Chick-fil-A has long been my fast food restaurant of choice. Maybe that’s part of the reason why I take my boys there for breakfast on Saturday mornings when I can. And maybe it’s because when I went through the drive-thru recently at another fast food restaurant, I had a different experience. One you may be able to relate to, a theme that you may recognize from one of your recent visits.
I ordered a large cone. A little sweet treat for getting through another long week. I practically drooled on myself as I approached the window to happily hand over my hard-earned $1.70.
But when I got to the next window to pick up my order, the reality of a fast food world sunk in. “We’re out of cones,” the lady said in a matter-of-fact-couldn’t-care-less tone. “Want a cup?”
I thought about it. Looked in the rear-view mirror at the line behind me. Thought about the money I already shelled out. Thought about the hassle of asking for a refund on a buck seventy. Becoming impatient, the woman raised her eyebrows and lowered her head, nudging me for a response. “Sure,” I finally replied and watched the lady disappear and come back sixty seconds later.
She outstretched her hand and presented a tiny cup with an almost nonexistent amount of ice cream inside. I took it, pulled up as the car behind me took my place at the window, and I realized that the lady hadn’t given me a spoon. So I threw the cup into the trashcan next to me and left.
They could have offered me my money back. They could have given me a jumbo cup, overflowing with more ice creamy goodness than I could have handled. They could have just said ‘I’m sorry.’
But they didn’t.
I was a number. An inconvenient problem to solve with a convenient, not-so-thoughtful solution.
It’s pretty simple, really. All they had to do was care.
What’s sad is that not caring is the norm now and not just in fast food restaurants. It’s everywhere. And if I’m honest with you, I fall into that trap often myself. We all do. Shortcuts are easy to take.
At some point today, you’ll get a chance to not deliver on something that you promised somebody. You’ll be tempted to brush it off. You’ll see an easy way out and will feel like taking it.
Deliver. Give more than you think you need to. Do more than you feel like doing. You don’t need to do a million different things to make a difference in this world. We just need to do one thing: care.
Off to Chick-fil-A.