KJ (sevenday) wrote in bad_service,

I have two stories to share, a bad one and a positive one. They don't quite cancel out, it helps me when I think about the positive one after seething over the bad one.

Salient points: I am deaf. I'm 21 but sometimes the clothes I wear make me look younger. In the Sucky Story, I was wearing jeans, open-toe sandals, and a bright tie-dye shirt -- which, apparently, made me look young(er), go figure.

I walked into a local McDonalds with the goal of collecting food and returning home to share it with my fiance, who was hacking away at the JUNGLE in our back yard. After waiting my turn, I stepped up to talk to a young woman who looked to be about my age. Her name badge identified her as a manager. Having had problems in the past with people misunderstanding my speech -- especially at this branch -- I had a piece of paper in hand with my order written down. I handed this to her as I said, "Sometimes people have trouble understanding me, so I wrote this down for you. I hope it helps."

Two seconds later, three other female employees descended on her, all peering over her shoulder at the note. (It wasn't til later that my fiance suggested maybe they thought it was a holdup note. C'mon, seriously...) I'm standing there thinking, "what in the...?" After what seemed like a long time, she looks up at me, and begins punching my order in. I just sorta fidgeted, she quoted me a price -- but my head was down as I went into my wallet for the bills to pay her with. I handed her a ten and some dollar bills. (My fiance and I tend to order the same thing each time, so I know what the price SHOULD be.) She gave me some coin change, which I didn't think much of.

I walked away from the counter so she could serve the next person, and I noticed that as soon as I left the counter, she began fiddling with the register. Finally she gets the drawer open, and pulls out a dollar bill and a bunch of change. (I think it was something like 63 cents in change -- two quarters, a nickel, and some pennies.) I watched, wondering what was going on, but I didn't think it was connected to me at all. I was watching the people behind the counter to see when my order came up, and in so doing, I see this manager running around tugging on various sleeves, whispering something to them. Twice I see her gesturing in my direction. My curiousity is thoroughly piqued. Just then, I see my drink cups being put on the counter, so I slip forward to get them.

At that time it becomes clear to me that one of the drinks was rung up as the wrong size (small instead of large). With a sinking feeling of dread, I wait to see what the rest of the order looks like.

Just then, it comes up. Sure enough, one of the fries is a medium, and the other is a small. (Again, supposed to be a large, not a small.) I debate briefly with myself with how to complain about this, because the order slip shows me as having paid for smalls instead of larges. I'm off to the side, frowning at the receipt, when an employee approaches me with the money in her hand. (The dollar bill and change, remember?) Shifting the money into one hand, she hesitantly begins to sign, explaining that she's not good at this (signing, that is) and that this is a refund. I thanked her for her effort (again, the signing) and said that I really wasn't due a refund. What I had gotten was not what I ordered -- and I was willing to pay the difference to get what I DID order.

She asked me what I ordered, and I said that the person had my note, but that I had ordered a large drink and a large fry -- and that I had ended up paying for, and recieving, smalls. She promptly handed me a large cup and filled a fry container for me. I then tried to give her the small drink cup and the small fry, but she wouldn't take 'em. Then she wouldn't let me pay the difference, and insisted that I take the refund. I told her I didn't feel right taking it, and she had this deer-in-headlights look, and glanced nervously back behind her, and dumped the money into my hand and said "Oh just take it! Don't worry about it!"

Feeling very weird about the whole thing, I walked away with what I had. Essentially I got refunded almost two dollars off an order that was wrong, and was given free upgrades on top of that. I honestly think that the person who did my order was majorly sucky. First off, she screwed up my order even when it was IN PRINT in front of her face (and my writing isn't THAT BAD, people) and then was extremely blatant about giving me a refund. I still have no idea what THAT was all about.

I went into a Walmart (yes, I know, spawn of hell that it is) to get some things. It may be hell, but it has good deals on some household staples. And as I'm saving toward a house, every little cent I can save counts. I had six things to get - toilet paper, paper towels, two containers of baking soda, carpet cleaner, and a bag of cat food. I got them quickly enough and headed to those 12 item or less lanes. I get to the little postage-stamp counter and start putting things down. When I put the carpet cleaner down, I pull my hand back to discover it covered in aromatic white powder. (It's one of those powder things that you vaccum up later) I immediately begin apologizing to the cashier and everyone behind me for wasting their time. The cashier calls for someone to go get me a fresh can and I start apologizing all over again. I'm envisioning a long wait while everyone behind me gets mad, etc. She tells me she just scanned the broken can so I was charged for it, and I can just wait off to the side for the new can to arrive and all will be well. Surprised and pleased, I thank her, pay for everything, and look up just as she hands me the receipt. She pauses for a split second, then signs "Thank you," and as my eyes go wide in shock, she adds, "See you later," and I thank her in return and wish her a good day.

The other employee returned with my fresh can a minute later, and I left feeling much better about my previously sucky day. (The McDonalds incident didn't happen the same day, FYI.)

It just feels nice to find someone who speaks my favorite language. I can speak english quite well - I'm told I only have a mild accent - but it's always easier for me to revert to my hands. I was so close to tracking down her manager and complimenting her on it, but I was in a hurry and wasn't sure how well such an event would go over. So I left. That was today, by the way. Should I go back tomorrow?
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