One evening our car broke down and we coasted into motel parking lot in Bowling Green, Ohio. We got a room for the night. I would repair the car in the morning. We had been waiting to eat in order to break up the monotony of our trip so the family was very hungry. Our first-born, Kyle and I hiked out in search of food. Our venture took us to a Burger King Restaurant. As we walked up the manager was just locking the door. Undiscouraged we walked around to the drive-thru window. The sign said it was open all night. I stood for a long time at the speaker waiting for someone to take my order. I couldn’t get the attention of the cashier.
In a moment a car drove in. I stepped aside. Immediately a friendly voice came over the speaker; “Welcome Burger King. May I take your order?”
After the car drove away I stepped back up to the speaker and spoke loudly into the speaker. “Hello. Hello. Excuse me, can you take my order?” Hello. Hello. Silence. Nothing. I deceided to just stand there even when other cars pulled up until someone acknowledged that I was there. After two or thee cars were backed up behind me finally a voice came back over the speaker, “Excuse me, you will have to move so we can wait on our customers.”
I was furious. “I am a customer. Aren’t you going to take my order?”
“You have to have a car.”
I said, “I have a car I just couldn’t bring it with me. I’m hungry. I have a large family. I made them wait to eat. They won’t let me back in unless I bring them food. Please, sell me some food.”
“I’m sorry, you will have to leave, or I will have to call the Manager.”
“Really, well by all means call the manager,” I said. “I would like to talk to him. Do you think he would like to make a large sale tonight?” Finally I stalked around to the pick-up. I must have looked dangerously angry because the young lady jumped away from the window when she saw me. I demanded a meeting with the manager. I told him my story. I showed him my money. I showed him a picture of my family.
You won’t think much of me if I tell you the rest of the story but I will say that my son walked away and stood about fifty yards away and just shook his head. Finally he said, ?Dad, maybe we better go before they call the police.”
I said, “Maybe the police would let me use their car so I can get something to eat.”
He didn’t laugh. Later he told me he has never seen me so angry as I was that night. We walked back to the motel and ordered pizza, which they delivered in short order to cheers of delight from a large family suffering from severe low blood sugar.
Reflecting on my anger I realize that I would almost rather be attacked than ignored. One of the most devastating things you can do to a person is ignore them.
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn
Monday March 21, 2004