Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dear Burger King, I'm sorry...

Dear Burger King,

I owe you an apology.  You see today is Parker's first day of summer break, something he would normally be super excited about but his sister and the majority of his friends are still at school. They are completing classes and taking finals.  Parker was one of the ones who earned these 2 days off.  Awesome, right?

Well, only kind of.  While he's super excited to be done, he also is out of routine and more so - he is very, very bored.  There is only so many ways you can entertain yourself playing wii or your iPad and only so much TV you can watch while your mom works in her office and no one else is home before wishing you were back in school. (FYI this magical time happened about 9:30 am)

I promised Parker to get him Burger King (his favorite) for lunch.  I needed to run 3 errands and get laundry, sweeping, the dishwasher unloaded and a few things moved from the toy room during my lunch.  Yes, I have a habit of over extending myself but things get done.

As promised, after I went to the bank we went to Burger King - ordering in the drive thru and a nice lady gave us our food.  We didn't check it, I never do because if I open the bag that means we can eat it right away instead of waiting until we get home.  We simply drove home.

When we got home I put the fries on his plate and opened the chicken strips, I could tell from the "M" on the box and the wretched smell they were not plain like we had ordered.  I continued to open the box only to quickly close it and tell Parker we had to go back to Burger King.

While that seems simple, it wasn't.  You see, that wasn't part of our plan or our routine.  The food is supposed to come home, end up on his plate and then be eaten - not come home, partially come out and then go back to Burger King.  I showed him the strips and told him they were soooooooooo icky they would make him have the poopies (Humor is always my first attempt to keep things smooth sailing). He wasn't buying it.  He was just madMad they were wrong. Mad about the mistake. Mad his routine was broken. Mad he had to put his shoes back on. Mad he had to leave the house...again.

Even with that, there was not an option - we had to go and we did.  I updated my Facebook status...

and headed back to the car.  Within a couple minutes, that felt like an eternity, I finally got him laughing on the drive back to Burger King (which was important or I was never going to be able to go back into Burger King to get the other chicken strips).

When we arrived, I told him he could stay in the car and drum while I went inside SUPER QUICK to get new strips.  Super quick was key as his arms were already beginning to flair and I knew time was limited.  Let's face it, fragile x or not, no one is happy when they are hungry!

I walked inside and waited in line, with each passing second I was a bit more unhappy. When the lady who gave us our food saw me, she immediately motioned me up to the counter and apologized stating she knew exactly what the problem was and how sorry she was.

She was, very apologetic and nice.

I was not. I did not care what the reason was.  I was frustrated.  Very frustrated

She asked the cook how long until the next ones were ready... 3 minutes.  Holy meltdowns. 3 minutes.  While I know 3 minutes doesn't sound like that long of a time, if you've ever left a special needs child on the verge of a meltdown really wanting his chicken strips in the car after promising you would be right back... it's an eternity.  And while I really wanted to be appreciative for freshly cooked strips, I could not get past the 3 minute eternity time frame.  I may have let her know how unacceptable that time frame was to me.  (If you've ever been witness to my laser beam eyes... it would be safe to say they were out for this event.  I really didn't need to say anything, my face said it all.)

She quickly apologized, again, and offered me a refund.  The gentleman working next to her offered for our next visit to be free of charge.  I really didn't care about any of that.  I just wanted fully cooked strips now. NOW.  The rest was not necessary yet the lady quickly brought me my change and again, apologized for the mistake.

I did mutter a "Thank You".

The gentleman explained to me that on this extremely busy day the drive thru cash register went out and they were writing all orders by hand.  It was a simple mistake.  I mentioned that we are there almost every day (which we are) and this was the first it had happened but honestly, I didn't care why - I was way to frustrated and more frustrated with each passing second as I watched the 15 year old silhouette in my minivan in the parking lot wondering if I would open the door to happiness or sheer meltdown over this unplanned excursion. I may have let this gentleman know that.

To be honest, I don't exactly remember. By now my mind has shut off.  It's fried. Some parts are a bit of a blank. 

In the 1 1/2 minutes after our 15 second conversation I have re-worked my now not happening during lunch list into my "I'll still make it magically happen at some point before sleeping which already doesn't happen list",  every possible "this is what will happen when I open the van door" scenario and how I'll react and responded to 3 emails (because I don't know how to take a lunch and not keep working) while counting the number of times the lady asked how much longer on the chicken strips (2 so far by the way) your actually kind of lucky tears didn't start to fall (that actually happens pretty often - I'm not nearly as tough as my laser beam eyes suggest).

As I get ready to check Facebook I hear the gentleman from behind the counter (who is now on his way back to the cooks) ask "How much longer on the plain strips?" ... "30 seconds".

I check Facebook, watch the lady bag the strips and when she starts to add fries I say, "He already has fries, it's ok, he doesn't need anymore" she responds, "He does, he ordered them, it's no big deal" as she scoops up the fries that I am sure he won't ever eat, smiles, apologizes one more time and hands me the bag.

I quietly say "Thank you" as she wished me a good day and walk to the van.  I glance in Parker's window as I prepare to open my door, he is drumming along to "Old Time Rock and Roll"  (I used the remote start to keep the car running - air and radio on -  while my keys are in my hand far out of his reach) ,I open my door with a smile and say "Guess what???"  He says, "They fix it?  Mistake all better?"  To which I have a sharp reality check and say, "Yes, they did.  Mistakes happen, no big deal!  When we make a mistake, we fix it." And that's exactly what you, the staff of Burger King did.

In today's world of crappy at best customer service (for those keeping track I still do not have my replacement phone from Samsung/Us Cellular waaaaaaaaaaaay past when it was promised) you were above and beyondEven when I was crappy, you still smiled, you still did your best to make me happy, you still quickly as you could fixed your mistake and provided really great customer service.

Did you make a mistake?  Yes.  Did you own it and fix it?  Yes and then some.  Did you do it politely and graciously?  Yes.

You were exactly what we hope for when a mistake happens and I owe you an apology for not being more appreciative of that.

I am sorry for not being more understanding, for not caring about what was going on behind the scenes and shooting my laser eyes at you.  I am sorry.  I make mistakes too, daily

Your day hit a snag and instead of doing what I could to be understanding, I focused on the boatload of crap happening.  I didn't help, I didn't even attempt to be kinder.  That is not the person I try to be.  And while we all fall short now and then, we have the opportunity to make things better too.  While I am sure this is too little too late to make your day better, I've certainly learned to follow my own advice and step back and breathe now and then.

While I'm sure you've dealt with much worse, that doesn't excuse my snippiness or make me feel better about how I handled the situation.  We are there often and I promise you will hear an apology in person the next time I see you, hopefully when we are both having better days.

By the way, Parker ate every single one of both orders of fries... :- )

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