When you get mad or frustrated and you decide to take it out on someone, it often backfires. I first heard this story from a friend of mine about 5 years ago. Written down, it is just an echo of itself. Originally told to me by the guy who did this, it was one of the funniest “Yes, I really did this” tales I ever heard.
I had just graduated from college and was desperately trying to find a job in my field (TV/video). I interviewed for a job in Charlotte and this interview process was different than most because they would actually pay me for a week and see if I fit in with their production house. I went there for the week, but it didn’t work out at all. Thursday had rolled around and I knew more than likely I was not going to get the job. I tried to remain positive and when I was leaving for lunch I told the two guys I was working for that I was going to look for an apartment in town.
“I wouldn’t sign any leases if I were you,” one of them said.
That knocked the last bit of any optimism I had in the can. So instead of going to look for a place to live I wandered down the main street looking for a place to eat. In a series of fast food restaurants, I spotted a Bojangles and pulled through the drive-through. I ordered a chicken biscuit, some fries, and a Coke, and pulled the car into the lot.
Still wondering what I was going to do with my life and still very ticked off, I tilted the seat back in my car and tried to relax while eating my lunch. I took one bite of my biscuit and it was still frozen. It was like the Bojangles guy said, “Hey I know how we can speed things up a bit! We just won’t cook the F@#$%*&G food!”
It was THE LAST STRAW! DEFCON 5. All circuits red. I stuffed my food back into the bag, got out of my car, and marched into the restaurant. Now, you have to remember that this is Charlotte. It’s a fast food place, and it’s lunch time, so we are talking about a lot of people in this place. The line was huge, but I didn’t care. I pushed my way up to the counter making a big scene as I went.
Behind the counter was a pasty chubby red head kid with huge black rimmed glasses. You know, the epic dork, the guy working in fast food because it is the limit of his potential. I looked him square into those coke-bottle glasses and said (and keep in mind that everyone in the restaurant could hear me loud and clear)
“Man, my chicken biscuit is cold. I want another one, I want a fresh drink, I want my money back and I want to talk to the manager!”
Instant silence. Everyone in the place is now completely focused on the angry guy at the counter. The kid behind the counter looked down at the crumpled bag I was carrying and then looked up at me and smiled. Smiled like Clint Eastwood in a Dirty Harry movie. Like he was seeing the cross hairs on my forehead and was going to take the shot, he calmly said, “Mister, I’d really like to help you. But you see, we’re Wendy’s. Bojangles is next door.”
The entire restaurant erupted in laughter. I looked out the window, the Wendy’s I was in and the Bojangles I had driven thru shared a parking lot. My car sat on the row between the buildings. I grabbed my smashed bag and headed for the door. Walking out head down, completely humiliated, people were slapping me on the back.
“That’s right jerk! Bojangles is over there!”
“You told him, man!”
Even when I walked out of the building people were laughing and beating on the windows and pointing to Bojangles. The Bojangles was just as crowded and the line was long, but I just waited in line, hoping nobody from Wendy’s would come over and say…”Naw! Naw! Tell them what you just did!” When I got to the counter I politely (and quietly) told them the problem and got a new biscuit.
So I didn’t get the job in Charlotte, but I always seem to be a big hit at parties when we play “What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?”