Because of my strange schedule, on Saturday afternoons I often find myself at the KFC in Fife, WA (see Dec. 27, 2006 entry on Fife, the City that Sold its Soul to the Devil). I alway order the same thing, a three piece dinner plus water. Since I have done this many times, I know the price.
I went up to the counter, noticing there was this new person working there, a young girl with an incredible amount of green eye-liner. The conversation went something like this:
“Can I help you, sir?”
“Yes, I would like a three piece dinner, dark meat, extra crispy, mashed potatos, cole slaw, biscuit, and a cup of water—for here.” I smiled smugly, pleased at how I laid all the pertinent information out.
“Thank you, sir. That will be $8.00 even.”
My smile disappears. I shake my head, “Did you just raise your prices?”
“Yes, sir, we did.”
I frown. I was just in here last Saturday and it was $6.52. You mean that you raised your price almost $1.50 in one week?”
She turns the screen towards me (upside down). “Yes, see here. It says $8.00 even. It cost $3.75 plus tax.”
My eyes bug out. I splutter, “You mean there is over $4.00 tax on a $3 item?”
“Yes, sir. See,” she points to the screen. “It says right here.”
“But we only have less than 9% sales tax! This would be over a 100% tax!” My voice begins to rise.
“Yes, see here it is right here on the screen.” Her eyes are beginning to water and I notice that her green mascara is beginning to run down her face.
I lower my voice and say in the most reasonable tone that I can muster. “Ok, let’s go through this again. I want a three piece dinner, dark meat, extra crispy, mashed potatos, cole slaw, biscuit, a cup of water for here.” I raise my eyes.
“Yes,” she says looking closely at the screen, “it’s right here. $3.75 plus tax making a total of $8.00.”
“No, that is impossible!” I grit my teeth.
“I’m sorry sir!” I notice her lip beginning to quiver.
“Ok, let’s do it again,” I say.
I’ll cut this short. We went through several more of the above iterations.
“I’m sorry, sir. It says it right here.” She points at the screen.
“Could we get somebody else to check this?” I ask, noticing that the line is now out the door.
She calls over the person working the window. “We seem to disagree on the price,” I say. “I want one three piece dinner, extra crispy, dark meat, cole slaw, mashed potatos, biscuit, a cup of water—for here.”
The guy punches in the buttons. “$6.52,” he says”
“Yes!” I shout, slapping down $10. 02 down on the counter with a loud smack.
The little girl looked confused. “Oh he charged you for dark meat,” she said.
“Yes, that is what I ordered. And we went over that several times.”
“Well, I was charging you for white meat. That’s why I itemized it all for you.” She looks at me.
I felt the blood running to my head. “You…you itemized it for me?” I choked.
“Yes, I itemized it all for you and you didn’t say dark meat.”
I swallowed hard. “Well, obviously we had a problem in communication.” I tried to sound calm and reasonable.
“Yes,” she says, raising her eyebrows.
Then the $10.02 that I paid her seem to confuse her because she rang me up as paying $10.03 and gave me a handful of change. I looked increduously at the handful of nickels and dimes and pennies, and just put it into my pocket. I was not going to argue about the change.
In a few minutes she had the order ready for me. I looked down at the plate. There was the normal meal, including two thighs and one leg, except for one important detail.
“Umm…ma’am. I ordered extra-crispy. This is original!”
She immediately turned around, replaced the chicken and turned back to me. She had replaced the two thighs and one leg of original recipe with one thigh and two legs of crispy.
“No!” I snapped. “It’s supposed to be two thighs and one leg just like the one you replaced!”
“No, sir. It’s two legs and one thigh,” she insisted.
“No, it is not! Then why did the one you replaced have TWO thighs and ONE leg?”
Without a word she turned, replaced the chicken and gave me my order of: three pieces of extra-crispy pieces, consisting of two thighs and one leg, mashed potatoes, cole slaw, biscuit, and no cup for the water.
“Could I please have a cup for the water?”
She gave me the cup for the water.
“THANK YOU.” I turned, looked at the wild-eyed people waiting in the line proceeding out the door, smiled, went to a table and ate my lunch.