May I take your order please?
My dear blends (blog friends): I was serious about keeping the conversation going on the effects of technology on communication. In my positive, overly optimistic attitude I just feel like continuing to talk certainly can’t hurt. [Those of you who know me personally know that I am so not a glass half full type of person. Mostly I grab for my half empty glass and knock it over. ]
This whole communication conundrum began when I was at a fast food restaurant with my mom and dad. My mom, Marie, and dad Ted had very specific requests for their food order. The young girl taking my order was extremely nice, very friendly and asked clarifying questions. I was impressed. After my parent’s complex order I ordered myself a Bacon Cheeseburger meal. You can imagine how surprised I was when the girl said, “We don’t have a bacon cheeseburger.”
I quickly shot back: “Yes, you do. I have had one here before.”
She said very apologetic, “No, I am sorry; there is no bacon cheeseburger on the menu.”
I looked at her dumbfounded and said. “How is it possible every other fast food place I know has a bacon cheeseburger on their menu? Bacon is the “in” food these days. It is the main ingredient on every cooking show, it gets put on everything, it gets put in everything and facebook has 100 recipes a day of foods wrapped in bacon.
The girl looked at me and said,” Are you saying you want a cheeseburger and add bacon?”
I just blinked at her and said, “Yeah that will work for me too.”
Please understand I am NOT disrespecting fast food workers in any way. They are my unsung heroes. [Actually not “unsung” if I can remember their latest jingle or moniker.] Anyone who can give me fresh French Fries in 3 minutes or less is my hero. So, no, I did not walk away from the counter upset with the person that took my order. I was mostly feeling confused. How is it that a bacon cheeseburger is different than a cheeseburger with bacon? Where and why was there such a breakdown in communication? These questions were rolling around in my head when that blue and grey screen flashed in my mind that said, “This program has encountered a problem and will need to shut down.” So when I rebooted my brain I realized my error in ordering. I asked for the things in the wrong order! I said bacon first and clearly the order had to be keyed in with cheeseburger first and then add bacon. This was so NOT the order takers fault. She was trained to take the orders and push the buttons in the exact right sequence according to this particular establishment’s computerized technology. So NOT my fault since I did not see a sign asking me to please study their on-line screen menu to ensure that I get the right order. The breakdown in communication was clearly the fault of technology.
I have to give my friend, Tina a lot of credit. After several weeks of getting the complete wrong order she took it upon herself to learn to speak “Cash Register.” I do not know if she speaks all the various dialects but for this particular place she speaks it fluently. When we go to lunch together I let her order.
Counter person: “May I take your order please?”
Tina: Push the lunch button
Push the picture of the chicken, not the cow
Push the 3rd button down for sandwiches
Push the 2nd button on the left for crispy chicken
Push the 4th button on the right with the red X in the large red circle for No Tomatoes
Push the last button on the left for a meal
On the new screen push French fries and then the M button for Medium
Push the Coke button, then diet, then the M button for Medium
At the way bottom on the right side of the screen push the large green
button that says Total
Need I say that the order is always exactly correct?
One time, though I decided that I also wanted desert so I tried to add on a package of chocolate chip cookies. Immediately the young gal taking the order said, “We don’t have chocolate chip cookies.”
I of course begin to say how I have ordered them before. Then I immediately realized my mistake and I was so proud of myself when I said, “I would like a package of plain cookies and add chocolate chips.”
That part went fine, except she then wanted to know if I wanted 3 cookies or 6.
I proceeded to ask which is the better deal. So Tina stepped in and said, “ 2nd row down, 3rd button from the left, punch it twice.”
Then Tina took me by the elbow and led me away from the counter. She said “How many times do I have to tell you not to mess up the order?” If you don’t speak the language don’t try to communicate.”
Ha, we got a dozen cookies with our chicken sandwiches!
Please feel free to join in on the conversation!!!