Sunday, April 23, 2006

Today, as I was driving up in Rantoul, I saw a billboard for McDonald's that said "Free Coffee Monkeys" and I thought, wow, gotta get me some of them. Then I realized it said "Free Coffee Mondays" and wasn't nearly so excited. I have no idea what a Coffee Monkey might be, but the moment someone invents one, I'm going to buy it. Maybe it can sit next to our Touchdown Monkey. Or, I guess, our Extrapoint Monkey, because we couldn't afford the Touchdown Monkey.

The real point of this post is this: how does fast food work? I haven't had fast food since...oh...some time in 2004, and this may be why I'm confused. Today I needed some quick caffeine (yeah, yeah, I know I should be finishing that project that drives my need for caffeine instead of writing this, but still), so I decided to get a Diet Coke at McDonald's. So, here's me sitting at the drive through, thinking this: "Do I need to sleep tonight at some point? Yes, so I should just get a small. *Do* I need to sleep tonight? Can I stay up all night and finish this? No, I need to sleep tonight. Maybe get a medium so I can stay up until 2 or 3 a.m."

OrderBox: Welcome to McDonald's, can I take your order?
Me: Can I have a Large Diet Coke? [Notice I screw up my own order.]
OrderBox: That will be 75 cents at the first window.
Me: [Look at OrderBox screen where it says "ExtraLarge Diet Coke 0.75" and think WTF? I ordered a Large, which should have cost $1.50. Drive to first window, wondering why I didn't say Medium.]
Me: Did you say 75 cents?
OrderBoy: You wanted a Large, right? I just gave you an ExtraLarge for half the price.
Me: Am I supposed to understand that?
OrderBoy: I just do what I'm told. I don't understand it, either.

What possible benefit can they can reap from spontaneously upgrading my order for 1/2 the price? If I'd ordered a small for 75 cents, would I have still gotten an ExtraLarge?

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