Sunday, March 21, 2010

They Paved Common Sense, and Put Up a Parking Lot - The Drive-Through Edition

Maybe my expectations for this human race are just too high. Or maybe I'm just too observant for my own good. Either way, the epidemic of human beings without presence of mind or concern for others has now spread to the Dunkin' Donuts drive-through. Like many a corporate asshole, I like to stop by Dunkin' on the way to work most days for my commute coffee. On its best days, the drive-through is wonderful, you hardly even have to come to a complete stop. On its worst days, it is an exquisite portrait of human stupidity.

The mopes in the drive-through ordering breakfast for their whole office, or three different types of bagels that all need to be toasted, or 12 different types of donuts for a dozen, they are a very select group of people with the ability to make me laugh and curse at the same time. And on a side note, don't you just love the arrogant dildos that take 5 minutes just to describe how they take their coffee? "Um, yes, I'll have a medium, no wait, make that a large hazelnut with one and a half packets of Splenda and 2 ounces of 1% milk." One time I was behind someone who actually asked for one packet of Sweet & Low and one packet of Equal. What?! Are you serious?? I'd hate to be the poor guy behind the counter when that girl rolls up in her Prius thinking she's at her own personal kitchen. I'll bet he wishes (CAUTION: TOYOTA JOKE AHEAD) her car gets to acting like a lot of its brothers and sisters have lately.

Please, if your order is sizable, somewhat specialized, or requires any heating at all, go inside. You are defeating the purpose of the drive-through, the line is starting to spill back out onto the road, and everyone behind you is bemoaning your existence. And for the sake of everything that is Holy, PAY WITH CASH. If you won't listen to me, at least listen to George Carlin on the same subject (around the 9-minute mark). It is on this token that I'd propose to the Judicial Board of Common Sense a $5 limit on any drive-through order between the hours of 6:30-9 AM, Monday-Friday, as well as a restriction on ordering food items that require any sort of preparation or toasting and a cash-only rule during those same hours. The result? A drive-through line that keeps moving and doesn't stop for 10 minutes because some Big Bertha is up there buying half the store.

It is imperative to understand that not all drive-throughs are to be treated equally. Dunkin' Donuts is not McDonald's or Burger King, especially on a weekday morning. You are there to get in and get out, and the drive-through is just a measure taken to further streamline the process. At a regular fast food place, the drive-through is the norm if you are not intending to eat there, and no order of any size (within reason) is considered outrageous. You know why? Because the food is ready-made at those places; the preparation doesn't require much more than throwing the stuff into a bag. This is rarely the case at a Dunkin' Donuts, unless you're just getting a black coffee, a plain untoasted bagel, or a simple donut or two.

Think of a McDonald's drive-through as the left lane on a 40-mph road with a lot of traffic lights. Yes, you're technically there because you want to go faster, but in the end you know you'll never be going too much faster than everyone else anyway. The Dunkin' Donuts drive-through, on the other hand, should be thought of as the left lane on a freeway. It is plainly understood that you are there to get moving and stay moving, and those who will knowingly be going slow need to stay the hell out.

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