Well, folks…it’s official: the season of giving has begun, and Ronald McDonald is the proud owner of my first $1 bill given to a charity this year. And you’d think, with all that money, he’d at least be able to buy some new clothes (I mean, c’mon…red and white stripes are so 1973).
Today’s RAC was supposed to involve me surprising a friend with a cold, refreshing Mocha frappe from McDonald’s. If you haven’t tried a McD’s frappe, let me take a minute to perform another RAC for the day by telling you to run and try one. It’s like someone took the silkiest cream from God’s dairy, combined it with the purest coffee beans from Juan Valdez himself, and blended it together with Santa’s own ice supply. It’s a mini vacation in a 12 oz. plastic cup (complete with caramel or chocolate drizzle).
My intended RAC, however, did not end up being my official RAC for the day. Why did I change my mind, you ask? Because of Angel, McDonald’s employee extraordinaire* (no lie, her name really was Angel, unless the “o” in “Angelo” got scratched off somehow, but, seeing as how she was a girl, “Angelo” really wouldn’t have applied…unless…)….
(*=I say extraordinary because, frankly, I prefer to think of the employees who wait on me to be the best workers McDonald’s can find. I’d rather not imagine Billy Joe Ray preparing a Big Mac for me if I think he’s got lice, an equal amount of missing teeth and fingers, and a less than sub-part work ethic….and dirty hands…and a cough…with phlegm.)
Moving on! It’s a long and complicated story of how I met Angel. We crossed over obstacles to meet one another, and spent years of our life writing back and forth, until that fateful day, we met on the Titanic and swore to “never go hungry again!”
Actually, I can’t back that up…but I will say that it took an enormous amount of time to actually make contact with Angel. The good madam in front of me at the drive-thru must have been shopping for the Three Bears, because it took about 4 minutes to complete her order. On top of that, she was multi-tasking: placing an order while getting the contents of the order from somebody else on her cell phone. How courteous! It only took her 3 minutes longer than the average American drive-thru-ee.
So, if the car in front of me was ordering enough food to feed the Three Bears, the driver could only have been Goldilocks, because once the order was placed, she changed her mind and had to completely repeat everything she needed back to poor Angel. Total Drive-Thru Time: 6 minutes.
But that didn’t stop poor Angel from helping me achieve my RAC for the day. Let’s see what happens…
Angel: Hi! Welcome to McDonald’s! Would you like to make a donation to the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund today?
Me: Sure! Why not? (I think I actually said “Why not?”)
Here’s the thing: I never donate to holiday campaigns like this. Once in a blue moon, when I’m shopping at Wegman’s, I’ll add a dollar to my total bill, but I typically turn down everything else. I’m not a Scrooge…just a college student unable to escape her debt (and post-grad years of even MORE schooling). So, when Angel’s chipper voice rang over the intercom, I was only too happy to step outside of my comfort zone and donate, even if it only was a dollar. Still, it seemed that poor Angel was still reeling from Goldilocks’ order, because she didn’t seem to with it during the rest of our conversation:
Angel: What can I get you?
Me: Do you make caramel-mocha frappes? (I had recently learned McDonald’s now featured a caramel-mocha flavored drink, combing both the caramel and mocha flavors they already feature.)
Angel: Uh, yes! We have have those. Why?
Obviously, she didn’t hear my question.
Me: Uh, I just wanted to know if you made them.
Angel: Oh, yes, we do!
Me: Okay, I’ll take two small frappes.
Angel: All right, what kind? Caramel or mocha?
Me: I thought you just said that you made caramel-mocha frappes?
Angel: Oh, I misunderstood you! (Really?!?) We just have either caramel or mocha. (I, being a frappe connoisseur, already knew this).
Me: Okay, I’ll just take 2 small frappes, one caramel, one mocha.
*McDonald’s Screen Displays 1 Medium Mocha and 1 Small Frappe*
Me: Oh, I just asked for small sizes, not medium. (Face palm)
Angel: Sorry about that! Your total comes to $5.63.
AND, my total time spent in the drive-thru itself? About 15 minutes. I swear, there should be drive-thru classes for drivers. Heck, I’ll even teach it. Here are a few key lessons:
- Don’t take longer than a minute to order.
- If you have an extremely large order, write it down. That way, you won’t have to repeat it 3 times back to poor, poor Angel.
- If you’re new to a restaurant chain, consider going inside to order. You wouldn’t believe the number of people I know (my mother) who take nearly 5 minutes looking at the outside menu before placing an order.
- Don’t get upset with the McDonald’s employees working the window. If they seem out of it, it’s usually because they’ve dealt with idiots all day long. (This also might result in a little extra something-something spit in your food…just saying).
So, good ol’ Ronny McD now owns one of my hard-earned dollars. A small donation, for sure, but a step in the right direction. I just hope he uses it to buy himself some new pants.
I’ll end my post today with a realization. A scary, terrifying realization which chills me to the core of my being. All this do-gooding? It feels great…I can’t lie…it really does. But it also makes me realize that sometime, someday soon, I will have to tackle one of my biggest fears and attempt the impossible to really say I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone…
…I will have to attempt to talk to an irritating retail store employee for longer than 2.7 seconds…
RAC #13: Donating to a random holiday charity
Result: $1 less on my debit card, 2 McDonald’s frappes