I woke up with a nasty headache at about half-one in the morning and realised I was out of headache tablets. The only place open at that time of night (near my house) is Wal-Mart, so I hopped in my car and off I went. Now, inside the Wal-Mart is a McDonalds. Since I hadn't eaten all day (probably the source of the headache), I decided to stop on my way out for something to eat.
I'm not what you would call a regular customer at this McDonalds, but I shop at the Wal-Mart often enough that I did stop for lunch on occasion. I never experienced anything as disgusting as I did that night. Exaggeration? Perhaps. You'll have to read on and see.
As soon as I walked up to the counter, the woman who had been behind it looked at me and then headed to the back. No worries, I thought maybe she was just kitchen staff, and didn't know how to run the till, and she had to get someone else. But when she went back there, she (or someone else) turned the music to full volume and stayed back there. So, I waited. This McDonalds is open 24 hours, so I knew they weren't closed.
And I waited.
Eventually, she came back up and asked me what I wanted. I ordered two double-cheeseburgers, only pickles and onions. She put the order in and just stood there. I waited for the total to come up on the screen, but it didn't. So I asked her how much it was, since I don't have the tax rate memorised. She sighed, gave me the total, and just stood there. I hate customers who just put their money on the counter, and I didn't want to do that, but she didn't hold out her hand. Fine. I set the money on the counter. She sighed again, and slid the money over to her side, put it in the till, and gave me my receipt.
She called back to the back (over the music), and a guy came out from what I assume is the office area. He washed his hands and set to making my dinner. Now, I understand that at almost two in the morning, there isn't going to be a lot of ready made food, and that he had to actually cook the hamburger patties. What I don't understand is why it took ten minutes (if that's normal, I have no idea. I haven't worked in a McDonalds for over eleven years, and I can't remember), but I didn't say anything about it.
Since I'm anal retentive about what I eat (the fact that I'm eating McDonalds aside), I always check my order before I go. I checked both cheeseburgers, and they both had ketchup and mustard on them. I checked my receipt, and sure enough, they were entered into the system correctly, as only pickles and onions. No big deal, mistakes happen. I got the woman's attention, and told her what was wrong. She let out a long-suffering sigh, and grabbed the bag, saying that she didn't understand my accent the first time (WTF? The receipt was correct, so she must have understood just fine). I heard her tell the cook that she needed two more, with no pickles (in Spanish). I told her again what the order was, and she corrected it. Less than five minutes later, I had the correct order, and I was ready to go. All I needed was to grab some napkins from the napkin/cup area.
And then I heard this.
Another customer came up after me and ordered two double cheeseburgers, regular. The counter woman told the cook (in Spanish, perhaps because the cook only spoke Spanish, or so the customer wouldn't understand what was being said) not to make the order, because she was going to give him the food I'd had them remake. If you've been paying attention, you will have noticed that I said that I checked the burgers to make sure they were correct. This means I touched them. After handling money! And she was passing them on to some poor fellow who was going to open the bag and find two unwrapped, not very warm, and obviously handled double cheeseburgers. Yum!
As soon as I got home, I logged on to the McDonald's website to file a complaint. I entered the store number and address exactly how it was printed on the receipt, and in my message made sure to say I wasn't looking for compensation of any kind. I just wanted them to know that this particular location was likely violating the health code.
A week later, I got an email back stating that they couldn't find the store number, and therefore wouldn't be able to handle my inquiry unless I could call them with the correct information. And even though I know that losing one customer's business means fuck-all to a corporation such as McDonalds, I refuse to eat there again (or more realistically, until I cave to my Maccas cravings, but I'll go to another independently owned franchise).
TL;DR: One Lakewood (CO) McDonalds may be recycling your food, and if you don't happen to speak Spanish, you may never know it.