After a long day of spending the morning at the beach and the afternoon shopping, we decided we could all go for some air conditioning and American food. That landed us at a beautiful McDonald’s (no kidding) right on the beach facing the water.
We got in line and passed our orders on to Darla so she could translate our small preferences. While the menu is essentially the same at every McDonald’s (I’m still not sure if that is good or bad) here in Brazil the burger choices vary. For one, most every hamburger in Brazil comes with ham on it. Logical when you think about it, weird when you first see it and delicious when you taste it.
Each of us selected our favorites. I ordered a triple cheeseburger (gotta love Brazil) Darla and Parker two cheeseburgers each and Libby two plain hamburgers with bacon. Everything was shown on the bright and colorful displays above the young girl’s head behind the counter. Everything except for Libby’s plain hamburger with bacon.
The menu included a Quarter pounder with bacon and cheese, but Libby wanted two small burgers and no cheese, as she is lactose intolerant. Darla clearly explained the order. Then she got to Libby’s request. From the look on the girl’s face, you would have thought Darla told her Michael Jackson had just died. She asked Darla to repeat the request. She did. A hamburger with bacon. The girl stared at her with a mixed look of surprise, confusion and disdain all at once.
Her reply was simple. It can’t be done. Darla offered that they had bacon and obviously had hamburgers so what could be the problem? Again, she was told, this is not possible. So Darla asked to have the manager come over. She shared the request with the manager in perfect Portuguese and the manager just stared back. Darla shared the order again, a hamburger with bacon. At this point the manager walked to the register as if it had some magical power, then looked up and explained that there was no way to order or make a hamburger with bacon on it.
At this point, Darla gave up the inquiry and I explained to Libby there wasn’t going to be any bacon for her that night. We got our food and enjoyed a meal that was not really American. It wasn’t that the missing bacon in and of itself was the problem. The American part that was missing was getting what we asked for. We are so used to getting whatever we want without question that we literally didn’t know what to do. As incredulous as the McDonald’s employees were, we were just as bewildered!
They were probably thinking, “Who orders bacon on a hamburger?” or “Who do these people think they are?” or “I told them we don’t have that, why don’t they just order something else?” We were thinking, “I ordered it, they should make it for me.” “What’s the problem and why can’t I have what I want!”
Admittedly it wasn’t McDonald’s but Burger King that has the slogan “Have it your way!” Think about it though. That is a summary of what we expect. What I want in the way I want it. All in all that is not a bad thing (it’s sure good for burgers) but it’s certainly something to be kept in balance less we all become entitled and demanding patrons who can’t live without bacon.