Thursday, September 16, 2010

The DQ 20 Cent Dilemma

My usual stops on the dinner tour while living on Highway 280 are as follows:
Chipotle Grill... Zaxbys... Baha Burger... Chick-fila... Waffle House... Wendy's... Subway

If I'm going out to grab some quick food, 9 times out of 10, I've gone to one of the above places.  There's several fast food joints in a 5 minute drive from The Cabana, but I'm not going to McDonald's, Burger King is just too much grease, Arby's is good, though I never go, and Milo's is way too much food.  Good, but too much food.

There is a place called Hamburger Heaven on 280, but its wildly overpriced and overrated... went in there a few months ago, thinking, "I'll try it out, see what its like" and boy was I a little surprised that my combo cost like, $8. And the burger was just eh. Reminded me of The Varsity in Atlanta, but not nearly as cool looking.

I do like Dairy Queen every now and again, usually because its a cheap option... they have this 9 item deal where you can get 2 items for $3, or 3 items for $4 or 4 items for $5.  I usually go with a couple of hot dogs, a medium drink and a small sundae.  Caramel, hot fudge or, if you ask for it, butterscotch.

The other night, I go into Dairy Queen.  I actually had a hankerin' for some Waffle House (all star breakfast, hash browns covered, chunked and capped, eggs scrambled) but at the time, I only had about $6 in my pocket.  Normally, I would do the hot dog, sundae and drink option, but today, I wanted something a little different... and for only $4.99, you can get the double cheeseburger, fries and the brand new mini-Blizzard size.  I ordered it, and then realized that there was no drink, so I added the drink for an additional $1.49.  Brian, the guy behind the counter (it was on the receipt) rang me up and told me my total was like, $7.49.  I paid for it, then stepped down the counter to wait for my food.

When I buy something, especially if its "deal pricing", I always do the quick calculations in my head on what I just paid for.  And $7.49 seemed like a big jump from the $4.99 that I was hoping to pay... I did the math, realized that $4.99 plus the $1.49 drink is what, $6.48... and for $7.49, that means I just got a $1.01 tax rate, which means that I paid into the 17% tax rate.  I mean, I know He Who Must Not Be Re-Elected is president, but surely he's not working that fast?

I glanced at my receipt.  My drink?  $1.69.

Here's the quandary.  Do you say something?  I mean, its 20 cents. Am I going to fight for that 20 cents?  No.  But I've been overcharged.  Brian probably didn't do it on purpose, but I've been overcharged.  And if he does it to me, either he's an idiot or he doesn't know what he's doing, or maybe it was on accident.  So I stood there, going through this mental debate on "should I speak up?" or "do I let it go?" and "its 20 cents, man" and "but I was overcharged!".

I watch the goings on behind the counter, as Brian stands in front of the little rack where the kitchen behind it slides the food through.  There was a mom with a couple of soccer playing kids before me, and their food was coming out in mass quantities.  And of course, I saw my fries.  The fries come out, and for whatever reason, they can never come out at the same time as the cheeseburger. 

Now the other girl there, Aquanetta, or whatever her name is, has already given my Mini-Blizzard to me.  She got that thing to me faster than I could determine I'd been overcharged, and when they say "mini", they mean "mini".  It was a Strawberry Cheesequake, because I like strawberry and love love love cheesecake. 

Here I am, at the counter, with this fierce debate of morality and financial accountability raging in my brain, with a 6oz tiny cup of soft serve, berry cheesecake flavored ice cream dripping down the side of the cup, watching Brian stand idly by as not only my fries, but also a burger that looked suspiciously like mine has been slid into the little rack. 

Seriously, mine is there.  He can just toss it onto a tray and hand it to me.  I glance at the monitor above his head, where I see my order flashing.  The time on my order is now approaching 6 minutes, while the order behind me is getting close to 4.  The mom and her soccer team have already come up and gotten their food, and Brian is now assembling the order after mine.  My burger and fries sit in the rack. 

He picks up my burger, looks at it, PUTS IT BACK INTO THE RACK, picks up another burger, looks at it, asks something indecipherable to ReyRey in the kitchen, then places it on a tray with an order of chicken fingers.  Then he hands off this tray of greasy goodness to the next family, those who came after me, and then turns to the rack.  He picks up my fries, picks up my burger, looks at the receipt, then has this look on his face like he literally just realized "Oh, wait, this burger and fries goes to... oh yeah, this guy."

Finally, I speak up.  "So, I think you over charged me for the drink."  He looks up at me, tray in his hand.  "Really?" 

"Well, its only 20 cents, so its not a big deal, I don't want it back [though I would have taken it if offered, even if only for the principal of it], but you overcharged me.  You charged me $1.69 for the drink, when the sign says $1.49."

He looks at me, tray still in his hand, looks up at the menu, looks over at the sign advertising the Mini-Blizzard Meal Deal, looks back at the menu, then says, "Oh, must have been only for the small drink."  Then he hands my tray.  No apology, no "my bad", no "sorry about that, man" or anything. 

I follow it up with "Well, again, its only 20 cents, so I'm not worried about it.  But just thought you should know you overcharged me, in case you want to get that figured out."  I get my tray and walk towards the high table in the corner, where I like to sit when I come to Dairy Queen on 280.

The dinner was so-so.  Of course the picture of the burger looked 1,500% better than the actual burger, which was all smashed and such.  I had to peek into the bun to see that they did actually put cheese on it.  The fries were just okay, though DQ is not known for their fries.  The Mini-Blizzard was fabulous... for a strawberry blizzard.  But I had ordered a Strawberry Cheesequake blizzard.  Aquanetta had given me the soft-serve equivalent of a serving of pork-n-beans... where you get a ton of beans and one little piece of fat.

In my 6 ounce Mini-Blizzard, there literally were four little cubes of cheesecake cheesequake, and that's it.  I dug around in the cup with my spoon.  I didn't realize this until after I had eaten all four, completely expecting a few more quakes, instead barely receiving tremors. 


I'm sure I'll visit the DQ again sometime in the future, perhaps even tomorrow for lunch.  But I'll go back to the Sweet Deal menu, a few bucks for a hot dog and a drink and a sundae.  Caramel.  Or butterscotch, if you ask.

The marshmallow is good too.

And let's face it, that twenty cents would have come in handy... the next night at church, I had three one dollar bills and had to scrounge for change to make up the five dollars to pay for my supper.

1 comment:

  1. This INFURIATES me. I hate lazy, unresponsive, and flat-out stupid fast food employees. Apart from health, this is among the reasons I don't go to fast food restaurants anymore.

    Secondly, with regards to how the burger looks vs. how it looks on this:

    Fast food sucks.


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