, because that was how they used their advantage in public. And how dare they speak about me in a language I don’t understand!

          Racism runs in all directions, along with plain old fashioned bigotry, prejudice, and tribal thinking. Doesn’t make it right, just makes it common to all God’s children.

    • John Billingsley

      Countries that have an official language often do so because there are many different languages spoken within the country and one has to be chosen as the language that official business will be conducted in. The majority of people in the country may not even understand that language. In looking at the effect of a language on uniting a country, the book “The Stories of English” by David Crystal spends some time looking at that issue. He is speaking primarily of England but if you are at all interested in the history of the English language it is a very interesting book. Incidentally, at one time the “official” language of England was French but almost nobody spoke or understood it except the Normans and the upper classes.

  3. ALERT: Collen has been banned. She was banned for her previous post, but I gave her a chance to apologize, which she did not take, responding with a string of insults to me, to everyone. Apparently she is irrationally hyper-defensive of those who have the painful problem of stuttering, and tortured language to find an offense in an off-hand statement that was neither intended to be derogatory nor was. Ethics Alarms will tolerate sudden flip-outs up to a point, but Colleen didn’t just cross the line, she obliterated it. Here, as an example of res ipsa loquitur, is her final farewell. She was banned BEFORE this, but what the hell:

    “You are all jerks! Read between the lines of the original post. We cannot group together language disabilities with non-English speaking immigrants. All deserve a chance to make a living. I thought this was a great site. It’s just another bunch of opinionated self-righteous people pushing their own agendas while ignoring everything else. Good-bye morons.”

    • Not only does Colleen not get it, but she doesn’t want to.

    • Eternal optometrist

      Wow. Someone hasn’t had their coffee yet. I suggest a ban, as opposed to a suspension, of this person.

    • Eternal Optometrist

      To quote the Simpsons (Marge to Homer), “you not only crossed the line, you threw up on it!”

    • John Billingsley

      All deserve a chance to make a living but not necessarily at any job they desire. Stuttering, or any other speech or language impediment, certainly does not make one a bad person or mean that he or she should not be allowed to work, but it does limit job choice. Stuttering or inability to speak correct English should bar one from jobs such as 911 operator, air traffic controller, cashier, or any other job where that ability is necessary to carry out the basic functions of the job. The point is, we can group together language disabilities and non-English speaking when we are looking at the effect they have on the ability to perform a specific task that requires verbal communication.

    • Colleen said, “opinionated self-righteous people pushing their own agendas while ignoring everything else.”

      That sentence describes Colleen perfectly. Colleen you are a hypocrite.

    • Know who isn’t opinionated, Coleen? Persons who do not think. Know who is a lot less likely to be self-righteous? Someone with no morals or ethics. By the way, “agenda” is the plural. “agendum” is the singular.

  4. I was in a new Mexican Restaurant in my area a while back and I swear my waiter only new enough spoken English to ask “Can I take your order?”, “Do you want water?”, and say “Thank you”; the guy stood there with a completely blank stare when I asked about one of the menu items. I had to pull out my smart phone, find Google Translate, and ask for someone that speaks English. When the manager came over, his English was so terribly broken that he was only marginally understandable. We ended up leaving and told them we we would try again in a couple of months; we did go back a few months later and they were a LOT better and now it’s on our frequent list.

    This was completely unacceptable service in a small mid-western town in the United States of America. It’s not my responsibility to be fluent in every language on the planet so I can understand the language of those that are providing service to the general public. When providing a service to the general public, you must be able to effectively communicate with that public.

    • R

      Rule “numero uno” with Mexican (and most ethnic) food is: The more bars on the windows and greater the language barrier, the better the food.

      I’m surprised you left defeated your first attempt when most common items on a menu are fairly transitive between Spanish and English (tacos, burritos, enchiladas, salsa, carne asada, etc). Even tacos lengua (tongue) or corazon (heart) will still be delicious, although i’d suggest avoiding the tripas(tripe) or cerebro (brain / cerebral). I’m glad it worked out for you on your second attempt though. Good tacos are worth the sacrifice and embarrassment of waving one’s hands about and making cow, chicken, pig, or eggplant noises.
      As someone in an above comment pointed out, the “free market” usually dictates what language the staff are speaking,and when a majority of a customer base only speaks Spanish, it makes sense to me to have Spanish speakers. While the merits of a bi-lingual front of house rep aren’t lost on me, If I’m one of only ten gringo customers the entire day, I care more about having tacos than whether or not my they are capable of exchanging pleasantries.

      • Good tacos are worth the sacrifice and embarrassment of waving one’s hands about and making cow, chicken, pig, or eggplant noises.

        I agree. This same dynamic works for Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. We have an excellent Thai place locally where the language skills take second place to the ability to cook 🙂 We have had to point a few times, but never used the creature noises.

        My only question: what noise does Tofu make?

        • Pennagain

          Tofu makes white noise.

          • joed68

            Tofu makes a sucking noise.

            • Hey! I *like* the tofu at my Thai place… and I can be sure it is not other than ‘as advertised/’ (who would fake Tofu?)

              For instance, the chicken always strikes me as suspicious. Tastes a bit like TVP

              • joed68

                I’ve actually learned how to make tofu taste halfway decent, due to having a vegetarian wife and kids. I sear it in avocado or olive oil until it is about medium-brown, giving it some “al dente”.

                • Pennagain

                  I like tofu. The Japanese made it in a chili sauce, filling with a bite. First dish that turned me onto veggie over meat. Never saw it on a menu in the US though. (My “white noise” was a double play; worked better than the eggplant noise suggested by R.)

      • R said, “I’m surprised you left defeated your first attempt when most common items on a menu are fairly transitive between Spanish and English…”

        Defeated; I think you’re a bit off base with that. The frustration level was high enough to not allow for a honest evaluation of the food. Good food will increase the probability of people returning; however, poor service will drive people away regardless of how good the food is. If the food had only been average, I might never have come back because of the service. It was the right thing for me to voice my concerns to the manager that evening, go somewhere else for that evening, and then make a special effort to return as I said I would.

        My conversation with the manager that evening was respectful and well worth it, the return was worth the effort. The food is consistently above average and the service is always good now, I have personally complemented them on both. I firmly believe that exceptional service should be noted just as equally as very poor service. I frequent the place enough now that one of the waiters knows what my usual order is, we have very pleasant conversations, and I tip really well.

  5. wyogranny

    What is so hard to understand about having the qualifications to do the job? It’s not always fair. Most things aren’t. But if your job requires you to speak and understand English that is the minimum requirement.

    I have a sister who is deaf. She, at my mother’s insistence, learned to lip read and to speak English. She doesn’t even know how to use sign. Her speaking voice is flat and some of her intonations sound foreign, but she is completely capable of communicating face to face. She worked in retail and is quite effective. Several of her daughters make their living in call centers. Should she have a meltdown because that option is not open to her? What good would it do? If you don’t have the skills for a certain job there are many other jobs. If the one you want isn’t suitable for you, you have to learn to do it or move on.

    I would love to make the money a former student of mine makes. He’s the owner of a SEO company. I’m unqualified to do that job, but I would love to make as much money as he does. Too bad. Unless I learn how to do the job I’ll never qualify.

    It seems to me the answer is to stop propping up the unqualified and actually helped them get qualified for something they can learn to do. You get what you accept. Every teacher knows that.

  6. dragin_dragon

    Just a bye-the-by, English is ALREADY the official language of Arizona. This was made necessary because of the myriad native American languages there as well as Spanish-speaking immigrants (both legal and illegal). It seems to be working out well for them. (An unrelated aside: Native American is a misnomer…their ancestors migrated just like everybody else’s.)

  7. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Basic competence is sometimes hard to come by. That’s why it’s tough for municipalities in NJ to hire office staff, due to the requirement that the employee live in the municipality. Just being able to speak English is not that common in some of the heavily immigrated cities, where you are more likely to hear Spanish or one of the myriad of languages spoken in India. They waive the requirement for lawyers, since we are few, and there is a superseding state statute that says the emergency services people must live in the municipality when hired and for the first year, but then can move anywhere in the state (mostly to prevent police and their families becoming relatively easy targets for retaliation by gangs, but later extended to fire and, I think, corrections), but everyone else is required to be local.

    As for struggling due to a disability, I hear you, but placing someone in a job beyond their capabilities isn’t the customer’s fault. The real problem isn’t any of these things. The problem is the increasingly rotten work ethic and attitude prevalent in this country, on both sides of the management/labor divide.

  8. Spartan

    Most native-born Americans don’t want these jobs Jack because they can’t live on the salary. Immigrants don’t have as many choices.

    • Most native-born Americans don’t want these jobs Jack because they can’t live on the salary. Immigrants don’t have as many choices.

      Isn’t that circular reasoning? I am being respectful of a point of view, Spartan, that I suspect the logic of, and therefore wish to discuss. That is a way to learn and challenge my preconceived notions 🙂

      If illegals did not exist, for the sake of discussion, then the salary would be enough for the worker to live on. If that was not the case, no one would work the job. This resonates throughout the economy, as I suspect the cost of living reflects what people make. Market forces seek to maximize profits while reducing costs (and why I also suspect that a $15 minimum wage would be meaningless)

      Put another way: employers will pay the minimum needed to get the services of employees, and if that cuts too deep they will not get any employees to work there. Illegals in jobs allow that standard to be artificially lowered, to everyone’s detriment. Then we provide a safety net to citizens (and many illegals) that makes it impossible to go to work, due to the benefit to cost ratio for the poor.

      I don’t believe that ‘there are some jobs Americans won’t do,’ as this is a slap in the face to every rural laborer across the country: WE do those jobs and have for generations.

      This is open for discussion as far as I am concerned. Others may have different experiences and information I have not examined.

      • Spartan

        Who is talking about illegals? I said immigrants.

        • Immigrants are either citizens, or here legally in whatever fashion. This implies that they are working for a living wage, being above the table (and not a criminal, as illegal immigrants are)

          You might not be saying this, but the Leftist MSM surely is: ‘immigrants’ instead of ‘illegal immigrants’ when that is what the discussion is about. This is a scare tactic, unethical and dishonest.

          My apologies if you simply meant ‘those who are here legally but might be English challenged.’ I don’t see how someone who pays taxes, Social Security, and obeys the law can be forced to work for sub standard wages, but that was the implication I read in your comment.

          She still was unqualified to speak to the public regardless of her circumstances.

          • Spartan

            Let’s revisit. I know several “legal” immigrant families, and everyone in that family works and sometimes they are multiple families living in the same house to make ends meet. So, while you or I might not be able to get by on a minimum wage job per our standard of living, 6 or 7 people in a family working minimum wage will be able to pay the rent and buy groceries. And they take those jobs, because those are the jobs that are offered to them — and they are still far better than those available in their native country. If American native-born English speakers wanted those jobs, don’t you think McDonalds would rather hire them?

            Jack’s blog was interesting to me because these immigrants are everywhere. They are in landscaping companies, factories, the kitchen in every restaurant, cleaning services for most corporations, taxi drivers, crop-pickers, etc. Sure, some of these people are illegal, but many more are here legally — and most of them are invisible to the rest of us except for those who have to interact with them to get our Big Macs.

            Instead of getting cranky, I would have used this as an exercise between “pay” and “paid.” I’m sure her Spanish is a lot better than Jack’s (or my) English.

            • joed68

              Sounds to me like she got a little cranky herself. I would say that if you’re relatively new to a country, trying to communicate with the natives, it might be proper communication etiquette for the non-native to be, let’s say, the more patient one.
              Just jumping in from my cell phone, may have skimmed over some things.

        • He is understandably confused, since for more than a decade much of the news media and many elected officials have intentionally conflated the two, make sure that it is as difficult as possible to make a clear distinction.

    • That’s the point, of course. The jobs have to be done. If there aren’t fearful illegals to take them, the jobs will be paid what they are worth.

      • Spartan

        You are high if you think McDonalds knowingly hires illegals.

        • joed68

          I can’t imagine Jack high. Lets see, I’ll give it a shot;…..nope, does not compute. Syntax error.

        • I don’t. And McDonald’s jobs aren’t what we are talking about, and this post isn’t about illegal immigrants. I’m not telling illegal immigrants that they should learn the language, either. If they learn it, they should learn it where they are a legal citizen.

        • You are high if you think McDonalds knowingly hires illegals.

          ‘Knowingly’ is the key term, here.

          Don’t know about where you live, but here there is a *thriving* business selling illegals fake IDs, stolen IDs, and other peoples Social Security numbers. They also use these items to steal tax refunds, fake filing or real, and to generate credit debt.

          That this defrauds the owners of those items and complicates their lives makes no difference to the already criminal illegals.

      • Spartan

        My husband just reminded me that his grandmother (who was born here) didn’t speak a word of English.

    • Chris

      You have a point, Spartan, but it is still unethical of the local McDonalds to hire a cashier who can’t communicate with the majority of customers. I have less of a problem with this woman taking whatever job she can than I have with an employer giving her a job she isn’t qualified for.

      • I agree that it is laudable for the woman to work to support herself, in any fashion she can. One gets many positive traits by working to support one’s self and family, that one does not get from continual handouts.

        I often tell my employer that I will cut the grass outside the office if that is what is on the agenda for the day. I agreed to work, and ‘other duties as assigned’ could mean digging ditches. They pay me very well for what I do, I suspect well above what someone will cut grass for, but I am a team player. I might not be the best qualified for certain duties, but will cheerfully perform them to the best of my ability. (They have never taken me up on the offer, which is a shame, as a day in the sunshine beats a cubical most days)

        I draw the line (and I do not know if this lady is) when illegals take said jobs (being criminals in the first place) while American citizens are priced out of the market.

  9. E2 (nee Elizabeth I)

    Two quick items.

    1. The national language of India is English — yes the language of those horrible imperialists — because there are literally hundreds of languages/dialects within the borders of India, and one official language — without favoring one region or dialect over another — became English, spoken in schools and government agencies for several hundred years.

    2. My father — dear pinko liberal who took it all very seriously as part of his Christian faith — espoused loudly that an act of Congress should make English the official, and only, language of the US. His reasoning was an interesting one: “We used to have religion and ethnicity as primary bonders of people in the US, even through the great immigrations of the early 20th century when first generation natural born children of immigrants learned and spoke English. Now we have neither religion nor ethnicity. What can bind us together aside from platitudes? English! And we need something…” (He was also notoriously against
    “pass/fail” in the public schools: “The world isn’t pass/fail; achievers achieve.” And yes, he was a real, true liberal who sometimes had a divergent thought…)

  10. If the machines truly aren’t working and the card was your only way to pay, then what: must they give you the breakfast for free? In that case, you get to keep your highly entitled attitude and they keep their breakfast food.

    Sometimes the network to the bank is down. The McD employee doesn’t OWE you 24hour access to that network or even a hello [Some of us love a friendly person, but don’t NEED it every time when they provide what we’re paying for]. And you don’t owe them any continued patronage. So time for you to let go of unnecessary tension, big up and find a way to uphold your side of the deal: the payment. On their side, they had the food ready for you.

    • 1. Not the issue.
      2. What? Any business owes its customers competence and convenience.
      3. Dumb comment. Nice try at excusing the inexcusable and blaming the victim, though.

      • joed68

        Wow. You were generous with “nice try”.

      • Chris

        I actually thought this post was going in the direction that Ze Tristan focused on, before I read the whole thing.

        I wanted to address this part of the post too. If they actually had been unable to process the card, for instance if their machines had suddenly stopped working, or if the problem with the card was a problem with your bank, what should the cashier have done?

        Obviously, shouting “Pay!” would not have been sufficient, but I don’t know if “Find a way for me to pay” is a suitable response from the customer either.

        • I was asking an establishment’s representative to solve a problem not of my doing that was inconveniencing me. It was an invitation to the beginning of the dialogue that she was uable to continue. I agree; IF I HAD BEEN ABLE TO HAVE SOME COFFEE, I would have been more lucid myself.

  11. Al Veerhoff

    If someone hasn’t already made the point, the cashier’s behavior was the antithesis of corporate McDonald’s principles. Had you sent a message to corporate HQ, the local manager would have had what we used to call an *** ****ing in the military. Rules on how to treat customers are on the employee bulletin boards in all the restaurants.

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