One of my biggest pet peeves is driving away from the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant, taking a peek into my hamburger/sandwich/taco, and realizing that what I asked for is not what I got. My aim is to be understanding, because I’ll be the first to admit that I never order exactly what the original comes with. However, sometimes I can become so frustrated with the people making my meal. Is it really so hard to take off onions? Or add a few extra pickles? Or to actually give me the type of drink I’d requested? I typically place the blame upon those employed at these establishments, and I don’t think I’m alone in that.

However, yesterday Mike and I were in the drive-thru for Wendy’s (one of the places that is the least likely to get an order right, in my experience, though I love their food). While I sat there listening to the conversation between Mike and Ms. Wendy’s Employee, I realized something. I was wrong in who I tended to blame for all these inaccuracies. The true culprit revealed itself in this exchange:

Monitor: Wehlcohm tsew Wendksies meh ah tek yur ohder?

Mike: Yes, first I’d like a number one, small.

Monitor: Whourldskyew lahke smahll, mezium, oarlarkse?

Mike: Small. And I’d like that with cheese, extra pickles, and no onions. And, a Mr. Pibb to drink.

*2 minute pause*

Monitor: Choo ksaid nohunnins?

Mike: Right. And a Mr. Pibb to drink.

Monitor: What whourksyewkslahke choo trink?

Mike: …Mr. Pibb.

*2 minute pause*

Monitor: Ikssaht kall?

Mike: What?

Monitor: Sksuat?

Mike: What?

Monitor: Sksuat?

Monitor: Sksir? Iks. at. all?

Mike: Oh! No ma’am… I’d also like another number one with cheese.

Monitor: Whoulrd yew lahke that wiksth kseese?

Mike: …yes.

Monitor: What whourksyewkslahke choo trink?

Mike: Mr. Pibb as well.

Monitor: Mixerpt ib?

Mike: Mr. Pibb.

Monitor: Ikssaht kall?

Mike: Yes, ma’am.

Monitor: Thaksll be Thirtin fittys kate.

If the poor souls on the other side of the monitor hear us in the same way that we hear them, it’s no wonder that more often than not we drive away with two identical burgers with no cheese, extra onions, and just for the heck of it, no tomato either. It must be the technology that’s to blame.

It makes me wonder if the random cackles on that monitor are no more than its wheezing laughter as it distorts messages daily just for the delight of shaking things up a bit.

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