When the power was out last weekend I went to get Brett some food because he was sick and finally felt like he was ready to eat something. It was late, but I packed up the kids so they could get warm in the car and headed out. I came in from the back side of “fast food lane” and pulled up to the drive through. Brett and I love the chicken caesar salad at Wendy’s so I ordered that. The guy answered back, “We are out of that” (at least I thought that was what he said). I said, “Okay, can I get a roast beef and swiss on a wrap?” There was a pause and he replied, “we don’t have that”. By now I was feeling very frustrated and there was a long line of cars behind me and my kids were tired. I quickly scanned through the menu and picked a random salad and then waited for our turn at the window. I got to the window and he started to hand me my salad. I knew that the dressing on this salad would be full of sugar so I asked if I could get just some caesar dressing, since they didn’t have the salad itself. The guy looked at me weird and said, “we don’t have any caesar dressing”. I thought he was acting kind of rude and thought it was a perfectly normal question. Just because their salad was out didn’t mean their dressing was too. So he gave me some change and I pulled away and about two seconds later realized he hadn’t given me my $10 change. I tried to stop and yell back, but the car behind me had already pulled in behind me. Of course, it was late and the lobby was closed so I had to pull around and wait in the long line again. I got to the window and told him that he had given me the few cents he owed me in change, but not the $10. (I had check my purse and all around me to make sure I hadn’t just forgotten) He said, “Well, we are going to close soon. We will have to count everything in this register and then the one in the front and check it with our daily totals and see if we are $10 over. If we are I will give it to you.” I somewhat disgustedly replied, “I can’t wait, I have three tired kids in the car” (one who was crying). He said, “Well, I can’t just give you $10”. I was so mad at this point I started to put the car in gear to drive off without another word and he said, “give me your name and phone number and I will call you if you are right….and if you are I will buy your meal too”. So I gave him my number and drove off.
When I went home I vented to Brett about how awful the service was at Wendy’s. We go there a lot and have always been treated so well and I was shocked at how condescending he was to me. Brett listened to me for a few minutes and then said, “Isn’t this a Jack-in-the-Box bag?” I must have looked confused as I looked at the bag and then at him and then at the carton from the salad that was in the bag, as if Wendy’s had accidentally put their salad in a Jack-in-the-Box bag. So anyways, not only was I not at the store I thought I was at…I tried to order something from two different stores there! The salad I wanted was from Wendy’s and the wrap I wanted was from Arby’s.
So two days later the guy calls back and in a unenthusiastic monotone voice says, “Kim, I have your $10 here at the store. Come through the drive through to get it or they won’t know what you are talking about”. So I drive down there again and go through the long drive through line (power was still out most places in town) and ordered Brett some food and pulled up to the window. The girl gives me my total and I tell her that Michael told me to come pick up my $10 change from a previous visit. She looks confused and says, “Michael said that?” So she goes and digs through a few piles and five minutes later comes up with a baggie that is stapled together with a $10 bill in it. She says, “Do you want to just pay with this?” By this point I realize that Michael is nowhere to be seen and he is not going to hold true to his promise to pay for our meal so she rips open the baggie, takes the $10 and gives me a couple dollars back in change. I never hear another word from Michael. To give the guy a little credit, I was totally surprised that he ever called me back.
I didn’t have a great opinion of Jack-in-the-Box before my experience, and I would have never gone there if I hadn’t thought I was at Wendy’s, but I will not be purposely going back there again. I can understand if they have a policy about counting the registers or whatever before they give me the money, but the way he said, “I can’t just give you ten dollars” made me feel like he thought I had just sat fifteen minutes in the drive through line for a second time with a screaming kid just to get a few bucks. Then he tells me to come and pick up the $10 as if I don’t have better things to do. He could have mailed it to me or better yet, brought it to me on his way home from work. And finally, he wasn’t even there when I picked it up, even though I told him I was on my way down. He probably just didn’t want to pay for my meal.
Lesson learned…I will make sure I am where I think I am and I will only pay with American Express!