Thursday, December 29, 2011

McNightmare at McDonalds

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Today’s Blog Post

McNightmare at McDonalds

“Someone should tell McDonalds what a nightmare this place is!” my said. “Look at the garbage piled up!”

Her statement was right on. This had to be the worst McDonalds we have been in for weeks. This is our New Look McDonalds at its absolute best – or worst!

In our home and life McDonalds Restaurants have been a part of what we do since 1968 or 1969. The first place was Oakville, Ontario… down near the bottom end of Kerr Street, not far from Lake Ontario. Our daughter Dana was just a wee one when we first went in for a treat. She loved their soft ice-cream cones. When her sister Anda came along we made McDonalds a family place to come and get away from the hot apartment during the summer.

I tell you that to explain that we are frequent flyers at McDonald and have been for the past 43 years or so. Now we fly to McDonalds with Grandkids that eat way more than I do.

On Tuesday, December 27, 2011 my wife and I were in Vaughn Mills are for a Hockey Tournament. After the game was over we headed to the McDonalds that we saw on the way in. This McDonalds is right across the street from the Vaughn Mills Mall – one of the super Malls of the Toronto area.

There were no Hockey People in that McDonalds – they were all too smart!

December 27, 2011 was a busy day. Post-Christmas and everyone was out roaming the malls and businesses for bargains. The snow storm was coming that evening and perhaps everyone knew that so they came out of their homes.

This McDonalds was busy as we entered and the lineup was long. But that lineup was mixed with the oddly building crowd that had given their orders and then were standing now in the growing crush in a haphazard way in front of the counter.

Now picture if you can… more people coming through the door and more people ordering… one after another. More people have to back away from the counter to let the ordering people place their orders. But the orders already taken are not being filled.

In front of me is a counter space that is laden with order receipts that are laid out in order to the left of the cash register as I looked on. The young lady kept calling out to the waiting lineup, “Next please, Can I help you?” and another person in line would move through the growing crowd of those waiting for food.

At one point I counted 10 orders not filled and still more were being taken before the others were filled!

People were now getting edgy and restless as their order was not coming and more were being taken. The first thought is, “Maybe crowd control out front would be a good idea?” Maybe a host or hostess could help with the growing line up and possibly chat with the customers that were now uneasy as they jostled each other…?

One young twenty something pushed me hard to the side so that he could place his order. I had to pull back my fist that was growing hard at the end of my hand. I have done self defense and my grandkids don’t need to see their grandpa on top of a young jackass covered with ketchup!

“Maybe we should not come back!” was my main thought at that moment. “What a bloody nightmare this is getting to be!”

BUT – this is not new at McDonalds in recent times. Ever since they reconstructed this “New Look” to house their McCafe presentation, this log jam of people has been a potential problem at every McDonald we have been in. It was on December 27 that I saw just how bad it was.

In our own McDonalds in Peterborough, at the corner of Landsdowne and the Parkway every lunch and dinner is the same. People are hungry and want their food. They seem to get hungry at the same time… and rush into get something. Then the jam up starts at the register and ordering place… and the waiting off to the side place… that is often stacked four deep as the scurry behind the counter takes place.

It almost works… almost. But as I watch it over and over again.. the constant build up takes place and people are unhappy… very unhappy.

The second major blockage that most families don’t see is the Senior and Breakfast Hungry Morning crowd. The Seniors mass around the counter for their orders and for their refills. The refill requires that the dirty cup is discarded and the new refill be ‘ordered’ through the cash register… so that the computer system that sends the information to the girl at the coffee station can fill that order. All you see is the back of her head and body… until the coffee is delivered to you in a snap. She hasn’t time to smile or interact with a customer – she is now a part of the McDonald’s Machinery to get you better service and keep you McHappy.

This McChange took place because Seniors were steeling the creamers and sweetners! – so we were told by staff!!

Back to Vaughn’s McDonalds…
The order finally came for my wife and I. My hungry grandkids were on another tray that my son-in-law was carrying.

First stop is the pop machine and the ketchup dispenser. Good Lord… what a mess. There was no ketchup in either dispenser. But there was ketchup all over the counter.

There were no napkins and only a few lids for the drinks.

There was pop everywhere!

People without napkins were pushing back through this area, through the “waiting for their orders people” and past the “placing their orders people”… to ask staff behind the counter for help and a pile of napkins.

The staff on the other hanf were doing their best to keep up and not make eye contact with the growing unhappy crowd at the order desk.

I gave up on napkins and was happy that the pop machine did its thing… I stepped over garbage on the floor and the sticky pop area where kids had spilled stuff… and walked around the garbage unit that was jammed full and running over on to the floor. The trays on top were teetering as they were piled high.

Was it a long time since things had been cleaned? I don’t know… but with the crowd out front coming in and orders coming in… some people frustrated with what was happening… they were reacting in a way that was not nice.

So you don’t believe me? I probably made it all up – right? Not in this day and age… here is my proof. I took out my camera and shot what ever I could. I should have done it earlier before the ketchup counter was wiped clean by a customer. As I approached that area a young lady was trying to fit in the new ketchup bag that was not doing what it should… or something was broken when the angry customers banged away to get the last drop of ketchup out. I had stepped away when the young guy was hammering it with his fist.

Whoever thought up the pretty ideas and the new designs for the new look.. had no idea what customers need. What a bunch of McBaloney!

McDonalds… McCafe… McNew… McNightmare… and I am McOuttathere!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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