Micro-Macro McDonalds Views

In an older post, in passing, I wrote about how I sometimes clean up a store where I enjoy shopping at, to make it nicer for me and for everyone else.  Tonight, I saw it being done by other people.

I was slumming it at McDonalds.  Not saying McD’s is a slum, but I was really dressed down – something I don’t really do when I go out, even for McDonalds.  But tonight, maybe more than usual (I don’t know since I hardly ever eat there anymore), the place was really a disaster.  I really shouldn’t be surprised.  I bitched about their new kiosks years ago and knew that it wasn’t going to change anything service-wise.

So of course, the place is understaffed, just as it should be.  One person at the counter who had to take orders, prep orders, deliver orders to tables, and also keep the whole dining area clean.  Fucking yeah.  What a load of crap.  So it’s no surprise after the dinner rush that all the trash cans were full.

But on top of that, it seems that the customers are… worse?  There was trash left on tables, food on tables, food and paper on the floor.  It’s something I just can’t get over in any environment.  How can someone come into a place, which is in a certain state of affairs and purposely leave it worse off than when you arrived?  Doesn’t matter if it’s a restaurant, store, house, park, or anything.  Ok, I understand accidents, like you drop your drink at a convenience store.  But even then, you should make an effort to clean it up until an employee tells you they will handle it.

And that’s kind of what happened tonight at McDonalds.  While I was waiting for my food, a woman walked up to the counter carrying a stack of trays.  One of the employees met her and seemed confused.  The woman said, “I packed down all the garbage cans as best I could, but they’re going to need changing.”  They employee replied, “We really appreciate that…” and seemed like he was going to say it was unnecessary, but the woman had to explain.  “We come here all the time and blah blah”.  I didn’t catch the rest, but I pretty much understood.  This was a place they enjoyed being in and they didn’t want it to be a shithole.  Yeah, I understand that.

When I did get my food and walked back to my table, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of someone sweeping the floor and knew without looking further it was that woman’s husband.  The person working at the counter followed me out and confronted the man.  “Sir, our store doesn’t allow customers to do any employee work.”  The guy jokingly said, “I forgot my hat.”  She replied, “I’ll get it, thank you.”  The guy handed over the broom and the floor got a quick sweeping.

What a sad state of affairs, that businesses staff their stores so poorly that customers feel compelled to help out?  And maybe I would feel some compassion for the business because taxes and competition and it’s so rough being a small business owner today, but this place is a fucking gold mine.  There is rarely a time that I don’t see it busy, with drive-through lines out to the street.  This place isn’t hurting at all.

But, back to this old couple, and people like them.  It certainly does seem the world is in decline on many fronts.  And when that does happen, what do you do?  …  I was going to say, do you let it go or do you fight?  I quickly realized “fight” is not the right word, whereas, “help” is.  That word choice suddenly made a lot of things uncomfortable for me.  Because, as we know, there are a lot of people who see the world declining in different ways.  What is their choice of words for their solution, “fight” or “help”?

That’s something I don’t want to dwell on.

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