Business Etiquette 101 or “Whu’ up nigguh”.
There is one thing that I know beyond all doubt: Donald Trump did not train the workers at my local DQ. As if there were some intergalacting conspiracy against me eating tonight, I made three stops on my way home and still did not get what I wanted for dinner.
I wanted a greek salad. I have balsamic vinegar, Olive oil, and crutons. So all I need is calimata olives, a good spring mix, and feta cheese. Albertson’s deli, here I come. Except there is no one behind the counter to dish up my olives. So I wait…and I wait…and I wait. And she doesn’t come back. No problem. Let’s find our friendly Albertson’s associate and inform him of what I need. He’ll surely be able to rush out and get help.
Excuse me, sir. Is the deli closed?
“No. She’s gone off somewhere. Don’t worry. She’ll be back,” he says as he wanders away. Two minutes later, I gave up, returned the basket to the stack, and got in the car. I am then faced with the rediculously complex choice of the day: Dairy Queen or Burger King.
Now let’s examine this choice for a minute. I can have the beautiful woman behind the throne, complete with the promise of soft-serve ice cream, a blizzard or some other equally delicious desert. She serves burgers that are slightly less appealing than the alternative, but I’m willing to overlook a tablespoon of grease in the flat-grill broiled burger patty to have those delicious, fresh-cut french fries. Magnus Rex on the other hand, offers “fire grilled” (formerly flame broiled) burgers with less-appetizing fries. Alas, the lady wins.
My first stop was DQ (Dairy Queen). One day I want to meet the genius who coupled fast food restaurants, pizzarias, and Citgo stations. This is truly the sign of America’s greatness. And it gives infinite new meanings to “Eat here, get gas.” I rush into the convenience-food restaurant and it is here we will pause. Rule #1: If the restaurant is empty, this is either a really great or really horrible sign. Today, the single customer at the counter is leaning there, talking to the girl behind the register-cum-computer monstrosity that vaguely resembled a Hal9000 interface.
So I stand there, waiting. And he sits there, talking. A manager comes out. Looks up. “Whu’ up nigguh”, he says. Somewhere someone needs to point out to the ‘gangstah’ crowd that Martin Luther King Jr. is rolling in his grave right now at the abuse of a racial slur he gave his life to stamp out.
The girl behind the counter engages in a conversation with the manager in a language oddly reminiscent of the English I left behind in the first grade, while the guy at the counter continually asks questions. Finally, she says “So what do you want?” to him and he places his order. There is more light banter, and she says “What was your order again?”
I don’t know if he ever ordered his food, but I certainly didn’t. I walked to the home of the King next door. The king and queen in my town, like Henry and Eleanor, keep separate residences. At least there I will be able to get what I want. Right? Wrong. After standing behind two people who ordered 10 different kids’ meals, I finally order, only to hear, “Excuse me, miss. But little Sarah’s burger has mustard on it. She didn’t want mustard. And Bobby’s burger has onions. He won’t eat onions.”
Now I’m going to digress for a moment. When I was six, I didn’t get to place orders at Burger King any more specialized than “Hamburger, CHEESE burger, or nuggets”. I got a coke to drink and if I was lucky, I could ask for honey instead of barbecue sauce. But oh no, not today. In the modern world of soccer moms and stepford children, each child must have a very particular order. Like a kid knows whether or not he or she likes ONIONS?! Geesh! Meanwhile, back to the order.
I ask for a bacon double cheese burger combo and a chicken caesar salad. After watching my burger slide into the bag, followed by an order of less-than-DQ fries, I wait on my salad. Alas, she returns, “We’re out of dressing. What do you want instead of caesar?” Now here’s the problem. I don’t. I cancel the salad, get in the car, and drive home.
After this day, I’m very glad that I at least get to watch West Wing. Tomorrow, I’m going grocery shopping.