Have a Nice Day Sir!

When the young man who uttered this phrase to me said it, he had no way of knowing what it would bring forth in terms of this post. What was said innocently and prompted by requirement made me think about the events that transpired before it and around me daily.

You see, it was this morning on my way to work after watching Michael in his quiz bowl tournament that I stopped at McDonald’s. It seems every time I go there I am in for a treat in one way or another. In no way was this the typical experience that left me asking the manager if he knew what QA stood for or another asking the same manager to get in his car and drive my child’s nuggets to my house. Maybe not the wisest things for me to do but under the circumstances that prompted each of those phone calls, you may have understood and agreed. Today was no exception in terms of a treat at McD’s.

Pulling up to the window I am greeted by a young man who seemed happy to be on the clock, which is not the norm nowadays. He handed me my bag and promptly said did you have anything else with that today? My first thought… you have a computer screen in front of you which should tell you that I have a drink as well. It was sitting right behind him. I said yes, I have a diet coke. He spun almost robotically grabbed the drink and handed it to me saying “have a nice day sir!” First thought… he didn’t know I had a drink so I bet there is no straw. I reach into the bag and there is not one. I ask for a straw and again in the robot motion he spins, grabs a straw and hands it to me saying “have a nice day sir!” I am off thinking wow, I wish everyone could be as pleasant as this person in public for there are too many people today that won’t even look at you, don’t want to do their job, but at the same moment expect to be paid for such rudeness and overall not doing a good job.

Anyway, I get down the road, reach in to the bag and open my snack wrap. It seems that whoever wrapped it placed the lettuce on the outside of the wrap. Nice. So I then reach in to the bag for a napkin. None. In my head echoes, “have a nice day sir!” and immediately I am off and running with thoughts about not only my past experiences with McDonald’s but also my experiences with the workforce in general today.

Basically I have a thought… if someone wants to be paid for a job, make them work on commission, for tips, or under a contract that stipulates what is to be done and what they must do in order to be paid. There will be no payment for half-completed jobs, shortcuts, rudeness, or a lack of caring about the customer. Will this help? Only if followed to the letter. I also feel that anyone working a job should be trained thoroughly and taught about respect and quality assurance. I learned this as a kid from my parents. Sadly, not all of today’s kids are learning those lessons at home. Too many people today think they can get something for nothing and that they are entitled to have it all without working for it. I am happy to say that I have parents who taught me responsibility and to take ownership for a task. Because of that, I am proud to work hard for what I have. I have never expected something to be handed to me or that I was entitled to something just for showing up.

I wonder though, did my parents ever think that of individuals when I was a teenager? Did I act like they do today? If so, I apologize for myself and my generation and I know better now. If not, I wonder what changed and where the blame is? I have an idea that I know where to begin pointing fingers.

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