Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

If anyone would like free French fries or a free hash brown, you should head on down to the McDonald's on 50th and Broadway. I'm not sure if this is a company wide policy, but they have the "Smile Guarantee". According to the yellow sign, they promise, "If we don't smile before you pay, you get free small fries or a free hash brown on your next visit."

When I saw this, I had been waiting for my food, and this guy definitely did not smile. I knew he wasn't going to smile, but I didn't feel like being the guy to call him out on it. "Gotcha! You owe me some free fries, motherfucker! Or if I so choose, a hash brown!"

In fact, there was no one behind the counter that smiled to the customers. They smiled at each other while, I think, they were making fun of the customers. There wasn't even a retarded person working there. You can usually count on them for a smile. Or at least a spit bubble.

If McDonald's really wants this to work, they should make the policy, "If we don't smile before you pay, we'll take 10 bucks out of the cashier's paycheck." They will be smiling their asses off. I promise you.

The thing is, though, with McDonald's, I don't expect them to be all that friendly. Just get me my food and get it quick, and I'm happy. Really happy people in fast food restaurants make me uncomfortable. You can't be that happy. You are working in McDonald's. Don't bullshit me. Just give my Big Mac. Not to say they should be miserable fucks, but just be honest.

This past summer I was in a Hardee's (I think) in Delaware. They guy who was the manger said to everyone who paid, "We appreciate your business." To everyone! It was so annoying. But he really seemed to be happy, which was weird. At one point he started walking around and talking to everyone eating there to make sure their meal was satisfactory. Then he'd ask them where they were from, chat a bit more, then end it with, "Alright, have a great day. And... we appreciate your business." Ugh. Stifle it! Enough. He didn't even approach me. I put on my best, "Look, I appreciate that you appreciate my business, but please leave me the fuck alone" face. It worked. He walked right by me and started to talk to some old people from Virginia.

I like when people are friendly, but when it's forced, it just makes it fake and in a way, it feels condescending. Both to me and the poor sap who has to smile.

When I worked in Disney World, I actually knew a girl who got fired because of her lack of friendliness. See, working there, depending on where you worked, it was easy to smile. I drove a boat. I smiled until my teeth hurt, but that was because I liked my job. This girl worked at this awful Pocahontas show where she had to see the same show eight times a day. She was warned about her lack of friendliness, but she didn't seem to care. I did see her a few times and she did seem to hate everything about her life, and it showed. When you are working at the Happiest Place on Earth, I think you should at least try. But if you are working at McDonald's in New York City, I feel your pain.
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006