In which the hype, somehow, is real

I am fully, 100% aware of just how behind the times I am, that it is April of 2021 and I am about to use precious space on Beyoncé’s internet to talk about the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich. But yes, somehow I managed to wait a year and a half from the launch of the sandwich in August of 2019 to finally eat one. But there really isn’t a Popeye’s anywhere near me, and it’s not like we’ve been able to eat in restaurants lately. But I have dinner with my dad every week or two, and generally the way it works is that I bring something over, and he said yesterday that he was in the mood for chicken sandwiches and didn’t specify where from.

And there is a Popeye’s near Dad’s place. Now, it’s a shitty Popeye’s– but then, they all are, right? But if he wants chicken sandwiches anyway, and there’s one by him … well, what the hell, let’s gird our loins for disappointment and try the damn things out. Surely they’ve been out long enough that I can just go get a couple of them, and they’ve probably been scaled back from what they were when they were first out and people were literally murdering each other for the damn things.

Ha.

This particular Popeye’s is a freestanding restaurant that is basically in the middle of a parking lot. It’s not really built to have a lengthy drive-thru line, and when I got there not only did the line completely wrap around the building– let me remind you again that it is April of 2021 and this damn sandwich has been out for nearly two years— but they had someone in the parking lot fucking directing traffic, so that Popeye’s customers could get in line for the drive-thru while still at least theoretically allowing people access to the Subway (this Subway) fifty feet away.

I was in line for maybe fifteen minutes. Given the number of cars, not bad. I ordered three Original sandwiches– Dad had said he wanted two, so I figured I’d get two as well– and one Spicy.

Do not order two of these damn things, and do not try to eat both at a sitting unless you are a giant fat man like me.

Look at that fucking sandwich. That’s the spicy one. The chicken patty was an inch thick. The other one didn’t overhang the bun like this one did but holy hell, this much food for $4.50 or whatever they were charging me– it’s less than that, I think– is madness. The damned sandwiches were delicious; they weren’t overwhelmed with sauce (mayo for one and spicy sauce of some sort for the other,) the pickles were tasty and crunchy although there could have maybe been a couple more of them (I think they slid to the one side of the sandwich during transit?) and the patty itself in both cases was fucking great. This is 100% the best fast-food chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, bar none, and other than a particular sandwich served by one single restaurant in Chicago that obviously I can’t get any longer, it’s probably the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had, period, and it’s not close. Even the spicy sandwich was, for me, balanced more or less perfectly. It’s probably not hot enough for people who genuinely like super-spicy foods, but for me it hit the sweet spot where I was definitely feeling it but it wasn’t overwhelming.

I finished the damn things nearly two hours ago and my mouth is still kind of watering. That good.

But seriously, don’t order two of them, especially if you want any kind of side. I’ll have more of these– they’re worth going out of my way for– but it’s an enormous amount of food. If, like me, you didn’t want to battle crowds to get one of these when they were all over the news and then just sort of let it fall off your radar, make a trip. It’s worth it.

On my priorities

Priority.jpgLeft work tonight hungry as hell and decided I really, really needed some tacos.  Which is an impulse that I ought to curb anyway, frankly.  I ordered a certain number of items and paid for them and drove away.

I started eating the tacos on the way home, because I am a fucking animal apparently, and it immediately became clear that the young woman behind the window really was in her first few days on the job (I had a hunch) because half of my food was missing.  Realistically, I probably should have noted that the bag was way lighter than it ought to have been.

I ate what they gave me, didn’t go back, and haven’t called the restaurant to complain, because the thought of doing any of those things exhausts me and fuck it it’s five bucks or whatever that I wasted.  I just cannot be fucked to complain to a fast food restaurant that they screwed me out of $5 worth of shitty soft tacos.

So: am I a pushover, or is it OK that I value my time that much more than my money?  And possibly my health, since the food they gave me turned out to be enough anyway and I didn’t really need the extra tacos?

Talk amongst yourselves.

On today’s activities

Unknown.jpegSo here is the thing about the clearance section at my job: it is never finished and is never actually correct.  Furniture in clearance comes in one of two flavors: discontinued furniture, which is usually stuff that used to be a floor model and is therefore in pretty good condition (and, accordingly, generally a damn good deal) and stuff that has been returned, exchanged, or damaged, which can be anything.  We have a chair on the floor that originally retailed for $599 that we were originally trying to get $50 for until I touched it and ran across the store to get to the hand sanitizer.  I insisted the manager touch it.  He did.  It’s now priced at $10, and I may buy it myself just so I can insist it be taken out back, thrown into the dumpster, and possibly shot for good measure.

I may take a picture of it tomorrow, actually.

Anyway.  To be in clearance “correctly,” a piece of furniture needs three things:

  1. To have a price tag on it.  Clearance starts around 15% off, is usually 30% off, and can be much more steeply discounted depending on the condition of the piece.
  2. To have what’s called a “zebra tag” on the back of the price tag.  Zebra tags are scannable, which makes inventory easier, and also have the code we need to actually sell the thing on them.  Now, note, to create one of these, we need to know what a piece actually is.  If there’s a piece that we haven’t sold in a couple of years, which happens more often than you’d think, identification can take a while.
  3. To be located in Clearance in the computer inventory system.  So, for example, if something is on the floor in Area 12 and goes discontinued and gets physically moved into clearance, someone has to tell the computer that it’s been moved and where it should be.  If something gets moved from the warehouse into clearance, its location needs to be moved in the computer as well.

This last part is especially important when we sell stuff, and especially important when we sell a clearanced return item that is actually on the floor in new condition somewhere.  Sell the wrong one and the delivery guys might pick up the floor model to deliver to someone’s house, which will get you in deep shit if you’ve just sold a $1200 sectional for $300.

I spent the entire day in the clearance section today, manually going through a print-out of what was supposed to be in there, then finding each item and verifying that 1) and 2) above were true of the item.  If something wasn’t there that was supposed to be I needed to find out what happened to it, and if something was there that wasn’t on my list I needed to figure out how that got screwed up.  Luckily for everyone, I have the type of brain and/or personality that is actually well-suited to this obnoxious-ass task and honestly kind of enjoyed it.

I also built a sectional and hung a couple of rugs.  I don’t ever want to hang rugs ever again; it’s murder and those things are heavy as hell.

At about 6:30 I had to deal with four straight issues from my customers.  At about 7:00 I declared that, having made no sales at all for the day (total store income: $169; for comparison’s sake, we delivered out well over $100,000 in furniture last week) I was leaving early and going to pick up my New Hotness from the UPS depot where it was waiting for me.  I was originally going to wait for my half day on Wednesday, but screw that.

I’ve been fiddling with the phone for an hour or so.  The new camera on the 7+ is niiice, guys.  The low-light especially is ridiculous.  I mean, granted, I can turn lights on, but holy hell.  We’ll see how long it takes for the lack of an audio jack to get on my nerves.

Tomorrow, going to Potbelly’s for lunch is likely to be the highlight of my day– which, holy hell, is the place just called Potbelly?  Have I been calling them by the wrong name for, like, no shit, the last twenty years?  Anyway, one just opened not too far from work, and they are one of the two chain places that I could get in Chicago that I can’t get in South Bend (come on, Pockets!  Come to Butt-head!) and I am unreasonably excited about it.

How was your day?

In which I eat lunch and make it a post again

d023d_o-YUMBO-570-570x330I swear, every time I eat at Burger King, it turns into a post.  Every single time.

Two things, before I start: first, I used to work at Burger King.  It was, in fact, my first job.  Now, when you work at Burger King, particularly if you work at the Burger King I worked at, which had an unofficial policy that you had to be a pretty girl in order to work a register, you’re going to spend a lot of time behind the grill.  What this means is that your entire life smells like grilled meat after a while.  It also means that the people who work back there will do just about anything on their lunch breaks to avoid eating burgers.  So I’ve been perfectly aware that the ham and cheddar (American?  Probably American, actually*) sandwich was a secret menu item of Burger King’s since forever, even if I don’t ever order it.  That said, when they brought back the “Yumbo,” making it official, I thought to myself damn, I used to eat a lot of those back in high school, and cravings took over, they way they do.  Here’s the second thing: If you happen to follow my Twitter feed you may remember my asshole cat preventing me from eating them last night; he was unable to do so today.

Anyway.  I begin every reference to Burger King by pointing out that I don’t eat there often; I have in fact not eaten Burger King since the last time I posted about it.  Maybe once, but not more than that.  The drive-thru experience is just too goddamn creepy even before you get to me not actually liking their food very much.  So as I’m pulling up to the drive I’m sorta mentally preparing myself to be aggravated for the next couple of minutes.  Burger King is all about SERVICE!!!!!!! to a degree that is actually incredibly off-putting, and I can’t believe that their corporate douchebags haven’t figured it out yet.

So you can imagine that I was thrown for a loop when my interaction with the cashier through the speaker begins with her shouting “Whatchu hungry fo’?” into her microphone.    There’s a moment of sorta shocked silence where I’m struggling to keep myself from laughing, and a second or so later, she just says “Hi!”, and I swear I can detect a note of embarrassment at the other end of the conversation.  I don’t think she meant for me to hear the first bit; call it a hunch.

Anyway, here we reach the second problem with ordering food from Burger King today: I am a grown-ass man, and I don’t really want to say “Yumbo” to anyone.  There is a delicious menu item at Denny’s that is called “Moons Over My Hammy,” and to this day I have eaten it several times and have never once said it out loud.  I point.

“I’d like two of the ham and cheese sandwiches,” I say, and pause for a second.  “The Yumbo?” she confirms.  “Yes,” I say, and finish my order.  She proceeds to tell me no less than three times in the next thirty seconds that I’ve made a “good choice” with my lunch today, which appears to be a new, unnecessary wrinkle that the overlords have added to the script.

Hey!  Burger King!  I don’t need your cashiers to validate my lunch choices.  I need them to record my order accurately, bring it to me, and charge me the proper amount and give me the proper change.  That’s it.  I don’t give a damn what they think about what I ordered, and furthermore it bugs me that you feel the need to make them reassure me about them.  This is bullshit.

She asks my name.  I lie.  We’ve already had this conversation.

I pay the lady at the first window without incident, other than her being super happy that I report that I am well when she asks me how my day is.  The woman at the second window manages to call me “Luther” four goddamn times in the process of giving me my food.  Fucking stop it!  It’s not folksy or friendly or whatever the fuck you think it is!  No one fucking talks like this.  It’s fucking weird and you need to stop.

And then I get a look at my receipt, and this is the point where this moves from me having idiosyncrasies to this shit being actively offensive.  Look at this:

IMG_2145

 

Motherfuckers.

At this point you have crossed a fucking line.  “Ultimate service” is getting killed for someone.  That phrase has a very fucking real and very fucking specific meaning in American culture.  Putting yourself between someone else and a bullet is “ultimate service.”  Not handing me a fucking bag of french fries.  I don’t want your “service.”  I want my fucking food.

I am at the point now where I cannot wait for this corporation to die.  I seriously can’t.  I’ve scratched my ham sandwich itch; I’m done.  Burger King has the ugliest corporate culture of any corporate entity I ever have to deal with– hell, Wal-Mart doesn’t offend me as regularly and specifically as they do– and I have to be done with this.

(How were the sandwiches?  Delicious, obviously; it’s ham, cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise on a toasted bun.  Kinda hard to fuck up.  But, still, fuck this; I’m not eating at BK again and I look forward to dancing on their ashes.  It can’t be that much longer.)

* This alerts me to the fact that I don’t actually have the slightest idea what the difference between “American” and “Cheddar” cheese is.  They are, to me, effectively interchangeable, but I doubt that’s actually true.

Hey, remember this?

You may recall a certain kvetch about teacher pay from back in August, where I bemoaned the ability of a licensed teacher to make as much as a fast-food manager.  Well, we went to Taco Bell for dinner last night, for the first time in a while, and guess what?  They’re still hiring, and I wasn’t lying:

IMG_2053

At least I know where to go if I want something competitive with my current salary.