- McDonald's -

All my parts are real!

Posted by: Hugh Morris ( Howard Stern College of Engineering, USA ) on May 24, 1999 at 12:50:18:

In Reply to: Plastic people standing up for a plastic restraunt. posted by Paranoid Ghost on May 23, 1999 at 22:04:17:

:I worked at a restaurant that served foot-long hot dogs, but that was changed to "extra-long" hot dogs. You just know there was some asshole with a ruler that had to check it out for themselves.

: Thats right...I would be that ASSHOLE!...if yer gonna call it a 'foot long' it had better damm well be a foot long when I start to eat it!

Hugh Morris: All right, "asshole"... let's see the ruler! When was the last time it was calibrated? Have you considered the effect of temperature in the growth or shrinkage of your hot dog? Leaving all penis jokes aside, I'd gladly put the short hot dog back on the grill, roll it back and forth with the spatula as I flatten it, until such point as it stretches out to the requisite 12 inches, much the way you can convince a two-year-old he has two hot dogs if you cut one in half. I'll even measure it with my $100 micrometer. Further, have you heard of nominal measurements? This explains why a piece of lumber called a "two by four" actually measures one and a half inches by three and a half (cross-section). They don't tell you that at the lumber yard; you're supposed to know that and plan your purchases accordingly.

I only had to call this unknown fellow an asshole because I imagine he leads a very dull life, or perhaps he spends his days looking for free money by filing lawsuits against anyone in sight. You're probably not an asshole, and lead a fulfilling life, so no more name-calling will be necessary.

: : : And when has advertising not embellished appearances of the products being pitched (or in the case of food, its necessary decoys because of the heat)?

: ......Yes I know. I still want my burger made as it appears in the picture. What the hell is wrong with that????

.....Let them make the burger on Tv out of plastic for all I care. I want the damm food to look as it is pictured though.

McDonald's has standards for the number of sesame seeds on the bun, the thickness of the center slice of bread on a Big Mac, and probably the range of hues of red and green for lettuce and tomatoes. So far, we're pretty good with the photographs. You can't see the placement of the condiments from the photographs except for the bits placed with a syringe; the hamburgers are depicted complete. The main deviation is that the burgers are often flattened, but guess what... they are sold by weight! There's a scale nearby for weighing the completed hamburgers, but no rulers, micrometers, calipers, runout gauges, etc. A similar caveat appears on my box of cereal:

"This product is sold by weight, not by volume. Some settling may occur. If this happens, close the box, reseal it tightly, place it in a plastic bag, tie the bag in a knot, sling it around in circles over your head, and cluck like a chicken." Oddly, it still doesn't look like the bowl of cereal depicted on the box.

:A little care and training will go a long way.

Don't forget about money. A waiter will grovel for your tip, at least to some extent, while those who work at fast feeders are paid the same whether you're satisfied or not.

: : If plastic props are not used in the photographs, here's what you get: A cold, pre-cooked beef patty dunked in oil to simulate grease. Take careful bites; the tomatoes and pickles are held in place with pins. The coffee will have a laxative effect; soap is added to make bubbles, giving the appearance of a freshly-brewed cup. The bun will have dried out after being under the studio lights. Don't count on there being any dressing on the sandwich anywhere except the outer perimeter; little bits of ketchup and Mac sauce were added with a syringe around the outside.

: ....That's nice. If they want to make the food on TV look so great...why not go to the extra trouble of preparing the real thing so that it appears as it does on tv or at least extreanly close to it. The actual food looks nothing like what is advertised

At my current job, my employer makes products for the steel industry. Namely, these products are liners for rolling mills, and shear knives for cutting sheets of steel, as well as other sorts of knives. The knives are long (up to twelve feet) and narrow, while the liners are flat, rectangular pieces of steel. They all are made to a high degree of precision, with holes, keyways, bevels, and grooves placed here and there according to the customers' orders. Those details are cut on vertical mills, which can range in price from $40,000 to more than a quarter of a million. The difference is the precision.

My employer could make these products to a tolerance of one millionth of an inch with the finest vertical mills made, but that would be silly. The customers don't need that much precision, and allow a tolerance of 20 thousandths of an inch for overall dimensions. The cost of the precise machine would be passed onto the customers, driving them away, so my employer does just fine with $80,000 vertical mills (purchased "used" from other machine shops).

With McDonald's and the other fast feeders, they know from experience that customers won't notice the care that went into making their orders. Rather, they are more likely to bitch about the amount of time they spend waiting in line. Customers with more discriminating taste are simply too few in number to be bothered with. Now, you can inform other customers they're being ripped off and try to sway them, but you'll likely be greeted with little more than a yawn. It seems like people don't mind being told lies; they've hardened somehow.

Conversely, it sounds like your mind is made up, too. In the rat-infested sewer known collectively as fast-food employment, I've had several customers who find some discrepancy between their expectations and what they're served. Usually, the hapless bastard behind the counter will make the order again three or four times, only to have the customer find something else wrong, necessitating yet another attempt at completing the order. No matter how it's made, it's wrong. By now, the customer is usually wishing for a refund. Whether they ask for a refund or not, I give them one, and they leave. They come back on the first day of the following month (welfare check day, dontcha know?). Maybe we'll get it right this time, but usually the cycle repeats.

: : Does your prowess on the basketball court improve when you buy Nike's?

: Actualy...YES. When I buy new Nikes I feel like a millon bucks and my game does seem to improve. Not basketball...soccor. Damm the black heart of the clown!


A young Michael Jordan had to sit out most of his first professional year when he broke his ankle wearing the Nike shoes he's paid to endorse. The success of Jordan and Nike say a lot for Jordan's selling (lying?) prowess.

All The World's A Stage, And We Are Merely Players... Despite The Lies We Tell, We're All The Same Shit-Layers,

Hugh Morris

Follow Ups:


The Debating Room Post a Followup