Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dear Jack: A Rant

This post could alternately be entitled: Would You Freaking Let Me Finish Placing My Freaking Order Already???

I try not to eat fast food too often. It isn't good for me, and since I try to eat somewhat healthy foods for the most part, I usually feel kind of gross after I do. But when I've got a deadline, the idea of taking the time to cook usually goes out the window, and the idea of picking something up at the drive-thru becomes rather appealing. Besides, I'm already not cleaning the house or showering as much as I should be when I'm under a deadline, so I'm already a little gross in those instances, so what's the harm in adding a little more of a gross feeling from eating fast food if it saves me the time it would take to cook and wash dishes?

That's where I was late last month.

Even though I don't eat at any fast food restaurants all that often, I really don't eat at Jack-in-the-Box very often at all. It had been so long since I'd eaten there that I could no longer remember what my aversion was to them. I mean, their food is as okay as any of the other burger joints. Why didn't I ever go there? Couldn't remember, but my brother had told me that their burgers were better now. They've started seasoning them as they cook, and so they taste less like a fast food burger and more like one you'd make at home.

So, in my deadline haze, and since I couldn't remember why I avoid JitB, I decided to go there to pick up my meal and take it back to the writing cave one day.

Here's how the drive-thru experience went:

Jack's Order Taker: "Welcome to Jack-in-the-Box. My name is Fill-in-random-name-here. Would you like to try our Fill-in-random-combo-of-the-day-that-they've-been-ordered-to-push today for only $4.99?"

Me: "No thanks. Can I get a number three, small siz--"

Jack's Order Taker: "That's a number three combo. Would you like that in small, medium, or large today?"

Me: grumble beneath my breath that I was in the process of answering that very question when they interrupted me. "Small sized with a sweet te--"

Jack's Order Taker: "What drink you would like with your small combo today?"

Me: fuming from my ears at this point, as I suddenly remember why I never visit the Jack-in-the-Box drive-thru. "I want a sweet tea and regular fri--"

Jack's Order Taker: "Great, that's a number three combo, small sized with a sweet tea. Did you want regular fries or curly fries with your combo?"

Me: trying to power my way through the rest of the order to avoid any more interruptions. "Regular-fries-and-I-want-the-burger-made-with-no-sau--"

Jack's Order Taker: "Regular fries. Got it. Does the order look correct on the screen?"

Me: nearly yelling. "No, because I don't want any sauce on my burger and I was trying to tell you that if you would have just stopped interrupting me and listened for--"

Jack's Order Taker: snippy tone. "No sauce. Is the order correct on your screen now?"

Me: ripping out hair in frustration. "YES!"

Now I remember why I don't go to Jack-in-the-Box. (As a side note, the burgers do taste better now.) In fact, I can only remember one instance in the last decade or more when I've gone to a JitB drive-thru and been able to place my order without the order taker interrupting me every few seconds to ask me a question which I was already in the process of answering. I never experienced that order taker again, and I have to believe it is because the poor guy got fired for letting me get through the process without following their obsessively annoying script. Such a shame.

So Jack and your corporate executives who have created this process? It stinks. It makes placing an order take three times as long, it frustrates your customers, and it has convinced me not to go back...despite your better tasting burgers.

Are the JitB drive-thrus this bad where you live? Are there any other places you refuse to go because of annoying customer service practices?

**Originally published at Lady Scribes**

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