Poop party

1 12 2008

Bubba (our two year old) reached a new milestone today.  He went poo-poo in the potty today!  It was a huge step foward in the life of our family.  To celebrate, we took him to McDonalds tonight.  To celebrate, he dropped another load in his pants while we were there.


Arbys story

29 07 2008

I have been meaning to post about something that happened to us on our trip to Minnesota a few weeks back.  This has to say something about customer service, employee empowerment, business common sense, etc.  But, I will just tell the story and let you draw your own conclusions.

We stopped along I35 in Mason City, Iowa where there are a handful of fast food places to choose from.  Pretty much every single one of them were packed with 4th of July travelers.  McDonald’s was out as an option because we had already eaten there twice that day.  Culver’s was our first choice, but that place was absolutely packed with people.  So, we settled on Arby’s because it sounded decent and wasn’t completely overcrowded.  It happened to be right across the street from McDonalds.

I placed my order (2 Arby’s Melts and a drink) and then proceeded to start filling up drinks while my wife finalized the order for herself and our kids.  As I was filling up drinks, I heard my wife holler over to me that they wouldn’t let her buy an extra juice box for our kids.

A little more background – our kids are small enough that we normally order them one kid’s meal to share and then simply add a second drink.  We have done this more times than I can count (mostly at McDonald’s) without an issue. 

So, I walked back over to the cashier to try to get an understanding of what was going on.  Here is a paraphrased version of the ensuing conversation:

Me: Can we order a second juice box, please?

Cashier: No, I am sorry, they only come with a kid’s meal.

Me: I don’t need a second kid’s meal, but I would like to buy a second juice box.  Can I please do that?

Cashier: No, I am sorry, they only come with a kid’s meal.

Me: Why?

Cashier: I don’t know, I only work here.

Me: Can I please talk to a manager?

Cashier: Sure…. (Cashier summons Manager to the front counter)

Manager:  What seems to be the problem?

Me: I would like to purchase a second juice box and the cashier is telling me that isn’t possible, can you please sell me a second juice box?

Manager: No, I am sorry, they only come with a kid’s meal.

Me: Why?

Manager: That’s just the only way we sell them.

Me: Why?

Manager: That’s just how it is done.

Me: Why?

Manager: That’s what corporate has instructed us to do.

Me: Why?

Manager: Frustrated sigh…Sir, that is just the way it is and if you don’t want to purchase a second kid’s meal then there is nothing I can do for you.

Me: OK, I will go across the street and buy a juice box from McDonald’s then, I guess.  My preference is to buy it from you, but if you don’t want to take my money in exchange for one of your products, I am sure McDonalds will be glad to.

Manager: Fine.

So, that’s exactly what I did.  I had to go fight the crowd at McDonalds to buy one juice box.

The story doesn’t stop there.  After waiting in line for 20 minutes at McDonalds, I got my juice box and returned to Arbys.  Satisfied with myself, I sat down to gobble down my two Arby’s Melts.  The first one tasted fine.  The second one had no cheese.  I went back to the counter, flagged down the same manager and said, “Aren’t Arby’s Melts supposed to have cheese”?  Exaperated, she grabbed the sandwich, tossed it into the trashcan, and yelled out that she needed a new one.  I waited…

After a few minutes, I received my replacement Arby’s melt, and I returned to my table.  By this time, the rest of my family was wrapping up their meal.  Quickly, I began to devour my sandwich only to discover that the replacement was again lacking something…you guessed it…cheese.  Once again, I staggered back up to the front.  This time the manager didn’t even speak.  She just grabbed the sandwich and flung it into the back (I mean literally she threw the sandwich into the back of the store).  She then walked back there and relieved the sandwich maker of his command post.  I never saw her return to the front counter again.  Someone else brought me the second replacement sandwich (with melted cheese included this time).

That’s pretty much where the story ends.  I gulped down the sandwich and we were on our way with a new and interesting fast food experience under our belts.

Let me just say for the record, that I have never had any problems with Arbys before.  In fact, I can think of a time that our local Arbys here in the Dallas area gave my boys each a toy which we didn’t purchase just to be nice.  The point of this post is not to bag on a company.  The point of it is simply to tell the story and let the reader draw their own conclusions.

To me, it’s just a funny story of a store manager that was having a bad day and had not been properly trained and/or empowered by her employer.

Funny moments from a two year old

21 07 2008

Our two year old provided a couple of funny moments this week.

The first was Saturday night over at a friend’s house.  Actually there were several friends of ours there.  When it was time to go, our two year old was going around to house saying “Bye bye choo choo”.  My wife suggested that instead of saying goodbye to the train, he should say good bye to the people.  So, he looked at everyone and said “Bye bye poopoo”.  Everyone cracked up and of course our little comedian knew he had struck gold.  He has said that phrase several times since trying to recapture the magic.

The second moment was at Sunday dinner.  Usually getting our two year old to eat is not a big deal.  But yesterday, we ate a late lunch and we could already tell before we left the house that it might be a challenge getting him to eat.  So, thinking it might help, we asked him where he wanted to go.  To absolutely no surprise to either of us, he responded “Donald’s.”  So, we went to McDonalds.  He got the chicken nugget happy meal.  We tried for nearly half an hour to coax him into eating 2 nuggets.  My wife got herself some ice cream to eat in front of him and everything.  At one point, she said to him, “Yes, ma’am or no, ma’am – do you want to go and play in the playground”.  Without hesitation, he responded, “Yes, ma’am”.  She immediately said, “Well, then, eat that last chicken nugget”.  Again, without hesitation, he said, “No, ma’am”.

Maybe you had to be there, I don’t know, but these were funny moments to us this weekend.

Levi’s help

25 05 2008

At lunch we were quizzing our 4 year old on what his Bible verse was in Sunday School today.  It was John 15:12 where Jesus said:

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Levi\'s Help

After lunch, we had a great chance to live out that verse in front of our 4 year old.  We noticed a man straggling along the road side in the hot sun near the hospital today.  It was hard to tell what he needed, but it wasn’t hard to tell that he needed something.  He looked like he may have just been discharged from the hospital because he had a hospital bracelet around his wrist.  It was possible he was drunk or high or both.  He walked with a noticable limp and seemed to be drifting aimlessly.


We stopped and asked him if he needed anything.  He mumbled that he was fine.  I offered to get him some lunch and he agreed.  I was a little nervous about taking him the car with us, so I asked him where he was going to be for the next few minutes while I went to get him lunch.  He said he would be right there.  So, we ran to McDonald’s and got him a chicken sandwich, a coke, and a large ice water.  We took it back over to him, and by this time I had decided he was harmless (or more accurately, that it was worth the risk to help this man), so I asked him if I could give him a lift somewhere.  He said no.  I asked him what else he needed.  He said he was just waiting it out for 5 days until he got his next check.  I wished him well and we were on our way.

As we pulled away, our 4 year old said, “That was weird.”  My wife and I immediately used this situation as a lesson.  We told him there were countless people that had passed him by just today that could have stopped to help.   We told him that we did what we did because it was the right thing to do and because it is what Jesus would have done.  We told him that Jesus would have already known exactly what that man needed.  We don’t always have that luxury but we can pray and give it our best shot…which is exactly what we had done.  We told him that it may have felt a little weird, but each time we do it, it will feel less weird. And of course, we reminded him of his Bible verse today and showed him how we were living that verse out.

We decided going forward, we would continue to pray for the man.  Though we didn’t know his name, we decided to call him Levi because that was the word written on his shirt.  And we told our son that Jesus would know who we meant when we prayed for Levi.

Looking back now, I realize this is a situation where someone needed help and God placed just the right person in the just the right place at the just the right time to provide that help.

I just pray that we were able to help Levi as much as he helped us.  God knew that our son needed that lesson today and Levi was there to help deliver the message.  God knew that we needed that lesson today, too.