Friday, February 7, 2014

There is no "i" in "Doughnut"

Each Friday morning, I make a Krispy Kreme run. It started a few years ago as a reward incentive for my child as a way of saying “good job with your school work and chores and attitude.” Along the way, it became a reward for me as I would get a good cup of doughnut shop coffee to start the last day of my work week. It’s become a day both of us eagerly anticipate.

I know, however, that it will not go smoothly. I’ve set my expectations for the level of service I will receive at this particular Krispy Kreme very low and still they manage to surprise and infuriate me on a regular basis. There are two other Krispy Kreme locations, both further away from home and school, and although we’ve tried going to them instead of this one particular location, we wind up back here because it’s convenient. We’ve tried Dunkin’ Donuts, as well, but they, too, are off our path quite a bit, so we’re stuck.

The coffee and the doughnut are consistently good and, at times, great. The food gets a grade of an A-. The service, however, gets a dismal D+. They are not friendly, efficient, or accurate. Of these three desirable qualities in a drive-thru restaurant experience, two or more qualities are appreciated but one should be required. They are consistently slow, listless, and more often than not, my order is incomplete or just plain wrong. And this is after I have sat in the drive-thru for much longer than one should.

Here’s an example from this morning. I will preface the following exchange with the fact that sometimes they go ahead and make your coffee (adding cream and sweetener to it before handing it to you) and sometimes they hand you the cup of coffee along with a bag with a stirrer and the accoutrements. That’s always a fun, little surprise waiting for you as to whether you can go ahead and enjoy your coffee or whether you have to make it on your knee at the next red light. And, no, your wait time is not indicative of your outcome.

KK:  May I take your order please?
Me:  Good morning. One chocolate iced glazed and a large coffee with four cream and four Splenda, please.
KK:  Umm…we do not have the large coffee. The large cups. Will a medium be OK?
Me:  I guess it will have to be. Yes.
KK:  OK, m’am, I have one medium coffee. Would you like anything else?
Me:  And the chocolate iced glazed, right?
KK: A chocolate iced glazed. Anything else?
Me:  [I’m thinking lots of things—pluck, moxie, motivation, annunciation, joy…]  Uh, no.
Five minutes passes in the line. There are just two cars ahead of me so this is inexplicable and hard to understand. When I finally get up to the window, I have my payment ready and watch as the workers move about in three-quarter time, devoid of focus and pride. I have complained countless times to Krispy Kreme’s corporate office that this particular location is lacking, well, a lot of things, but that a good, strong manager would go a long way. It’s obvious this morning that they have not utilized my free advice. 

The worker opens the window to take my payment and hands me the doughnut. I’m paying with plastic. It should be zip-zip. But 90 seconds go by before she completes the transaction and hands me my card back. By this time, the doughnut has been consumed in the backseat. She then hands me my medium coffee and states that she will get my “sugar.” 

“Splenda,” I correct, “three cream, three Splenda,” I say adjusting the amount of cream and sweetener for my smaller beverage and breaking it to my knee that it’s about to walk a dangerous line at the next red light.

Coffee accountrements
What I requested:  3 creams, 3 splendas

I see the worker grab a doughnut bag and place a wooden stirrer and a handful of cream cups in it. It looked like more than the three I requested but, at this point, I’m just trying to get to work in time for lunch. Then I see her go down the line of sweeteners and randomly pluck a few from each bin and deposit them into the bag. She hands it to me. I see that I don’t have the requested number of Splenda and I have to wait for her to come back to the window so I can request one more packet. Seriously?

So, that was my doughnut adventure this morning. You know Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Well, Al, the difference is I do the same thing over and over but I know the results I will likely reap. Trick’s on you, playa.

Words of the day and characteristics for which to strive:

Pluck:  courage or resolution in the face of difficulties.

Moxie:  verve, pep, skill, know-how.