I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t read it in the paper, nor do I follow McDonalds on Twitter, so it hit me unexpectedly. I only noticed when I pulled up to the McDonald’s in Waterford. Why was I there?
Well, unbeknownst to many, McDonalds is the mostunderratedplace to get work done. Ya know, to grind! They provide reliable WiFi, comfortable seating and drinks that make me feel like a creative but also that a creative person can actually afford (no drink will run you over $3, so suck it Starbucks).
All you need to do to enjoy your grind at McDonalds is to make sure there’s no goddamn kids. They will ruin it more than they ruin the spice of your marriage. For some reason McDonalds is a shout-only zone for them, with or without a play land. Anyway…
I approach the McDonald’s. It’s nighttime and there’s no kids, so I’m good to go. I see four men sitting around a table with coffee, their stomach hanging lower than their smug face. I make my way through the door and I go to the counter, but…nobody is there.
“You can use the kiosk,” a woman tells me from the McCafe area.
I look to my left and I feel like I’m in Waterford’s version of Times Square. Three large machines the size of me are locked and loaded with a screen more attracting than your iPhone past bedtime. I walk up to it and I feel like I’ve just been greeted by a friend. It said “Welcome” or something like that. I reach out and touch it and I feel like it’s the first time I touched an iPod Touch…borderline magic.
I’m presented with the full span of the McDonald’s menu. It starts with categories and goes from there, right down to the buns, seeds, how much ice you want and if you want sauce on the side. There’s no flaws in this method of madness, and I instantly know what the future looks like. It’s gameified the ordering experience and I was having way more fun than I should ever have in a McDonald’s after being to tall for the play land.
I look back to the counter and see the woman again who is staring at me with somber eyes. “I’m cheating on her,” I thought to myself. McDonald’s workers fought so hard for $15/hour wages and this is what it got them. Kiosks which are way easier than telling a real human what you want.
No error, no trouble of reading a menu with Size 12 font, and no more DTA: AKA drive-thru anxiety, a real condition that I just made up when making a decision too quickly makes me anxious. Just let me decide at my own pace, and that’s exactly what the kiosk does. It delivers a crisp ordering process, and now I can wait at a table without locking my ear up front to wait for my order to be called because they’ll now bring it right to me.
As I sit down with my fancy little geo-trackable number, all I can think about is this woman, she knows her future at McDonald’s is dwindling, she’s been tapped on the shoulder by the man in a tie with a clipboard.
She delivers me my Big Mac and latte. I know that’s a horrible order, but it’s what I was in the mood for. “Here you go,” she mumbles. She walks away and as sad as I am that her job is dwindling, I know in the long run, it’s for the better. I hate talking to people as much as she hates working there.
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