I told the whole story in the video above, but I’ll have to say, it’s been a long time since I was that angry. After a long, hot day and a constant stream of Covid related excuses in service, a car full of kids who refused to eat anything but chicken nuggets and waiting in line for 45 minutes to get them from a Wendy’s in Kings Mills, Ohio, I was about to lose control and go on a rampage. Both Wendy’s and McDonald’s had their dining rooms closed due to what they were saying was Covid concerns, but I knew better. It was apparent when we finally made it to the drive-thru window to find two lone workers busting their butts on a Saturday night dinner rush from Kings Island doing their best to fulfill all the orders coming in much faster than they could deal with them. What made it worse for me was that I knew exactly how those kids felt. Many years ago, when I was an up-and-comer, I worked at that Wendy’s, only it used to be across the highway. This new one was recently built to deal with the large amount of traffic that came from being so close to one of the largest amusement parks in the United States. Back then, I was known as one of the fastest grill people in all of Cincinnati. Those were the words of Wendy’s management, not from me. I frequently ran both meat grills, the dining room, and the drive-through, all by myself. I also ran the fry station and handled all the chicken, and I never got burnt. Working fast food was one of my many second jobs as I raised my kids, and to make it even more compelling, my wife and I didn’t have a second car. We couldn’t afford one, so I rode a bicycle 12 miles one way every day in addition to my primary job at Cincinnati Milacron, which was just down the hill near South Lebanon. I’ve been in situations like that many times, and I know what good is supposed to look like.
Only back then, there was no Covid. People got colds, and they came to work anyway, and nobody ever died. If they did, we never heard about it. I never called off work for anything. If I had a broken arm, a broken leg, and open lacerations, I’d come to work anyway. If the pain was too great, I’d take a few aspirins and plug through the night. I never killed anybody with my work ethic or viral loads. The world was much better off when people behaved that way than it was now, that was for sure. And here I was at a fast-food restaurant that I had worked at before, watching a new generation of kids struggling to do a quarter of what I used to do all the time. I worked for McDonald’s too one hard summer where the world was crashing down around me in every way you could imagine. The pressure was so great that it would have killed a lot of people. But I came to work every day without a car and worked my ass off, literally. So, when I see both restaurants with drive-thru lines wrapped around their buildings with 45 minutes to one hour wait times, I was more than a little furious to be stuck in that situation. I would only do it for my grandchildren; let me say that.
Even today, and I can’t officially tell anybody to do this due to all the socialist rules and regulations of the government class, I often repaired my own serious injuries, including a time where my knucklebone came right through the skin. I wrapped it up and finished my shift. Then went home and fixed it up. Still, if I get a severe cut or those around me who think the way I do, we superglue the wound and get back to work. In cases where 8 or 9 stitches would be needed, I have frequently just pulled out a tube of superglue and glued the skin back together, only losing about 15 minutes of work. These days, such an idea is not even conceivable to anybody. Everything is a lost-time incident. Everything! But what made this particular night bad was that both McDonald’s and Wendy’s had closed their dining rooms and expected to blame it on Covid regulations. The expectation by management was that Mike DeWine would go on lockdown mode again, so without a fight of any kind, management wanted to show health officials that they were going to be proactive and get in front of the protocols. But, as I also said in the video above, I knew Mike DeWine wasn’t going to dare do anything about Covid. He had already used his political points last year, and he came up a loser. He couldn’t afford to fall for the Covid crap again. And if I knew that, why didn’t the executives at Wendy’s and McDonald’s? Well, of course, the answer is a dumb and disappointing one. Do you know what it is?
Most of what made that particular Saturday miserable, even at Kings Island itself, was staff shortages. The government now empowered companies with lousy management to blame their terrible recruiting methods and high turnover on Covid instead of their internal problems. Covid had given everyone these days a free doctor’s excuse to get out of work, sit home on their lazy butts, and cry every time it rained outside. And that was the real problem. It had nothing to do with Covid being an actual danger. It was all about the government sticking its inefficient nose into the lives of businesses and ruining initiative and gumption, further eroding the work ethic of an already soft generation. Granted, the stories I told about my own experiences were extreme even back then, but they are unfathomable now. Nobody does those kinds of things because our work ethic has been virtually destroyed by a heavy government culture that has tampered too much with human initiative. And that is why I was furious getting those chicken nuggets at Wendy’s on a hot Saturday night in Kings Mills. Even as I was about to blow my stack on the employees, I could only see in their eyes as they handed me the kid’s meals, defeated faces who were about to throw in the towel. There were no managers there that night that we could see. Nobody was being called in to help. There was no pressure from corporate to get their act straight and to do better. You know why, because now everyone could blame Covid for their problems. The government had given the lazy a new excuse that gave them a free pass, Covid. Anytime something wrong happened, everybody had to say “Covid,” and everyone was supposed to understand. Expectations were supposed to be tossed away, and we were all supposed to expect much less from our consumer experience.
Well, let me say this, I worked way too hard in my life to arrive at a point in time where I will ever accept the kind of lackluster effort I see these days. And Covid will never be an excuse. The government screwed up by injecting itself into our health and wellness for all kinds of duplicitous reasons. But if I can’t get my grandkids their chicken nuggets in a fast and productive way, then it’s war!