I'm not really a big fast food person. I'll eat it every once in a while, but if I start eating it with any kind of regularity, I start feeling gross and worn down and just all-around not good.
That being said, I love the McDonald's in Olathe, Kansas.
The food is okay. I mean it always comes out hot and as tasty as fast food gets, but, you know. It's still fast food.
No, what I really love about this particular eating establishment are the people. Specifically, the employees.
We generally stop there in Olathe when traveling to visit family because it's a little over halfway in terms of driving time, it has an indoor playground, and I know the kiddos will eat the food.
Last Thursday our three children and I arrived at this McDonald's around mid-afternoon. We jumped in line to order our food first before going to play, and at that point I was a little frazzled. I had just discovered that Caedmon's shoes had somehow not made it into the van, so I was carrying somewhere around 30 to 40 pounds there on my left hip, Atticus was running around like a lunatic after having been cooped up for 4 hours, and Adelaide just could not decide whether she wanted chicken nuggets or a cheeseburger. We made it to the cashier, I ordered our food (earning an evil glare from Adelaide, but I just did not have an extra thirty minutes to stand there while she waffled), then began rummaging around with my free hand in my cavernous bag, looking for my wallet. Finally I glimpsed a flash of green in its depths; there was the wallet. I pulled it out, telling Atticus to please leave the scary clown alone and opened my wallet.
Then I stood there, staring stupidly at the counter, trying to figure out why I was having trouble making some form of payment come out of the wallet.
Please keep in mind that my intellect is sadly sensitive to the whims of... well, pretty much everything. Two hours of sleep? I brush my teeth with A&D ointment. Sunburn? I become unable to make simple decisions. Multitasking? Something inevitably ends up on fire.
So with Adelaide desperately whispering that she wanted the burger, not the chicken, Atticus doing his level best to topple ol' Ronald, and Caedmon getting heavier by the second, I was having trouble with the simple task of extracting payment from my wallet and handing it to the cashier.
To make matters worse, she was also staring at my wallet, and I was getting flustered.
After several seconds of this, she finally looked up and quietly said to me, "Um, that's a package of baby wipes."
Ah. No wonder I couldn't find my debit card.
With this lovely employee's help, I put the wipes away, got out my actual wallet (which is, in fact, the same color as the package of baby wipes), and paid her. We received our food promptly, and she was very nice and very patient throughout the whole debacle.
We ate our food. The children romped and played. We walked back by the registers to exit the store.
At that point, I heard a voice. "Excuse me, ma'am?"
Crap. What had I done now?
"Would your children like this ice cream? We have one chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry shake here that you're welcome to have."
I looked at our children's pleading faces, debated for approximately two seconds, took the shakes, thanked the lady profusely, and we all waved good-bye to what looked like the entire McDonald's staff that was smiling at us and waving back.
And that, my children, is how you earn loyal customers.