Saturday, May 02, 2009

Here's What I Did...

Wow, I'm overwhelmed how smart and savvy all you guys are! Isn't it incredible how this swine flu epidemic or whatever they are calling it, has gotten us all to come together and consider the options if something like what happened to my husband and me happened to you.

Twenty people (at the time I'm writing this response: 5:00 PM EST) commented and almost to a man/woman no one would have eaten the food handed over by the sneezing cashier. (Click here to read the sneezing story) Most of you said you would have gotten out of the car and gone into the manager and complained, most of you said you would have spoken politely and asked for your money back. Most of you didn't blame the kid cashier and most weren't interested in having the kid lose his job.

Terri said she would have called the local health authorities - not to get the kid in trouble but to encourage some hygiene instructions at that McDonalds. You said it, Terri! I never thought of calling the health authorities...

Kay made a couple of good points: the kid might have had a cold, not incipient swine flu. He doesn't make a lot of money so calling in sick wasn't an option, and exposure doesn't mean you'll get sick. And even if you get symptoms, so far the cases have been mild and non-threatening here in the U.S.

All that went through my head and I think it kept me from really doing anything.

When I was sitting in the drive-through, I thought about going into the manager. But I had my leg bound up in that big black boot because I had fractured my ankle. Getting out of the car with my cane and hobbling over to McD's door felt like too much and I would have had to explain to Vinny where I was going and there were two cars behind us. So I did nothing except yell loudly at the kid to cover his mouth when he sneezed.

When Vinny and I looked at each other on the way home that evening, I finally said to him, "You know we don't have to eat this food." In my mind I thought that maybe I was being too stuffy about it and over-reacting. But Vin said "I think you're right." He had a pained look on his face.

When we pulled into the driveway he immediately took the bag from me and dumped $10.00 worth of food in the garbage pail. We went in the house and washed our hands. I noticed how thoroughly Vinny washed. We even used some Purell.

Vinny got a plastic bag and went outside to wrap the bag of food tightly til the garbagemen came in two days. He washed his hands again when he came in. We ate cereal for dinner than night, just like Mo and The Pagan Sphinx said they would.

We talked about it. I was, for the most part, angry at the manager who would allow a kid sneezing like that to serve food at the drive-through. It was as if he hadn't listened to the news over the last few days. In truth the manager should NEVER let a sneezing, coughing kid serve food to customers.

I did wonder why that kid didn't sneeze into his elbow the way they say you should today.

To be honest I don't think the manager would have given us back our money. I bet he would have refused to do that and I really don't know if I would have lost it with him or threatened to call the health department.

Lois, no, Vinny didn't eat the McD's food. Actually he was MORE disgusted than I was.

Thanks everybody for participating. I appreciate knowing that I wasn't crazy dumping that food in the garbage.



Anonymous said...

Thank God, Mary! I can start breathing again. My hubby would've eaten it.

He's goofy like that. When he travels, he's a big gas station chicken salad sandwich guy. You know those pre-made sandwiches in the fridge case?

He says they build up his immunity and that he can now survive the germ bomb. Whatever!

Kay said...

At least the sick kid was at the windo and not in the kitchen right?

A shame to waste 10 bucks, but better safe than sorry.

Annie said...

Good ending and good for you to not eat it. If I had not gotten satisfaction, I would have written an opinion piece for our local rag. My town is probably the size of one of NYC's neighborhoods so I'm guessing that sort of pressure would work here. Probably would not work in the City though.

~~gail~~mooselovingmamabear said...

It's back to the time of "cooking at home"... There has been a "local" story of an Olive Garden restaurant about a woman who sent her food back and a terrible thing that happened...and now w/ the whole flu epidemic, it has made me realize that is's time to grow my own and cook my own...even working full-time, I've gotta do my part... KWIM?

Terry said...

oh i just read this post now teach and boy i bet that vin was mad that he had to throw that ten dollars worth of food out.
i had forgotten all about your being still with the cast mary t.
now what good would that have accomplished your going in to demand your money back?
the way you were yelling at the bad kid, you might of swung your cane at the manager!!. and i do hear that prison food isn't that good these terry

Gattina said...

As I said yesterday, I wouldn't have accepted this food and asked for a new package.Even with 10 cars behind me, I would rather explain to the waiting people what happened.

Travis said...

It's not outrageous to expect basic sanitation practices from these fast food restaurants. Or from any business that sells food.

Babs-beetle said...

There is no way I would have eaten it either. Actually, I wouldn't have accepted it. I would also have reported it to the health authority. You can't be too careful.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've been thinking about this so much now. My thought centers on: who is responsible? If I'm sick, stay home, I'm responsible because I've taken the responsibility. That will work the same if someone else sick, stays home.
If someone else sick goes into the public, then the only way I can take responsibility and be responsible is to stay home OR take some of those paths you've explored.