Carl's Junior League


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At some point, the people at fast food joints stopped speaking the same language as you and I. I stopped being able to say "6 dollar burger, no cheese, make it large." without the counter help immediately asking me If I wanted cheese.

Over the last few months, I've regularly had to take burgers back to get one without cheese. People have given me the wrong size drink, and theres innumerable times I've orderd a double burger and got a single. At some establishments, I've even had to take various chicken burgers, fish burgers and random other things I did not order back to the counter.

I think I reached the highest level of frustration I have ever had at a fast food restaurant this Last Monday at Carl's Junior. Yes, I'm going to point the finger at this particular restaurant. It's the one on Industrial, right off of Cleveland, across from K-mart.

I've had my share of little problems at this Carl's, but they pale compared to what happened on Monday. I decided to get a burger to go between repair stops. I figured it would be quicker to order at the counter and eat at the red lights on my way to my next stop.

I went up to the counter, ordered my food, got my drink, and realized I needed to wash my hands. I left my drink on the counter along with the "to-go" tag. Knowing I didn't have much time, I dashed to the rest room and got back as fast as possible. It must have taken a minute or two at the most.

I got back to the counter, picked up my drink and number, and watched as two or three large groups of people came and went. As I waited some more, various burgers were made, and taken to the customers. A truck in the drive-through got a burger. All this time, I was standing at the counter, holding my tag, looking at the counter help and the manager, waiting for my burger.

About ten minutes into my waiting, I noticed that there was a burger-box sitting on the counter in front of the kitchen window. The Manager was busy counting money, and would not meet my gaze. The cashier rang up people, and would not look at me. The girl delivering food to customers ignored my now fuming glare as I stood there, holding my big yellow "to-go" number at arms length and shoulder height, looking at each of them in turn.

Finally, I bellowed at the three of them "Excuse me, could ONE of you give me my burger? It's been sitting there for the last ten minutes! By the way, HERE'S MY NUMBER!" I then stood there and quietly waited for another minute while they searched their video screen, then got me my fries.

At this point, you would think they would just ask me if I ordered fries, and perhaps throw in a complimentary slice of pie as a mea culpa, but none of them even said anything like "Oh, I'm sorry, we didn't mean to ignore you for an inexcusable amount of time while we gave food to a bunch of other people, and counted our money." I don't think any of them are capable of forming such a complicated sentence.

Finally, as I stormed to my work van, a dark thought occurred to me. I popped open the black and white box, pealed back the paper diaper, and pulled off the top half of the bun. Well, at least they didn't put CHEESE on it.