I was sitting in my truck at the drive window of a locally owned drive up food place in Salt Lake one day and decided to ask some questions when it comes to portion sizes. I had ordered a combo meal and the following response inevitably came.
"Would you like to Supersize it?" came the voice over the speaker that sat in the middle of the menu board.
"What exactly does that mean?" I asked.
The person on the other end kind of hesitated a little.
"Well you can get the value mid- meal, the medium fun meal, or the supersized meal?" the voice replied.
I had ordered the medium fun meal, because it was in the middle and I am what I consider to be a moderate, but political leanings aside I still hesitated.
"No what do those sizes mean?" I asked. "Okay let's start with the value mid-meal."
Again a hesitation.
"Well...the value mid-meal is the economy meal. It just comes with a small burger, a small fry and a small drink..."
"If everything in the meal is 'mid' shouldn't that mean medium sized?" I asked.
"No, that all comes with the medium fun meal," said the voice.
Cars were starting to back up behind me, but I still wanted to press on. I needed an explanation of the differences.
"Well then why do they call the first one the mid-meal?" I asked. "Shouldn't that say the small meal."
"That's just what they call it," said the voice. There was a tinge of increduousless in the voice.
"Okay then what is different in the supersize meal then," I asked, drawing out the questioning like one of those reporters you see on television that asks the same question to someone in six different ways trying to pry loose a fact that is not in evidence.
"In a supersize meal everything is big," said the voice with some impatience now.
The cars were still backing up.
"When you say big, what does that mean?" I asked.
There was a real hesitation then and I heard some mumbling in the background. Finally another voice came on, a strong male voice.
"Is there a problem?" the voice asked.
"No. I was just inquiring about the difference between the value mid-meal, the medium fun meal and the supersized meal," I said. Then I asked in trying to lighten the mood "By the way, why is the second meal listed called the fun meal. I mean is it funner to eat than the other two?"
"You ordered the medium fun meal," said the voice. "It is what it is. Now pull forward and pay for your food.
"I was only asking," I said."I bet no one has ever asked you any of those things before."
There was pure silence.
I pulled up and the woman at the window treated me like I was a pariah.
"Here's your food," she said. "That will be $5.83."
I gave her my debit card.
"I really wasn't trying to be a jerk or anything," I said to her as she left the window open as she processed my card. "I was just trying to figure out what they all meant. I'd never been here before and wanted to know."
She didn't say anything as she handed me the receipt, but I could see tears in her eyes. I handed her a $10 bill and said "This is for if I got you in trouble with your boss. I didn't mean to do that."
That made her smile.
"He can be...she said and then she hesitated. "Really hard to work for."
"Hey we've all worked for people like that," I said.
I started to drive away and then I thought about how helpful she had been, and what a jerk he had been to her. I decided to turn around and go in and talk to this guy. I parked and went into the restaurant. I walked up to the counter.
"Can I talk with the manager?" I asked as the kid behind the counter was about to ask me what I wanted to order.
A middle aged man walked up and before he could say anything I said, "You know you need to lighten up a little. You made the woman at the window cry. She didn't do anything wrong, she was just trying to help me."
"So you're the guy that was asking the stupid questions," he said.
Good customer service, I thought.
"Yeah and I'm a food critic for Fast Food Magazine and you struck out, big time."
You should have seen the look on his face. I turned and walked out without saying anything more. In fact Fast Food Magazine doesn't even exist.
I just supersized the fib.