Thursday, July 08, 2010

Large and Medium are the Same

I don' t work in the fast food industry. Oh, I have, but it's been years ago. I do, however, work with people and it's always proven to be in my best interest to be able to figure out what someone wants based on the information they're giving me. One example that comes to mind was having to figure out what "15 minutes of banjo noise" meant. In my day job I'm often faced with deciphering comments like, "The thing that I click doesn't let me click it". Most of the time I'm pretty good at figuring stuff out. That's me, and I'm fairly insensitive and pretty much clueless most of the time, but I manage.

Anyway, back to fast food.

Yesterday, as a treat, my wife and I stopped at the local Sonic Drive-In for a couple of Sonic Blasts. It's basically ice cream with the candy or cookie of your chosing whipped into a nice smooth treat with some whipped cream on top. It's enough calories for the rest of the weekend and enough carbs for the rest of the month, but what the heck. Right?

So, I pull up and place our regular order. "I'd like one large Butterfinger Blast and one medium M&M's Blast. That's all. Thanks." I'm not a trained professional, but I've placed that order enough times to know it by heart. It soon became obvious that I've been using the improper terminology.

Immediately the lady on the other end of the intercom informed me, "The large and the medium are the same." I look back at the menu and clearly see two different sizes, but maybe I should pursue this conversation further.

So I ask for confirmation, "They're the same? Don't you have two sizes?"

"Yes, the medium is the same as the large." She replied.

Then she tried to explain, but honestly I was mentally hung up at the large and the medium being the same.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "I've placed this same order before and never realized that they were the same."

"It's always been like this." She said.

"Alrighty then. I'd like one large Butterfinger Blast and one large M&M's Blast."

Sure enough, we get the two large blasts with no hassle from that point on. But being curious I figured to look at the menu again.

Ah ha! I see my error. Maybe for the neophyte it wasn't exactly obvious to them that I was attempting to order two sizes - one larger, one smaller. Also in my defense I've grown accustomed to not using the word "small" at fast food joints based on years of experience with the varying cup sizes and no standardization from place to place. Never-the-less I thought it was pretty obvious that I wanted two different sizes. Heck, I could have said "big" and "not quite as big" or even something like "gargantuan" and "minuscule". I'd hope my point was made.

But alas, I didn't use the proper terminology. "Regular" was the word she wanted me to use, and I got the feeling she was proud of the fact that she was able to up-size me due to my ignorance.

Not sure what it all means, of if I even care. I certainly know it doesn't matter much. I did, however, learn that at my local Sonic the large and medium are the same. So, from now on you can bet I'll be ordering the medium, but please, put it in the large cup.