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Gaming the System

I write a lot about entitlement issues here. The way that I see it, one of the primary driving forces behind much of the ills of our society is the overwhelming sense of entitlement that most people seem to have. We want things done our way, and we want them delivered now gods damn it! We seem to have forgotten the old axiom, “Cheap, Perfect or Fast; pick two.” Which leads me to an odd little piece that I picked up via The Consumerist (I’ll link to them after I’ve forgiven them for being part of the Gawker Family of Suck). The blog post in question is titled Hey Burger King, you’re getting timed for a reason! from the Selfish Mom blog. Yes, dear readers, I’m taking on the mommy–bloggers again. I only pray to Lord Satan that I emerge with my testicles intact.

The gist of this little missive, charmingly filed under the PostType of “How To Piss Me Off,” is the realization by the author, Amy, that Burger King employees have been gaming the timer system by having drive–though customers back up and pull forward to reset the timer. The shock, the horror! To think that some minimum–wage dead–cow jockeys are gaming Corporate’s precious timing system! A million douchebag efficiency experts are crying out in pain.

Amy writes:

I went back this morning, in the interest of investigation – not because I was dying for a Croissan’wich. Once again, when I got to the window, I was asked to pull forward and back up. I said “Why? Are you trying to stop the timer?” She said yes. I said something to the effect of “But that’s cheating. How will the process get any faster if they think you’re already really fast?” I know enough about fast food restaurants to know that they really study this stuff. There are systems that figure out when you should drop fries based on how many cars are in the Drive-Through lines. There are McDonald’s that have outsourced their Drive-Through order-taking jobs to call centers. Corporate sure as hell wants to know for how long people are sitting in the Drive-Through.

Honestly, Amy, this was of such burning importance to you that you felt the compulsion to “investigate?” And do you honestly think that the Burger King corporation develops these metrics based on any factor other than maximizing their profits?

Let me explain a fact that I learned during my long tenure in the world of call center operations. The corporate douchebags responsible for setting these sort of customer–service metrics haven’t the foggiest clue what they are doing. I guaran–fucking–tee that the purpose of timing the poor fucks on the drive–though window isn’t, as Amy seems to believe, to make them faster so that you get your slab of dead cow a few seconds quicker. They’re being timed so that Burger King can squeeze the maximum amount of profit out of these schmucks’ shifts.

Again, from experience, I can tell you that there are three responses to this sort of pressure. First, you can muster up your dignity and quit. Of course, if you are working at a BK drive–through (or a call center for that matter) your employment options are probably somewhat limited, so let’s disregard that option for now.

That leaves two choices. First, you can take whatever shortcuts needed to bang out the product in the time alloted. Fries aren’t quite done / are way too fucking done? Who cares, time’s almost up, dump that shit in the bag. Want to take the time to create a presentable and edible sandwich? Who the fuck do you think you are, Bobby Flay? Pop that fucker in the rethermelyzer and move on. We have fatasses to feed!

Of course, we all know what’s likely to happen if you deliver a shit product too may times, eventually some entitletard with an internet connection is going to post about it on The Consumerist, then corporate will decide that they “take this seriously,” which is basically code for “fire the fucker who got caught then proceed as usual.”

So that leaves our second choice, game the system. The stupid timer can be reset by someone backing up, well back that ass up baby! During my tenure in the call centers, as management constantly tightened the metrics in an attempt to squeeze profit from a dying concern, the phone–monkeys played a constant game of cat–and–mouse to avoid the bullshit.

So, who’s to blame? We are, well, not me I’m not an entitletard. The people to blame are the ones who insist that everything has to be fast, cheap and perfect. In their quest to get a 99¢ burger, “the way I fucking want it, and right now you fucking asshole I’m a very busy person,” they have created a world where the poor fuck slinging beef at Burger King has to resort to gaming the fucking drive–though to keep their job. Good going fuckers, I hope that Whopper tastes good, you earned it.