As a rule I have avoided the drive-thru line at places for as a long as I can remember. I remember when Mathmajor and Manchild were little and would want the occasional happy meal. We’d pull into the golden arches, and without fail, the drive thru line would be so full of cars, it started blocking the cars that wanted to park and go in.
Almost invariably, I would go inside, walk ride up to the counter, get my order and be back out before the car at the speaker had moved an inch. Yea very rarely do I use the drive thru.
This weekend was one of the exceptions that proved why I usually don’t.
Lets do a bit of level setting first. I am not talking about drive up latte stands. There have been many times that coffee was needed and needed now. It could be the end of a long bike ride, or just off the mountain for a hike. I smelled bad, I was tired and being able to drive up was a good thing!
I have also used the drive thru while on the bike at the bank. Doing that keeps me from having to lock it up, and most banks are all that keen on me bringing the bike into the lobby area. Plus, I have to admit, as a kid I always liked watching my mom put stuff in the cylinder and seeing it go up the tube and appear inside. (yes I was a geek even back then).
Nowadays, I love going to a Starbucks with a drive thru. I like to pick a car near the end of the line, and see how far its gone since I walked in. It’s a silly game, but I always come out thinking YEP I win!
Now, lets be fair. There are some people drive thrus are made for. Parents with littles asleep in the back seat. Those with injuries, like a sprained, or anything else that puts you on crutches. I’d also add older people, but most that I have seen prefer to come inside.
So as you can see, I rarely use the drive thru. One exception though is Bartells. I just told you that older people like to go inside. And who get the most prescriptions? Older people. So Bartells (or any other drug store) is one of the few times I use the drive through.
Now my second peeve. IF you use the drive through, since you take over the row and can’t get out of anyone’s way, your transaction should be short and sweet. We only go there when we know Michelle has a refill waiting.
So we get there, and the closest lane is taken (this one has two). Never a good sign, cuz instead of the cool tubes, it has a slower basket on a track set up. So we pull up and waited our turn. Well, the downside of being outside like that with two lanes, there is a distinct lack of privacy.
So the first thing i hear is “Hi, I was here yesterday and didn’t have the right pin number?? So I had to pay with Amex card. I’d like to do a refund and then recharge it”. Did she miss my rule that drive thrus should be quick transactions?
Ok, maybe, i thought, its not too bad. That is until the pharmacy lady says the card isn’t working. Figures. But then the woman in the car says “Well is there a number on the card you can call?” Really? lady, you are in the drive thru, what the hell? About that time a car pulls up behind her.
Luckily for Michelle and I, a second drive thru person showed up to process us. So while we were waiting for the basket, the woman in the car had called the 800 number. As we were signing the debit card I heard her say “The company says there is a longer than normal wait.”
Now I honestly expected her to say “I’ll pull into the parking lot until I get through with them then come in!” of course that would be the polite thing to do. But nope, here there was a car behind her, she had been there before we pulled up and was still sitting there and she says, “I’ll just sit here till i get someone on the phone?”
I almost shouted out the window “WHAT??” We all know how long it takes to get a someone on the phone, then there’s the figuring out the problem, the escalating to a supervisor, and then doing the fix. ALL while parking your oh so important butt in the drive thru lane??? And someone is already behind you! I could only hope to be that important someday. Hell she may still be sitting there…
So yep, though I will probably use that drive thru again, for the reasons listed above, she showed me why anywhere else I avoid them at all costs!
But then that chick is probably one of those who tries to board the plane before her turn as well….