Friday, May 01, 2009

What Would You Have Done?


I'm going to tell you a story that actually happened to me but I'm not going to tell you the ending. I'm going to ask you

What Would You Have Done?

On that evening, on the way home from teaching my computer class at the community college, my husband and I decided to stop at McDonald's to pick up something for dinner. It was late, after 8:00, so we were going to grab something light, chicken or something.

Vinny spoke into the two-way and ordered a fish filet for himself and a salad for me. Two diet drinks. We pulled up to the front window and waited for them to fill our order. the kid working at the window sneezed. And then sneezed again.

"Hey," I yelled, "cover your mouth!"

It went through my mind that we were just about a half mile from St. Francis Prep high school on Francis Lewis Blvd. St. Francis is the epicenter of the swine flu in New York City.
That afternoon they had closed a public elementary school near St. Francis.

The kid sneezed again, and again. Our food sat in an open paper bag on the ledge just inside the window.

I yelled out again, "You shouldn't be serving food to people. You should be home!" He said in a distracted tone, "Yeah, sure."

He handed Vinny his change and our order. Vinny handed the bag to me. I took the bag with two fingers and held it that way as we headed home. Half way home I said to Vin, "What do you think we should do?"

So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, what would you have done?


1. The situation in NYC and the Swine Flu outbreak,
2.The fact that Vinny and I live in Queens a couple of miles from St. Francis Prep,

3. And that 150 kids are now suspected of having the flu, possibly the strain that has killed 60 people in Mexico.

I'd really like to know what you think. Leave your suggestions in the comments today and tomorrow.

I'll tell you what Vinny and I did tomorrow. :)



Queen-Size funny bone said...

I would of pulled the car over and went inside and spoke with the manager demanded a new order be made and tell that kid to wash his hands and get out of the service window.

Mo said...

This is a tough one, Mary.
I would want to say I would have complained to the manager and asked for a replacement, but honestly -
I probably would have thrown the bag away, washed my hands and used Purell and gone home to have a bowl of cereal.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I'm kind of a pain about stuff like that. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to eat the food after witnessing such, I would have parked and gone in the restaurant and politely told the manager that I needed new food. If he asked why, I would tell him/her. Calmly and politely and quietly. I would not take NO for an answer.

Jan said...

I would have talked to the manager, given him the food, and asked for a refund. No food from there.

The manager was as much at fault as the kid, and they don't deserve my money.

MidniteScrapper said...

Swine Flu or not, I would not have liked all that sneezing near my food.
I would have gone in and spoken to the manager. If I was super lazy, I might've just asked for the manager to come to the window.

ellen b. said...

My niece's wedding was supposed to be Saturday in Cancun. It was cancelled because of the Swine Flu. Being so alert to the Swine Flu and its consequences right now I would not have taken the bag from the sneezer. A month ago I would have and just been kind of disgusted...

Doreen said...

I don't think I could have eaten it after that! I would speak with the manager and get my money........and run!! :-)

Noelle said...

It probably depends on what kindof mood I was in but I probably would've went in and talked to the manager, got a refund and left. I wouldn't eat from a place where a kid's been sneezing all over food he's serving and then I would've went home and wrote a letter to the ceo of McDonalds about the situation. I'm sorry you had to experience that. I can't wait to hear what you did.

Kay said...

Tough one.

Ok, what would I have done? Probably gone home, washed my hands thoroughly before and after eating and not gone back to that McD’s for a good long while.

What should I have done? Most likely something akin to what has been talked about above.

But a few things to note:

The kid probably makes next to nothing and calling in sick to work isn’t always an option… (myself included, some of us just don’t get sick days.) However, that is no excuse for not covering his mouth and being conscientious.

The kid might have just had a cold or a bit of dust up his nose. Yes, he might also be a carrier of whatever it is they are calling it now but…

… exposure doesn’t mean you will get sick. From what I have read the virus is easily avoided if you keep yourself clean (take the same steps to avoid other types of flu) and even if you start to experience symptoms, so far (except in Mexico) the cases have been mild and mostly non-threatening.

I guess it is always better to be vigilant but really when you eat any food type thing (even fish from McD’s) you are at some level of risk…. And again, the kid should have been aware and no been getting his cooties all over everything.

But that has a lot to do with upbringing I think.

Lucy said...

Swine flu or no swine flu...sneezing on food being served to the public is inexcusable. I would have taken the food and gone in, given it to the manager, explained the situation and asked for refund and then been on my way.

Annie said...

Mary, I promise you - I would have never accepted that bag. I would have insisted on a fresh order and I would have expected the shift manager to give it to me. I also would have asked the shift manager who else had a cold in there and was sneezing all over the food.

Lois Grebowski said...

Vinny ate it, didn't he?

Swine flu or now swine flu, I wouldn't have eaten it.

Kym said...

I would have parked the car, taken the food into the store, calmly tell the manager what had happened and asked for my money back. Swine flu or not, that was unsanitary and that kid went through training of how to properly handle food when he was hired. I would probably have not gone back there ever again.

ROSIDAH said...

I don't know, if I would have gone to the manager to tell him about this situation. Not for the money, but because of concern about the swine flu. It would be risky, if the boy really had this disease and they really should be aware of this crucial issue. But I wouldn't want the boy to loose his job either, especially if it only was a common flu. He may needed the money and have a hard time at home. Anyway, it was very inconsiderate from the boy to leave his mouth open. He should have been responding to you. Me and my husband would be outraged of manners like that. I would have left the food, go home and take a clean bath. But not before giving this boy a few words of my mind. Have a great weekend, Mary :)

Gattina said...

I would have refused to take the food and ask for new food without sneeze on it. If refused I would have asked to talk to the manager making a whole mess in the restaurant.

Ivanhoe said...

I would refuse to take the food & want my money back. Even if it would take to talk to manager about the sneezer at the window. Swine flu or not - I don't want what he's got :o)

carol g said...

I would have pulled away from the window BEFORE getting my change and food, parked the car, and gone in to the restaurant and spoken with the manager on duty... requesting the kid wash up and be sent home. Then would have requested a new meal.

Terri said...

I would have refused the order and spoken to the manager. I would also consider calling the local health department and reporting it - not to get this kid in trouble, but to encourage some hygiene education in light of the flu possibilities.

EastCoastLife said...

I would have refused the order and spoken to the manager.

The swine flu is causing fear in people all over the world. I want to be cautious and safe from it.

Misty Dawn said...

First of all, I wouldn't have accepted anything he sneezed on!

Second, I would have called the manager and insisted that he be sent home.

Normally, I'd think no big deal, but this isn't a 'normal situation' we're dealing with right now!

Basically - I completely agree with Queen-Size funny bone.

Dianne said...

I would have brought it home and given it to my in-laws

OK - maybe not.

I think I would have asked the kid to have someone else redo a brand new order for me and I would have explained why.

If he give me attitude I would have asked to speak to the manager

then again- heaven only knows what goes on that we don't see - for the most part our bodies can fight it off

Terry said...

dear teach... i never read anyone's comments yet but what i would have done was got my money back.
i am a real tight wad and what is the sense of taking that stuff home if i knew i would be chucking it into the garbage anyway.
i don't even think i would give it to the birds..
yuk!!! terry

Terry said...

ha mary t...i just read the comments and i see that there are more tight wads than me on your post.
no way does it hold true, that
"every one's gotta eat their pint of dirt a year."
that stuff the kid was sneezing all over your sandwiches sure'nuff weren't dirt....yuk i with his head!...ha!

Travis said...

Regardless of the current outbreak of flu, I wouldn't have accepted anything that kid touched. I wouldn't have taken my change and I wouldn't have taken the food.

I would have asked to speak with a manager, explaining my discomfort with a mannerless teenager handling money and food, all the while spraying spit and germs around the work station, and indeed throughout the entire restaurant. And I would have told that manager why I would never again patronize his franchise.

And when I got home, I would have sent an email to the McDonald's company with that store number. McDonald's supposedly prides itself on its customer service.

I have done this in the past. I've seen kids at these fast food places handle money and then go and grab food and put it in bags, then hand it to customers. I'm not a complete sanitation freak, but there are limits.

Louis la Vache said...

Joyeux Premier Mai!