This weekend D and I were in VT for a conference. On the drive back, we made a quick stop at McDonald’s to grab a late lunch. I ordered my usual quarter-pounder meal. When they finished our order, I got our tray and carried it to our table like any other McD’s experience. I took the fist bite of my burger and realized that I forgot to hold the onions. So I proceeded to pick them out. As I opened my burger I noticed a rather large, oddly shaped chunk of onion. I very quickly realized that this was no onion. It was a clear cap to an ink pen that had evidently fallen out of someone’s shirt pocket onto my sandwich when they were preparing my food. Without saying a word, I simply got up from my seat and walked up to the counter with the burger carton (which contained my fries and my burger with the nice little souvenir in it).

The poor girl working behind the counter had already mixed up my order one time, but I didn’t make an issue out of it. I simply politely corrected her while laughing it off. When she saw me coming she jokingly asked what else they had done to mess up my order. Again, without saying a word, I simply looked at my sandwich and held it out for her to see. She was completely horrified. She didn’t say a word to me, but took the burger out of my hands and went immediately to her manager. I watched with curiosity to see what would happen next. To my surprise, the manager loudly asked, “what? did he drop it or something?” Mimicking me, the girl said nothing but just looked at the sandwich and held it out for him to see. He went from being frustrated at a customer to a disciplinary manager who loudly scolded his cooks and staff.

Needless to say, I got a free meal (along with a new, perfect burger and more fries which were about 4 times larger than that I ordered). Actually, I got 4 free meals. The manager came back with vouchers for 4 combo meals. It was only on our way out of the McDonald’s that we noticed that they were only good for the McD.’s in VT or some in Western Mass. But, at least it has provided a funny story to tell and another story to blog about.

Moral of the story: Always check your burger for pen caps.

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