Friday, August 31, 2012

Thirsty Thursday


I’m going to tell you today about one of my biggest pet peeves.  It’s so annoying to me that probably all of my family, friends, and even Facebook friends could tell you about it.  I’m not usually one for just griping about tiny little things, so for me to fuss and post about it so much, you know it must really grate on my last nerve.

So what, you ask, is this earth-shattering affront to common decency?  Verbal abuse to customer service workers?  Drivers littering out their car windows?  Kicking a puppy?  Nope.  Certainly all of those things are horrid, but I’m not sure any of them have ever warranted a single status update.  (Well, maybe the verbal abuse one; I did work in customer service a long time.)

No, the thing that really ticks me off is when people order food at a Sonic drive through window. 

sonic 8-31-12

                                                                           Image credit: boutmuet photostream

For those of you not fortunate enough to be familiar with Sonics, I’ve included a picture to help you get the idea.  See, it’s a drive-in.  It says it, right on their signs:  Sonic, America’s Drive-In.  You pull up, you order, you eat.  All in your car.  Or you take it home with you.  But—and I can’t emphasize this enough—it’s a drive in.  If you want to get fancy, you park and go sit on the patio.  But dining in isn’t an option.  (Okay, that’s not entirely true.  Every once in a while you’ll run across a store that actually has a dining room.  I’ve only ever seen two, and I’ve been to Sonics in a lot of different places.)

But, back to the point.  The drive through window is actually a fairly new option for Sonic—maybe within the last 5 to 8 years, I’d guess.  When they first started having them, I was very excited, because I thought it would speed up the process of getting my daily Coke fix.  (I don’t do that anymore, but it used to be the highlight(s) of the day.)  And I wasn’t alone.  Many people I spoke with were also thrilled that it would now be even easier/quicker to get their drinks on the way in to work.  (You’d be surprised how many people around here can’t make it through the workday without a Sonic beverage; their cups are like part of the office landscape.)  But that’s where the peeve comes in.  Because when people order food at the drive through window, rather than just drinks, it slows down the line.  Now everyone has to wait for some guy’s burger to get grilled up before they can get their own cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper.  And it’s annoying.

Some folks say to me, “What’s the difference? You wait at other drive throughs.”  And, they are correct.  But, first of all, there is no other drive through where it’s just as common—more common even—to order just drinks rather than a meal.  And there is no other drive through that I go to for just a drink.  Ever.  But, the most important thing is the difference in ordering options.  You see, if I go to McDonald’s, my only options are to either go inside or go to the drive through.  Maybe I am not dressed for being seen in public, even at McDonald’s.  Or maybe it’s raining, and I don’t want to get out of the car.  There are any number of reasons I might choose to go to the drive through rather than go inside, and I never begrudge anyone that right.  No matter how much food you order at the McDonald’s drive through window, you won’t find me griping about it.  But at Sonic, you have other options.  You never have to go in.  Even if you don’t want to get wet, or have on the most tattered clothes you’ve ever seen, you can stay in the privacy of your car and still not hold up the folks trying to get their favorite Route 44 at the drive through.  And how are you able to manage this remarkably considerate feat?  Say it with me, folks:  it’s a drive in.

So that’s my pet peeve for the day.  And why today?  Well, because, of course, I got stuck behind a foodie just this evening.  After school.  And after stopping to grab some groceries at Wal-Mart.  So I was tired.  And I had ice cream melting in my car.  And I just wanted to swing through Sonic quickly and go home.  Instead, I sat there for 6 or 7 minutes at least, waiting on my drink.  And while 7 minutes isn’t long, it’s at least three times as long as it should’ve taken, all because some guy wouldn’t pull into a stall to order his food from the comfort of his car.  So, please, do me a favor:  if you’re going to get food from Sonic, park your car.  Push the button, order your meal, and let a friendly car-hop bring it out to you.  Don’t hold up the line of folks just trying to get a drink and get on their way.  I might be one of them. 

Any totally petty pet peeves that really just tick you off?