Recently, I was listening to a bestseller author explain the four personality niches that people fall into when it comes to accomplishing tasks. As the rest of the audience, I’m sure, was thinking about how to use this information to transform their lives, I was sitting there having a holy crap moment because this whole breaking down behaviors into four distinct categories is just what I needed to navigate one of the most stressful parts of my morning – getting my Diet Coke via the McDonald’s drive thru.
I know I’ve written about this before, but trust me it needs to be bellowed from the top of whatever the heck is being built at the local fancy pants collection of shops by my house that looks like a maximum security prison (Or dear God no, not another furniture store where a sofa costs more than a fully loaded Kia.) that if you can’t grasp the concept of two lanes merging into one at the drive thru perhaps it’s a sign from the Almighty that you don’t need to be behind the wheel of a car.
Pitifully for the human race in regards to mental acuity the lane switcheroo isn’t the single issue messing up my McDonald’s experience. It goes way beyond merging awareness skills. In fact, I will now use the knowledge still lounging in the core of my brain from college freshman psychology 101 (Full disclosure I got a C in the class. It was right after lunch in a very large lecture hall and the professor always dimmed the lights. It was like he was asking us to take a nap. So I did.) and combine that with what I learned about personality subsets and groupings from the very smart author and formulate the four personality types that plague the drive thru. My hope is that armed with this knowledge I will be better equipped to manage my expectations and thus my sanity in regards to Diet Coke retrieval.
The Overly Polite – This drive thru participant is plagued with an over abundance of good manners. I’m sure they still remember the etiquette rules from their Cotillion classes and always carry three handkerchiefs – one for blow, one for show and one to offer a friend in need. Unfortunately the O.P. personality is prone to sitting at the drive thru order intercom and waiting patiently until the McDonald employee speaks to them. This is so wrong.
If you haven’t heard from an employee after 30 seconds of sitting at the intercom you need to immediately offer up a friendly “Yoo-hoo” If that doesn’t work you then follow-up with a less congenial Hello and if you’re still getting zero verbal communication you go for the “Excuse me but I’d like to place my order.” If it’s wrong to roll down your window and politely “you hoo” at an OP that they might want to holler into the intercom demanding service than I don’t want to be right.
The Undecided– Unless you’re a new arrival to this great country of ours and are a virgin to all things fast food related than it shouldn’t take you more than ten seconds to place your order. Yet almost every morning I see folks pondering over what to get for breakfast. Let me help you out. Get coffee, a Diet Coke or a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. Anything else is not worth the caloric intake. Trust me. I don’t know a lot, but I know this.
The Preschool Drop Out – This personality type must have flunked out of preschool because they never learned the basic tenant of any age five and under educational curriculum – taking turns. As the two drive thru lanes become one all the drivers must summon their inner four-year old and wait for the car in the next lane to merge and then they can have their turn. The Drop Out just ignorantly cuts in line. I’m telling you McDonald’s needs a time-out lane.
The VIP – This “charmer” tries to place special, off menu, orders at the drive thru and by that I mean asking for an “open faced Egg McMuffin” Please, the only reason someone should ever request this is if they’re lacking opposable thumbs and don’t have the digits necessary to peel the top off their own breakfast sandwich. The VIP when not requesting specialized menu items is also the champion of the line cut. Note to all Mickey D’s VIP’s. You’re trapped in line at a restaurant with a dollar menu. This means your swagger has been neutered.
Now if only McDonald’s would laminate this and post it at all their drive thrus. Talk about a public service.