Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Light's Out!

I always tell my kids as they head out the door for school to do the right thing. So, I've pledged to "do the right thing" on March 27th at 8:30. I encourage you to sign up for it. It's such a simple thing to do. We're shutting off the lights for this reason...

...then we're going to dance to this, knowing we did the right thing for the earth. The candle industry and flashlight companies will thank you later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

McDonald's and the St. Patrick's Day Tragedy

Imagine telling the world that you have a product that is available only during a certain time of year. A product centered around St. Patrick's Day. That product is called the Shamrock Shake. Wouldn't you anticipate a surplus of customers possibly ordering the Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick's Day? Wouldn't you prepare so that you would be able to provide this Shamrock Shake to every customer who wanted one on St. Patrick's Day, especially since you advertised this item as being available? And since you've been advertising this item each year for many, many years and it has somewhat become part of American pop culture, wouldn't you especially make sure that you were able to serve every single customer who chose to come to your McDonald's restaurant for a Shamrock Shake? Wouldn't it be exciting to know they chose your Shamrock Shake as their beverage of choice over the abundant selection of green beer? Wouldn't you be thrilled that some customers would choose to purchase several Shamrock Shakes for their entire family because having that Shamrock Shake is sort of a yearly American tradition? Wouldn't it gratify you to know that you were able to provide those Shamrock Shakes for all of those customers who chose your restaurant to help them celebrate St. Patrick's Day with their families? Wouldn't all of that be great and wonderful and happy?

Well, McDonald's failed today. I went to McDonald's to order 3 small Shamrock Shakes to surprise my wife and kids. I ordered a small vanilla for me. That's all I wanted. Three small Shamrock Shakes (and a vanilla) on St. Patrick's Day. The girl in the drive-thru tells me after I placed my order, "We're out of Shamrock Shakes." All I could say was, "Wow....OK. Thank you." Then, I drove away, not ordering anything. I considered ordering vanilla shakes all around but I chose not to. I made that decision to prove a point. If you can't follow through on something as small as a Shamrock Shake on St. Patrick's Day after advertising it, then you don't deserve my business at all.

The sad part is, I don't think McDonald's probably cares. I'm sure the girl in the drive-thru doesn't care (although she was very kind about it and not rude in any way). McDonald's knows that eventually, I'll have to come back to eat there and they'll get my money. I have kids and we travel to ballgames, and to see family, and to take vacations, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere on a long stretch of highway, a McDonald's will be our only option for food. They know I'll more than likely visit again and order the McDouble (I like that option on the $1 menu) and their fries (delicious!) or Chicken McNuggets. But not today. Today, I made the call, and my call is that McDonald's loses. They lost my business therefore losing my money. (Check your receipts, store manager. It's about $10 less than it would've been.) They also lost a little more of my faith in their restaurant chain. Just add this experience to the long list of times our simple order has been messed up in the drive-thru. I've come to expect it, and I'm not alone there. Watch the car in front of you next time. They're probably checking their sack to make sure they received what they ordered. They've been burned, too.

This isn't really a tragedy. I know in the grand scheme of things, those four Shamrock Shakes don't matter at all. We enjoyed Blue Bunny ice cream at home after dinner. But it's the principle of the situation. McDonald's was out of Shamrock Shakes on St. Patrick's Day. That's like going to a fireworks stand on the 4th of July and finding our they're out of firecrackers. I've never heard of such a thing. There's always firecrackers to buy on Independence Day. This July 4th, McDonald's should visit a fireworks tent operated by some youth group or civic group or a guy just looking to make some extra money and ask about their business plan. Ask how they ensure that each kid and each adult that wants a pack of firecrackers can buy one. Then, when they get that secret, apply it to their Shamrock Shake plan next St. Patrick's Day to ensure that every person who might want to purchase their cup of light green goodness can do so and blogs like this won't ever be written again.

Happy St. Patrick's Day. Oh, and thanks Blue Bunny! Your "Bunny Tracks" flavor is fantastic! Thanks for making it available! We love it!

Pretend I'm at a gas station

They say men never stop to ask for directions, but that's kind of what I'm doing now. I feel that with the new life that my other blog has received, this one is withering away, and I really don't want that to happen. I feel it needs a purpose or direction. Maybe not...I don't know. Do you have any ideas? I could just leave it like it is and post only when I have something to share, but it seems that the other blog keeps stealing this blog's thunder. Let me know what you think.