Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"Swift" Chalet

The Squeeze and I were driving home from Hooterville after visiting the kids and my father and we were really getting our hunger on. The original plan was to get back in time to do our grocery shopping, but that didn't happen. Since we didn't have much in the house to eat, we coasted on to the nearby Swiss Chalet drive-through for some chicken to go.

Let me just say that you always get screwed at the drive-through window. If it's Tim Horton's, you wind up with a burnt, deformed or "substituted" cookie or burnt coffee or watery hot chocolate. At McDonald's, you drive off only to realize they didn't give you the ketchup you asked for. There are, however, eight packets of salt, so that's pretty close.

But back to Swiss Chalet. I drove up to the mic, was told to hang on for a second, and eventually began to place our order. Two 1/4 chicken and shrimp dinners, one dark meat, one white meat, both with rice, and one order of fries and an extra chalet dipping sauce.

$25.15 was the total, so I paid the young guy at the window and while we waited I read our bill and realized that he rang in two soup and sandwich meals instead of the 1/4 chicken and shrimp dinners. Who would order two soup and sandwich meals for dinner? That's more of a lunch thing to me. I flagged him down and told him of the error. He yelled at the kitchen guys to scrap the order and told them what we actually wanted. He then called for someone else to help him with the register to figure out how to cancel the wrong order and enter the new one. Naturally there was going to be a difference in price.

I heard them discussing that the new price was $29.67, and my freakish math brain kicked in and gave me the difference of $4.52. I reached into my pocket and had the exact amount in my hand while the two guys at the till were pulling out calculators and cell phones to punch in the numbers and come up with the difference. Our guy finally announced to us that we still owe $4.52, and I dropped the money into his hand. He turned back to his till to count out what I had given him so he could make change, and the startled look on his face when he realized I had handed him the exact amount, made me think that he had seen a ghost. He turned to me with a stunned look, cracked a smile and gave a chuckle. Not sure if it was a "how did you know?" or a "damn, you're good!" response.

So there we were at the drive-through window, still waiting for our food as two other cars now waited in line behind us. At this point, about 10 minutes had elapsed since we placed our order. A woman who seemed to be a supervisor came to the window to announce that they had run out of rice, and asked us if fries would be ok. Sure. Why not? So now we were getting two dinners with fries and an order of fries to go with that. I was tempted to cancel the extra order of fries, but I was really hoping to get home to eat that night, so I didn't bother.

The supervisor came back to the window to apologize for the long delay and told us she would give us a discount on the meal for the inconvenience. Sounded good to me. She came back a moment later, realizing that we had already paid, and offered us our choice of desserts instead. We each asked for a caramel chocolate cheesecake, and a few moments later our order was ready and we were on our way.

When we arrived at home we fed Stella and sat down to our meals and complimentary desserts. By the time we were done, I was feeling quite full. That dessert just crossed the line. I should have had the soup and sandwich.

The drive-thru's always drive me crazy. I have finally learned to check the bags for correctness before I pull away from the window - it really annoys them (score one for me)!
Next time you're at Swiss Chalet, say hi to my grandmother for me.
p&c: I'd do it, but I hate the thought that I'm holding up the line. I'm just too co-dependent.

fwg: ya, the seniors love that place. The good thing is that they're always done eating by 4:30 so the young folks can eat.
Nobody teaches kids these days how to make change w/o the magic button or calculator. It's sad.
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