mcdonald’s: i’m hatin’ it

This wasn’t the post I had intended for today, but I had an EXPERIENCE yesterday and I just *had* to tell the six people that read this blog ALL ABOUT IT.

Let me begin by saying that yesterday was the first day of my son’s summer vacation. And as I’m sure many of you already know, summer vacation presents stay-at-home parents like myself with one of two choices:

1. Entertain your kid 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


2. Sign him or her up for a whole bunch of inconveniently-timed and unreasonably-priced activities just so you can actually have sixty seconds to yourself without hearing some variant of:


It’s not exactly Sophie’s Choice, people.

Needless to say, I went with Door #2 and consequently my son is attending soccer camp this week. And because I hate myself and want to make my life even more miserable than it already is, the soccer camp we chose is one that requires me to a) get up at the exact same time as if I were taking my son to school, b) drive just as far as if I were taking my son to school, and c) pack food and a drink as if I were preparing my son for school. AND YET THE CAMP ONLY LASTS HALF AS LONG AS A SCHOOL DAY. 9 AM – 12 PM to be exact.


The unfortunate timing also means that I have to deal with lunch the minute I pick my son up from camp. Now, normally I’d take him back to the house and make him eat something cheap home-made, but yesterday he and I thought McDonald’s might be a good way to kick off the summer. Because nothing says fresh air, sunshine, and healthy living than hitting up the McDonald’s drive-thru, ordering a mess of burgers and nuggets, and then eating them in the air-conditioned living room while sitting on the couch watching television.

Yesterday’s McDonald’s experience went somewhat differently than expected, however.

We pulled into the drive-thru line which was LONG. But okay, it was noon. I made a mental concession. My son and I chatted about soccer camp during the wait, and when I finally got to the speaker thing I placed a very simple order:

  • A chicken nugget Happy Meal
  • Two cheeseburgers
  • A small fry

I pulled up to the This Is Where You Pay Window and I gave the dude his money. No problem there. It was only when I pulled up to the This Is Ostensibly Where Get Your Food Window that things started to fall apart.

It started with me… not getting my food. They didn’t have it ready. No big deal — they just wanted me to pull into the parking lot and wait for it. Okay, I get it. Sometimes that happens when you place a particularly complicated order for rare and exotic items such as chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, and fries. Being a gracious woman, I made another mental concession. But then this happened:

Drive-Thru Lady (in what I will generously call “English”): “Please to park where that blue car and red car are parked.”

Me (confused): “Um. I can’t park there. *They’re* parked there. And there’s no empty spots around them.”

Drive-Thru Lady (exasperated): “Please. See that blue car and that red car? You park there.”

Me: “But there are NO SPOTS THERE. The area you’re directing me to is full.”

Drive-Thru Lady: *glare*

Me (apologetically): “I’m really sorry, but I just don’t understand what you’re telling me to do.”


Me (desperate now): “BUT I CAN’T! I LITERALLY CAN’T!”

Drive-Thru Lady (slowly, emphatically, and as if I was the dumbest person on God’s sweet Earth): “THEN. TO WAIT. UNTIL. THEY LEAVE. THEN PARK THERE.”

At this point I was so discombobulated I just went ahead and pulled out of the line, desperately trying to figure out where exactly this insane person wanted me to park. The Blue and Red Cars of Infamy had no one inside and were clearly not going anywhere. They were surrounded on all sides by other parked cars that had no one inside and were also clearly not going anywhere. So I did the best I could and parked about three vehicles down. Granted, it wasn’t PARKING TO WHERE THE BLUE AND RED CAR WERE PARKED, but neither (I felt) would it be a journey of epic proportions for the McDonald’s people to find me. So my son and I sat back, rolled down our windows, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

In my rear view mirror I saw car after car leaving the drive-thru, their drivers with bags of delicious greasy food clutched in their hands. This pissed me off and it also confused the fuck out of my son. “I don’t understand why they’re getting their food and we’re waiting here,” he complained. “Where’s our lunch?”

Good question, son.

But I am a patient-ish person and I waited a little bit longer. About ten or twelve minutes total, I would say. Finally, though, both the boy and I were like:


So we got out of the car and walked into McDonald’s. Which was… completely empty.

Girl at Counter: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Uh, yeah. We’ve been sitting in the boiling hot parking lot for ten minutes waiting for our food.”

Girl at Counter: “Oh. I didn’t know there was anyone waiting. Did you park where the drive-thru lady told you to?”

Me: “HA! It’s interesting that you should say that, because she told me to park in one of two spots that already had cars in them. So no. I didn’t. But I parked as close as I possibly could.”

Girl at Counter: “Well, that explains it. It looks like someone went out there but couldn’t find you. Oh, here’s your food.”

At this point she reached under the counter and handed me a bag of lukewarm nuggets and soggy fries. I just stood there for a second, boggling. Really? Whoever brought out the food COULDN’T FIND ME? I literally COULD NOT BE FOUND? I was only three cars down from where the crazy lady told me to park. I had my engine running, my windows open, and a six year old in the car bitching at the top of his lungs about WHY ISN’T THE FOOD HERE YET. And it wasn’t like they had to dispatch Lewis and Clark on an expedition into the Uncharted West — I was parked literally twenty feet from the main entrance of the damn restaurant.


So what did I do then, you probably don’t care? Well, with a grand announcement that we would never be returning to that McDonald’s (as if anyone gave a damn) my son and I marched out with our bag of rapidly-cooling greasy grossness and more than a whiff of the moral high ground. And as my son so eloquently remarked:

“We should have never trusted this McDonald’s.”


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Photo credits:
“French Fries”: English: McDonald’s french fries on a white stoneware plate. Date 29 October 2010. Photo by Evan-Amos. This photo was taken as a part of Vanamo Media, which creates public domain works for educational purposes.
“Detox”: Source unknown. Footage taken from Rupaul’s Drag Race, broadcast by LogoTV.
“Lewis”: Author: Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827) Description: Portrait of Meriweather Lewis.
Date: Circa 1807: Source/Photographer Licensing: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States.
“Clark”: Author: Charles Willson Peale – This media file is in the public domain in the United States. File: William Clark-Charles Willson Peale.jpg. Uploaded by Connormah. Created: 31 December 1809

80 Replies to “mcdonald’s: i’m hatin’ it”

  1. Good LORD! In a related incident, I JUST posted (minutes ago) about a McDonald’s incident of my own — mine involving a customer. This is the same McDonald’s where a woman in front of me in the drive through once left the window with her order then stopped and threw her entire full drink (top, cup, ice and all) at the curb before pulling out of the paring lot. I have to believe that they gave her the wrong drink or it was flat, but I was still horrified at the behavior. Nice to know the staff also needs to be issued a time out. Sheesh!

  2. Make everyday a MacBloggin day….

    No really, you should. I would soo want to read how you went back and how the “English” woman gets her words served with cold soggy fries. This is brilliant. YOU are brilliant!

    1. Not brilliant, just P.O.’ed. And also, I hate cracking on people who have thick accents or who don’t speak English very well because my husband’s accent is practically “Welcome to the Antonio Banderas – How You Say? AH Yes – Show” and his parents still have trouble with their English at times. But this woman was unintelligible.

  3. Ha Ha Ha, that should probably teach us all not to eat fast, alas the lesson will probably not stick for long since it IS so damn yummy and SUPER convenient, thanks for sharing, had a few chuckles!

  4. Way to kick off the summer. Jerkwads didn’t care enough to get you some hot food at least? WTH? I’d call to complain. Not that it would accomplish anything, but it would at least give me a sense of satisfaction that the manager had to listen to me bitch for 5 minutes out of their day.

    1. If I hadn’t had my son with me I might have made more of a scene, but by that time he was cranky and starving and half dead from three hours of soccer. So I just dealt with it. (By writing a 1000 word blog post about it.)

  5. Once when my husband and I were dating, we went to Togo’s (a sandwich shop) to get sandwiches. We ordered the exact same thing but separately. Our totals were different by a penny. Of course (at 20 years of age) I couldn’t let that go, so I asked the cashier about that. She was confused and a little rude. We went back and forth a bit, and she finally threw her hands up in the air and said, “I just push the buttons, okay?”

    So, yeah. Those employees just pushed the buttons too.

      1. I am too tempted to wake up my daughter to get some damn soggy fries and nuggets (frinuggs? too much?) in my life right this second.

  6. OH GEEZ… Don’t even get me STARTED on this on. I would have asked for the manager and raised some SERIOUS HELL. I would have demanded a they remake the food AND refund my money! WOW!!! THAT is truly horrible!

    1. If my son hadn’t been with me I just might have. But he was starving and starting to get asshole-ish so it was totally not going to be worth it. But I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER.

  7. I would have flipped shit. Mainly because when I have kids in the car I have 4 kids in the car and 4 kids cramped into a car hungry and waiting is one of my reoccurring nightmares. I don’t understand how something so simple is made so difficult, I really don’t. I would have waited another 3 minutes for fresher food, too. That’s crazy.

    1. You sound like a saint, Jewels. I wouldn’t have been able to deal with 4. I couldn’t even deal with the one! Though, in his defense, *someone* raised him to be incredibly bitchy and sarcastic and there’s only so much of that any sane woman can take 😉

  8. You should have messaged me and you guys could have stopped by. You were apparently at the same horseshit McDonalds I always get stuck going to.

  9. That is horrible! Unfortunately if I were in that situation I would’ve been way too nice about it but they should’ve given you something for free or whatnot for waiting so long when they had other people getting their orders right away. I just don’t understand it!

    1. Do you know it’s weird that you say that, because when I was in high school (in my small town) the local McDonald’s was THE PARTY PLACE TO WORK. Like, they had a whole little clique and after their shifts they’d have these awesome parties and get drunk and high and fuck everything that moved. I was a little jealous of the McDonald’s people back then! Not so much anymore. Now I’m more “ew.”

  10. First of all, you have more than six followers. Seven to be exact.

    Second of all, where is that McDonalds because I’m going to go in there and tell them that they can’t give out soggy, lukewarm fries to people. They have to put them in the dumpster where I can retrieve them.

    Third of all, WHERE ARE MY FRIES.

    1. I don’t know. But I’m not some healthy California type who can’t resist them. I’m from THE MIDWEST, BABY! McD’s is in my blood! (And arteries. And thighs.)

  11. True story, I can never return to McDonald’s either. In the recent-past, they had legal jingo in their nutrition info that pretty much word for word said if you have food allergies, you eat at your own risk and McDonald’s won’t be liable if there’s an incident. It appears that they’ve since then rephrased, but I’m sure they’ve still got that hidden disclaimer somewhere. Also, those dudes be still using hydrogenated oils. Everyone else on the planet is like, oh em gee, a health fad we have to buy into. But McDonalds is like, whatevs.

    1. The sad thing is that health risk or no, McD’s is a special treat and super fun for my kid. So when I take him to celebrate the first day of summer vacay, and the employees there are bumbling asshats, it’s a bummer.

      Oh well. Maybe we’ll be doing Wendy’s as the fast food treat from now on.

  12. Even more reason why I must avoid that place like it’s suffering a case of the Bubonic plague. Ugh. When I worked at a McD’s 18 years ago I do not recall employees (myself included at the ripe old age of 16) being that dumb.

    If it were me, I would have demanded fresh nuggets and fries. For their dipshittery it would be the least they could do.

      1. If my memory was actually working with me I’m sure I could dig up a few. The only one I can remember is being burned by a fry basket and putting mustard on my arm because someone said it would help. Boy was I fucking naive!

  13. I have four kids and every time we go to McDonald’s they manage to screw up our order. The most common way is by giving us cheeseburgers instead of hamburgers. I have two kids who don’t like cheese on their burgers, and apparently McDonald’s has some kind of block against the concept of a burger without cheese. I say, “two hamburgers with just ketchup,” and you’d think the “just ketchup” would be where they fall down, but no–I get cheeseburgers with just ketchup. WTF?

    And of course, if I say something like, “Now, these are HAMBURGERS, right? No cheese?” they give me a look like, “Seriously? Do I LOOK dumb?” (And I think, you do, actually, WHICH IS WHY I ASKED), and then I get home and find out they’re cheeseburgers and vow that next time we will go to Wendy’s. (I like Wendy’s better than McDonald’s, anyway.)

      1. We went to Wendy’s on Saturday and…ready? They completely screwed up our order (inside–not even the drive-through) and my one kid wanted a hamburger with just ketchup, and they put freakin’ cheese on it. When I went to get the replacement, I said, “I want a jr. hamburger with just ketchup” and the girl said, “So that’s the jr cheeseburger…?” I said, “Well, sort of–I want it without cheese, though.” GAH! It’s called “Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers” yet they seem chronically incapable of making a hamburger without cheese.

        To be completely fair, though, it wasn’t *MY* Wendy’s. It was one near a bunch of outlet malls in Backwash, WA or something. My Wendy’s is better than that.

  14. Seriously though. One time, at band camp- I mean Mc Donalds, I went through the drive through with my husband and a friend of ours. We ordered three fking sandwiches. Now, because I ALWAYS check the bag before I leave, I realize we only received TWO sandwiches. I pull out of tge drivethru, park, walk inside with my two sandwiches and receipt in hand-
    don’t you know the bitch says: “I gave you all your sandwiches”-
    to which I said: “um, clearly you did not”
    and she says: ” I dont know what your trying to pull, but I did that order MYSELF and I PUT a filet’o fish in that bag, and if its not there, and its not here, where did it go then?”
    to which I said: “BITCH!”
    I mean I said: “let me talk to your manager please” with saccharin sweet smile.

    After listening to her say the same ish, he begrudgingly (?!) gave me my damn sandwich- and I grudgingly(!!) decided to never go to that mcds again, lest I shove my filet up someones no no. I mean, isn’t it the managers job to smile and make you feel like YOU were right and SHE was wrong and thank you for coming, please come again? At least till you walk out the door.

    Like I needed to STEAL a freaking filet’o fish??? For fuck sake.

  15. …I kept thinking I was being Punked. Which made the whole experience that much more disappointing because I was really excited about the possibility of meeting Ashton Kutcher.

    I never should have trusted that mc donalds.

  16. My first thought was WHY DID YOU TAKE THE GROSS FOOD? But after reconsidering, would you really trust “fresh” food that they made after you had a fit? I’d rather have cold soggy food than something that had been spit on.
    Ugh. At least write a letter to corporate. Or…send them the link to your blog!!!

  17. What was their plan for the bag of soggy grossness? Just keep it under the counter until its recipient was so pissed off they came in to claim it? Did they think you paid and left and didn’t actually want the food? Were they going to go back to the parking lot and check again? It just seems like the unclaimed bag of food should be a glaring reminder to them that their job wasn’t done. And I’ll never understand why people who order weird shit get their order before be but I order a Big Mac and soda and it takes five years. Then when you get your Big Mac it’s not like it’s plated in gold or super fresh or anything, so, like, why did it take so long? Your son was SO RIGHT except that it should be applied to all McDonald’s! I’ll still go there, though.

    1. I just had the worst thought. -unclaimed food shelf. I wonder how many lost bags of food are still sitting there. I bet its like unclaimed luggage graveyard. Only better smelling lol

      I so want a big mac now. *sigh*

      1. You’re so right – this surely isn’t an isolated incident so they must have a shelf just for this purpose. Employee orientation must go something like this: “When they order something complicated, like chicken nuggets, you’ll have to make them to park to the side.” “To park to the side? That doesn’t sound right.” “It’s right here in the handbook. Unless it’s a typo. Better be safe and just say it word for word. Anyway, tell them to park to the side, then go out and bring them their food. You have exactly 2.2 seconds to locate their car, otherwise the parking lot turns to hot lava so you better run back inside before that happens. Then you’ll place their food on this here shelf.” “The one with all the grease stains?” “Yep, that one. Leave it there until they come in asking for it. If they don’t claim it after three hours, it’s yours to keep.”

  18. Oh my goodness, I felt exasperated just reading this. That is DREADFUL service, especially since it’s supposed to be fast food! How ridiculous! Love the way you wrote about it though, so amusing. Also, your son’s comment was priceless!!

      1. Im so dying over here!! Was that a typo- or are we giving badass crass nicknames?? Can I be gutter-snatch?


  19. I just discovered your blog, and laughing out loud already 🙂
    Never trust McDonalds!! Seriously sometimes you wonder what they’re doing… I would have asked for my money back if I was you, or a new meal ! That’s the least they could have done… I went to the drive-in on Saturday, and ordered 2 happy meals and a Royal cheese & bacon hamburger. The guy asked if the happy meals were for boys or girls. I CLEARLY said “2 boys”. Asked me to pay 18 eur. Fine. I go to the pay station and hand my card in, the terminal says 19.40 eur… mmh, OK, mistake maybe? Oh yeah, sorry, I put it through as a plain hamburger. I thought nothing of it and paid. I checked one Happy meal just to see what kind of toy was inside, it was a car. Fine. I arrived home and discover the Royal cheese & Bacon was a plain burger!! and the other happy meal had a girl toy in it. Trust me, my 3 years old wasn’t really happy with his Hello Kitty bright pink art studio… Next time (if there’s one), I’ll double check everything…

      1. Oh yeah, we spend over 20 euros each time we go. Granted that’s due to the five McFlurries I add to my order but still, it’s some expensive stuff.

        1. I forgot to mention I had a wrap myself, and the hubby always buy the extra-large menu and sometimes and extra sandwich! McDonalds is quite expensive in Ireland anyway

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