One evening I was driving home after a long day of facilitating. I was tired and hungry. Suddenly down the road my oasis appeared. McDonald’s was at the next exit.
I had stopped at this same McDonald’s on a busy Friday evening a couple of weeks earlier. My experience then was mediocre at best. My expectations on this night were not high, but my choices were few and my stomach was empty.
As I placed my usual order, I noticed three baskets of uncooked fries hanging above the deep fryers. I also saw a few fries remaining under the heat lamps. Suddenly a little warning signal went off in the back of my head. I was going to get cold, soggy fries. Of course I couldn’t know for sure, but I was already preparing myself for disappointment.
The young boy who was helping me placed my burger and a soda cup on the tray and then went for the fries. I saw him hesitate ever so slightly. He scooped up some fries and began to walk towards me. Again he paused. Suddenly, he stopped and said, “These fries aren’t good enough.”
He turned to throw them away, along with those under the heat lamps. He put all three baskets into the fryers, and we began to wait those long three minutes.
The folks running the drive-up window started frowning as cars backed up. The rest of the front-end staff shuffled aimlessly as they waited for fries. I watched the timers move down from three minutes towards zero. It seemed as if time was standing still.
We all waited because a boy who appeared to be no older than 14 “pulled the cord” and stopped the line. It seemed like a brave thing to do. It was also the right thing to do. Those were the best fries I ever had.
Photo by evelynishere