The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

Mc Donalds Trostre Llanelli

Sadly I had to rush out the other night and being starving decided to call in to McDonalds in Trostre.  I hadn’t been there before and whilst I am quite used to getting sh*t customer service.  This was the sh*test ever.  


It was half past six, they were busy, I understand that, but we are talking about a fast food restaurant (I use the term restaurant loosely here as I have yet to see a maitre d in any MacDonalds) that knows in advance that you want a burger.  Indeed their market research is so well done that they will know what percentage of people actually want which burger, whether it’s the kids meal, the chicken whatsit or the Big Mac, (90% bread, sauce, pickles, onions and other stuff, and only 10% patte).  The term ‘Patte’ is used loosely in relation to McDonalds as indeed it is used by them.  


Anyhow I digress…  I went in through the doors after parking the car in their awkward car park and then walked to the counter to buy burgers for me and Mrs Angry who against her better judgement had decided to come with me.  


I immediately noticed a queue and was just about to give up and leave when a small child (a teen thingy) working behind the counter asked me what I wanted.  I thought ‘great, fast service’ and politely looked at the imp and asked for two quarter pounders with cheese.  That’s it, no meal, no drinks, just two of their most popular burgers ever..  


He asked me for money which I duly obliged with then handed me a receipt and stood there looking stupid for a minute before looking past me to a person standing behind me and saying ‘Next please!’


I interrupted him, by asking ‘where are my burgers’, he said that I had to go ‘over there’ to get them.   


I looked to my right with fresh eyes at the queue that I had seen on the way in.  About twenty people looking forlorn and without hope, some were anxious, others depressed, some sobbed uncontrollably like they were standing in line for their results at the HIV clinic, each with a tiny little receipt in their hands.  Then it dawned on me.  I had just bought burgers at the ****ing Argos of fast food…


Now everyone knows that Argos is pretty f***ing sh*t at the best of times, from the hours spent browsing their catalogue to filling out the slip and paying for it, before finally sitting on those cheap and sh*tty plastic chairs waiting for your number to come up.  A visit to argos is like a visit to dignitas (only without the happy ending).


My rage was uncontrollable, I asked the imp, ‘where’s my ****ing burgers? ‘

‘ You’ve got to wait,’ he said.  

‘Ok,’ I replied, ‘I haven’t got time for this, just give me my money back and I’ll go elsewhere.’

‘I can’t do that,’ he said.  

‘Well you’d better find me someone who can,’ I replied.  ‘I want to speak with the manager now.’


Needless to say there was no manager available, he was probably in the office counting all of the cash like Mr Krabs from Spongebob.  


But, how dehumanising is that?   Crap service, food not ready, endless queues and zero customer service.  I won’t be doing that again.  Imagine how nauseating it is to find that in some McDonalds you don’t even get the spotty teenager in the silly hat behind the counter.  They’ve been replaced with touchscreens.  I am not joking!  I have since found out that they are in Trostre too, but didn’t notice them.  


That’s how profit hungry and driven this corporation is.  You decide what you want, your order it, you pay for it and it drops out of the touch screen’s guts ready to eat.  It’s not exactly the Star-Trek replicator we’ve all been waiting for.  You know when Captain Picard walks up to the wall and says ‘Pie and chips twice!’ and it instantly appears in a transporter haze.


How sickening is that, that they don’t think enough of you to serve you with a genuine human being.  If I wanted to be treated like sh*it all of the time I would ask for help from a planning officer at Carmarthenshire County Council.  It’s cheaper than hiring a dominatrix and the sense of abuse and powerlessness is longer lasting too.


So given all of this how come the burgers weren’t ready, how come there was queue with receipts in the first place, how come all of the staff we’re working like nutters in the kitchen, but only one or two were on the counter?


Unsurprisingly I’m not ****ing loving it!


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