We ate our fast food lunch at Burger King one day, as so many Americans do. My husband, his friend, myself, and our almost 2 year old son sat at a table chowing on Whoppers, fries, and a kids meal for the little one.
As we ate, we got the little toy out of the plastic and handed it to our boy. He played with it. I will never forget that little M&M car. It was the kind you pull back and it drives forward. I tried to show my little man how the toy could drive by itself but we couldn’t get it to work.
“I’ll take it back and exchange it when we’re done.” My husband told me.
We finished our lunches and my husband took the toy to the counter while his friend, our son, and I wandered out into the Fred Meyers to look around. I expected it would be a quick exchange since the restaurant was empty and had only had one other customer since we’d been in.
Several minutes passed and my husband met us out in the store. “It works. I stood at the counter waiting for someone to finally come up and help me. While I waited I tried it on the counter top and it worked.” He shrugged his shoulders and handed the toy to our son.
As he handed the toy to our son, a Burger King worker came flying out of the restaurant.
“You stole that toy!” She screamed for the whole store to hear.
You have got to be kidding me.
She continued to scream as she headed toward us. “I saw you steal that toy right off our counter! You thief! You stole that toy!”
I stepped around my husband. Humiliation danced across my body. And then anger set in.
“We did not steal this toy. We just ate in your restaurant and got it in my son’s kids meal.” I stomped past her. “I will prove it.”
I raced into the Burger King and went straight to the counter. I pointed at the gal who had taken our order a mere twenty minutes ago, if that. “We just ate in here. Do you remember taking our order?” I recited exactly what we ordered while the accuser stood glaring at me.
“I don’t know.” The cashier responded. “We have so many customers, I don’t remember.”
“You’ve had one customer since we were in here. One. You really don’t remember taking my money or handing our order that included a kids meal to me?” I tried to stay calm but I was fuming inside. “I can go pull our lunch garbage out of that garbage can right now. It’s sitting on the very top because we just left.”
“Sorry, I don’t remember.”
“Fine. We paid for this toy and did not steal it. I am not paying you for it again.”
No one said anything as I turned and stormed back out into the Fred Meyer. I silently dared the screamer to follow me back into the store or call the cops over the “stolen toy”.
To this day, I still wish I’d actually pulled our garbage from the garbage can at that Burger King and proved them wrong. I wrote a letter to the manager but never heard back from them. We’ve never stepped foot into that Burger King in the last 15+ years.
While this story is pretty out there, I mean come on, who really steals a Burger King toy?
We are guilty of stealing another person’s dignity when we gossip about them with others. When I see someone do something that seems off or when I hear a little piece of a story and form my own opinion without getting all of the facts.
This Burger King employee thought she was protecting her employer. She didn’t have all the facts – and she completely went about handling it the wrong way – and she made a judgment and acted on it.
Ever done that?
Let’s make a pact, shall we? The next time the temptation to gossip or judge presents itself remember this Burger King employee. Ask yourself, do I want to be like that woman screaming in the store humiliating someone else and myself?
Proverbs 16:28 A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.
Have you ever witnessed an event and later realized there was far more to the story? Have you ever been the screaming Burger King employee, acting out of assumptions – haven’t we all? Or have you been on the receiving end of a story like this? Share your story in the comments! Check out some of the crazy and weird restaurant stories my readers shared with me a few years ago. *If you enjoyed this story, please share it and subscribe to the site. ♥
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Oh my gosh, I’d be mortified! I can’t believe the manager never responded to you. That woman should have been in a lot of trouble. That is a lot of mess to make over a stupid toy that costs nothing. And good reminder at the end. Thanks for sharing your crazy story! You handled yourself better than I would have.
Thanks. I really wanted to totally blow but I didn’t. The funny thing was that there were NO toys on their stainless steal counter. I’m not quite sure how she thought my husband had obtained the toy.
Often the bins are right under the counter, it would be possible to reach right into the bin and pull a toy out. But to accuse someone of that?
I was just reading about Amygdala hijacking, how it can happen to anyone in any situation.
When the emotional brain gets the news and reacts to it before the rational brain has any chance.
Her reaction certainly seems irrational and I wonder what triggered it?
I don’t know what triggered it but it was awful to be in the middle of a store and have everyone’s eyes turn to us because I bet almost all of them assumed we were thieves. I will now have to go read about amygdala hijacking! I do always wonder what makes people react in a bizarre fashion. People are crazy and fascinating!
I wouldn’t have even gone back into the restaurant to argue. What would she do? Call the cops? Crazy!
True. Would cops respond to such nonsense? I think if we’d tried to ignore her, she might have chased us through the store.
You should have just punched her in the face and walked away.
Then I really would have been arrested 🙂 Not my style.
You’d have to be some kind of knucklehead to steal a happy meal toy. Seriously. People.
She sounds like a loose cannon. I bet she got fired soon after this because she clearly shouldn’t be working in customer service.
You’re probably right. I wondered if the manager really cared though since I never even got a phone call to apologize.
You’re a better person than I. I would have demanded she call her manager right then and there. Someone should alert Burger King corporate office. You deserve some free food!
LOL! I never thought to ask her to call her manager. I was too flustered. At this point in life, I might have done just that. It’s been more than 15 years since this took place. I doubt BK cares!
Ouch! I winced at your story and even more at the thought of how easy it is to ‘steal’ another person’s reputation by gossiping or believing it without verifying the facts. This is something that we need to think more about. I also smarted at the injustice that was metered out to you at Burger King. How mean of them. But it had the silver lining of being a great moral tale and a warning to others! Thank you, Mel. Visiting here for the first time from #FaithFilledFriday Blessings 🙂 x
Joy Lenton recently posted..Seeing clearly
Thanks Joy 🙂 Welcome! Yes, sometimes we have to find those silver linings, don’t we?