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TinotopiaLog → McDonald’s Still Needs A Taxonomy ( 2 Dec 2005)
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Friday 02 December 2005

McDonald’s Still Needs A Taxonomy

Lileks went to McDonald’s:

Went to McDonald’s Moon with Gnat tonight; utterly incompetent help. I’d like a cheeseburger with nothing but ketchup, apples, chocolate milk, and a girl’s toy. I got a hamburger infested with onions, fries, white milk, and a Power Ranger. Mind you, I don’t slur my order or speak fast and let them sort it out; I’ve learned that the best way to order fast food is to state the genre then the attributes: cheeseburger, ketchup only; fries, medium; milk, white; toy, female. That way you’ve stated the concept before the modifier, and it’s easier for the cashier – who for all you know started yesterday and has no idea what all these buttons mean – to get it right. But when they get everything wrong, and you’re the only customer in the shop, there’s something else going on: they don’t understand what you’re saying at the level below the phonic, and that makes it difficult. The whole gestalt of the order does not come across.

Lileks is, as always, approaching the situation logically. He expects, particularly in a place as ruled by the three-ring-binder as McDonald’s, there there must be a system.

I wrote about the strange grammar you have to use to order things at McDonald’s back in May. If there’s a system, it’s one specifically designed to produce maximum confusion.

Posted by tino at 12:16 2.12.05
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