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love2travel

Just One Of The Many Reasons I Do Not Do Fast Food...

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My husband wanted to try an experiment for me at our local McDonalds. For several reasons I just do not like fast food. Never did, never will. Anyway, he is a curious guy and drove to M's. We have heard we should not trust M's in our town and he wanted to find out why. The following is a paraphrase of his conversation:

"Can you tell me whether your French fries contain gluten?"

"Yes, Sir, they do."

"Oh, really? What do they have on them?"

"They are a starch."

"Yes, I know they are a starch. Do they have any other ingredients in addition to the potatoes?"

"What is gluten, Sir? Is it like salt?"

(This is where my husband proceeded to explain in very plain English what it was...).

"Do you mean you want salt on your French fries?"

"No, I am just wondering whether they contain gluten. My wife is allergic to it." (He did not want to have to go into the whole celiac thing for obvious reasons.)

"We only have one kind of French fries, Sir. Do you want salt on them?"

"Yes, I know you have only one kind of French fries. Do they have any flour or breading? Any wheat?" (Knowing they didn't but at this point he was not taking any chances and was curious to see what she would say.)

"Let me get the Manager."

Manager arrives...

"Sir, what is gluten?"

He explained.

"Potatoes are vegetables. They have starch and we fry them." OK, my husband is NOT 6 years old. He did not attend university seven years for nothing!

"Yes, I know that. Do they have flour or breading?"

She looks at a fry and frowns.

"It doesn't look like they have wheat on them. They are a starch. I think it changes into sugar or something. Do you want salt on them?"

"And the fryer is JUST for fries?"

"I think so. Yes. No other starches in it."

"How long have you been the Manager?"

"Six years."

Just how on earth do you trust places like this? :huh:

You're asking minimum wage employees of a fast food chain about esoteric food knowledge?

Sorry, but this just makes me angry. We need people to be more proactive about this kind of thing, not insult the intelligence of restaurant workers.

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You're asking minimum wage employees of a fast food chain about esoteric food knowledge?

Maybe not the minimum wage counter clerk, but the manager ought to be somewhat more knowledgeable. Especially after six years as manager. Ya think?

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Maybe not the minimum wage counter clerk, but the manager ought to be somewhat more knowledgeable. Especially after six years as manager. Ya think?

I agree. That the manager of six YEARS had no clue is telling. I think it is deplorable.

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You're asking minimum wage employees of a fast food chain about esoteric food knowledge?

Sorry, but this just makes me angry. We need people to be more proactive about this kind of thing, not insult the intelligence of restaurant workers.

We have an active celiac group. We are inviting a professional chef from three hours away to come and talk to any interested restaurants about celiac, working with ingredients, cross contamination and so on. For FREE. Guess what? McDonald's is not interested. We are trying. The public is always invited to our monthly meetings - they are advertised on the radio and newspapers.

Believe me, I am not insulting restaurant workers. I was in the food service industry many years ago, I teach culinary classes and am a professional recipe tester. As such even prior to having celiac I made it my business to learn about allergies and so on (though I confess a far greater awareness since my diagnosis). I felt compelled to. I would hope others would make the effort but unfortunately very few do (around here). Yet! Hopefully that will change. :)

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Believe me, I am not insulting restaurant workers. I was in the food service industry many years ago, I teach culinary classes and am a professional recipe tester. As such even prior to having celiac I made it my business to learn about allergies and so on. I felt compelled to. I would hope others would make the effort but unfortunately very few do (around here). Yet!

I think it is a generational thing (speaking as one whose generation is "past it" :P from the point of view of today's workers.) When I was growing up (Yes, this is one of those mom-type "in my day" thingies) most people at least tried or pretended to take an interest in their jobs. A retail clerk in a department store would be totally familiar with the merchandise being sold and able to conduct an intelligent conversation about ithe products. It was almost a matter of pride. And if they couldn't answer the question they would find someone who could (and yes, the manager would know!) And it made the job more interestomg. Today it seems to be just a job, for the most part, beneath them, and yet the knowledge of the product is above them, too much work to put in the effort to gain the knowledge, just do enough to get by, be bored to death by the whole thing, uninvolved -- there, how's that for a bunch of sweeping generalisations?? :rolleyes: Yet it is the attitude I meet every day - the kind of "I'm not paid to know that and if nobody's going to pay me I'm not interested." How many times do we hear "That's above my pay grade"??? So, of course, the less they know the less valued they are, the less valued they are the less they get paid and, business being business, the less chance they have of making it up to something more rewarding. You get out of something what you put into it, I believve. But of course, that's very old-fashioned. And don't tell me they don't have the intelligence for it - they just don't have the interest. The folks who know the most about their jobs are the intellectually challenged, because they have to work hard at it :o

Hubs is always telling me, "Don't even bother asking". He is more resigned than I am. I think so many workers today have too low an expectation of themselves.and their roles :ph34r: If trat is insulting to workers, so be it.

End of rant from a dinosaur, tired of the ignorance (and disinterest) of the young. And no, they're not all like that, just the ones you constantly bump up against :lol:

I don't DO fast food, obviously, with my kind of attitude. But given all that, at least it was known that potato is a starch. The question should have been, "What else is fried in the fryer?" Now if they couldn't answer that one, run very fast as far away as you can.

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As always, you make very good points. It IS certainly true that interest, motivation and ambition simply does not exist as much as it did when I was a young kid. Though not a dinosaur quite yet ( :lol: ) I am at middle age. Sigh... Sadly when I do experience or witness great customer service I am nearly shocked and so pleased. It used to be (and should be) the norm. It IS a generational thing. Things just are different. Society is different. Technology is different. Sometimes I have a difficult time remembering that. Not having kids makes a difference I imagine. Then I may be constantly reminded! :P

I like to put my all into everything I do and should not be surprised when others do not. I find myself second-guessing people as many no longer go the extra mile. Then I just do it myself. Stubborn me. :angry:

I likely will never "do" fast food for many reasons (never have so why should I start?). You are so right - my husband should have asked that question. As far as I know he did not.

Thanks for your wisdom in bringing things to my mind! I appreciate that you got me to delve more deeply into this.

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