I said NO KETCHUP!

10 January 2000

Fast food. A sign of the times, a boon to many, an annoyance to others. Guess which one applies to me today.

A quick explanation is probably in order here. I love hamburgers, but I dislike tomatoes and ketchup on them. In fact, I more than dislike ketchup. I positively loathe it. Ketchup is the nastiest excuse for a tomato by-product that I've ever had the misfortune of putting in my mouth. I despise ketchup with all my heart, soul and mind. It's icky. Tomatoes are okay, but only straight out of the garden, not shipped halfway across the country with intermittent periods spent out on shipping docks and being slung around by guys named John Boy.

So when I order a hamburger at one of our fine eating establishments here in scenic Denver, of which there are several million, I always order it minus ketchup and tomatoes. Naturally. And absolutely without fail, they always bugger it up.

Naturally.

The scenario inevitably goes something like this:

Marcie: I'd like a number 2 combo, no ketchup, no tomatoes.
Cash Register Droid: Upsize your fries and drink?
M: No, thank you. Remember, no ketchup, no tomato on that burger, please.
CRD: Drink?
M: Coke.
CRD: Anything else?
M: Nope.
CRD: Okay... *fiddles with cash register* ... that comes out to $5.29.
M: *hands over money, receives change, gets drink, waits on burger*
...
M: *receives burger, unwraps it under the withering glare of the CRD*
...
M: *plops the burger down under the nose of the CRD* I asked for no ketchup and no tomato.
CRD: You did?
M: *gritting teeth* Yes, I did. Check the receipt if you like.
CRD: Oh...
M: Could you fix it please.
CRD: *befuddled* Okay... *wanders off in a desultory fashion to the sandwich board*
M: *sigh*

I swear to you that this has happened to me without fail the last five times I have eaten at a fast food joint. Truly. The tomatoes don't bug me so much... I can always take them off and throw them against the wall to see if they stick. Inevitably, though, if they remember one and forget the other, it's always the ketchup. I unwrap my burger, and it looks like it's bleeding to death. Ugh. Nasty.

Okay. I realize that there are times when working at a fast food restaurant can be difficult, stressful and downright aggravating. Having done plenty of nametag-and-hairnet jobs myself, I really can relate. Which is one reason this little annoyance bugs me so much. I KNOW it's not that hard to OMIT ingredients from a sandwich, or a hamburger, or a pizza. I have done it myself. All you really have to do is PAY ATTENTION to what you're doing. Which I suppose is why it always get royally fucked up. When I was working fast food, the typical employee was a mouth-breathing sixteen-year-old with the IQ of an eggplant. I suspect this has not changed. No insult intended toward anyone who works fast food... unless you fit the above category, of course. I have yet to meet a fast food employee who gives a shit about their job, so this may explain it.

Of course, if I was getting paid minimum wage (and no tips) to have sore feet and get ranted at by idiots^H^H^H^H^H^Hcustomers, I wouldn't care either.