May I please just vent once more about “competence”? Thank you.
Remember a year or so ago when I wrote about how rare it was to find someone truly competent in their job and what a joy it was to watch them work? Well, I’m really getting fed up now with incompetence. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so.
I realize that you could take a highly educated person, a neurosurgeon for example, and place him behind the counter of any fast-food joint at 11:30 AM and by noon, most of the customers would have already labeled him as stupid. He’s not stupid, far from it, he’s just incompetent at the job he is attempting to execute.
BUT when we’re talking about someone ostensibly TRAINED for the task at hand, then maybe “stupid” is the right word.
I decided yesterday that I wanted some fast-food fried chicken for lunch and decided to stop at a national chain joint here in Casa Grande while I was running other errands. I stopped at a place I had not tried in quite a while – not the colonel, a different one with a religious name – but I knew that their “spicy” chicken would be the only fair choice since the “regular” (from past experience) had all the flavor of cardboard (it’s bad when even chicken doesn’t taste like chicken!).
As I surveyed the menu on the wall, I saw, prominently displayed, a promotional picture that actually appealed to me. It read: “SPICY Three-piece, leg and thighs, meal $5.19”. I thought “perfect”. So, after reaching the front of the line, and being greeted with the standard rhetorical “how can I help you” phrase, I pointed to the sign – which by the way covered fully 25% of the menu area, and said “I’ll have that, SPICY Three-piece, leg and thighs, meal $5.19”
The young man looked down at his cash register and quickly asked “what’s the number?”
I glanced back at the menu to see there were numbers on all of their regular menu items like “1) 2-piece regular with biscuit, 2) 3-piece regular with biscuit, you get the idea. But this promotion – again that covered 25% of the menu – said only “SPICY Three-piece, leg and thighs, meal $5.19” – no number.
So I replied “ there IS NO number, it just says “SPICY Three-piece, leg and thighs, meal $5.19” and THAT’s what I want.
The young man’s eyes once again searched the cash register. Then, in a stroke of trained genius, called for the manager’s help saying “Pedro, ¿cuál es el número para el especial?”
Pedro, whose manager name tag adorned his shirt, stepped confidently up to the cash register and began punching buttons. I watched as a variety of menu items appeared on the customer display and then abruptly disappeared to be replaced by yet something else I had not ordered. After about 5 minutes (it actually felt longer) of this confusion, the Manager looked at me and said “That will be $5.72”. I thought “close enough”, and handed the guy a $5 bill and three quarters. He returned 2-cents change. I thought “close enough”. He then handed me a bag containing a box that held my chicken and a biscuit, and a small clear plastic bag with some sort of parfait (actually it was their disgusting version of strawberry shortcake made with a piece of waffle, strawberry jam and some imitation whipped cream). I handed the “parfait” back to him and said “you can keep that”, and I left, thinking that was rather cumbersome just to get a prominently advertised “SPICY Three-piece, leg and thighs, meal $5.19”
But the experience was not yet complete. Upon arriving home and removing the box from the bag and the chicken from the box, I discovered they had given me a number 2 (with all the flavor of cardboard).
My dear bride needed to arrange for some “blood-work” at a medical lab with offices here in Casa Grande. On her previous visit, she was happy to have had an appointment because it avoided a long wait in crowded waiting area. But getting the appointment was a quizzical experience. When she first called the lab, the girl who answered suggested she get an appointment to avoid waiting, and Den readily agreed. Then there was silence on the phone. Deb broke the silence and asked “when can I come in”? Reply: “When do you want to come in?” Deb said “how about tomorrow morning?”. Reply: We don’t have any openings tomorrow morning.” Silence. Deb asked: “how about tomorrow afternoon?” Reply: “no, that’s full too.” Silence. Deb, finally realizing she needed to prod this person, asked “When DO you have an opening”? Reply: “we have a slot on Wednesday morning” Deb said “I’ll take it.”
Now, a week went by and her doctor’s office decided there was yet another test to do and so she had to call again for a second appointment. The girl who answered the phone this time said “how can help you?” Deb said “I’d like to set an appointment, What do you have open?” The girl replied: “Oh you don’t need an appointment, we’re never busy”. Deb said “I’m sorry, but I WANT an appointment because last time there was a crowd in your waiting room and the appointment helped me avoid the wait, so when do you have an opening?” Reply, “Well, OK, but you’re going to have to call back for an appointment because I need to get on the internet to set appointments”.
Sometimes I think it’s a good thing the Soviet Union fell when it did. Just a few more years and we could have been toast. Wait a minute, maybe this is their doing ???
Remember, comedy is funny stuff to make you laugh, but HUMOR is laughing at stuff that ain’t funny!