We were particularly hungry/greedy that day, so we ordered a LOT of stuff including 20-pc nuggets, large drinks, burgers, ice-creams etc.; it must have come up to more than $25. My parents had let my brother and I make the order on our own, and bring the food up. My younger brother took the ice-creams up first and I followed up the big steps with the heavy tray.
It was entirely my fault that I stumbled on the steps and dropped the tray; my heart fell along with all the food and drinks, splattering on to the steps. For a 14-year-old girl with tender self-esteem, the humiliation was palpable.
I was stunned for awhile, then dazedly tried to pick up the cups and apologise to the cleaning lady who came quickly and cheerfully to my rescue. She brushed away my apologies and told me to leave the mess for her to clean up, first making sure I was not hurt. She then efficiently cleaned everything up.
With a very, very guilty and heavy heart I went back to my family, who tried to comfort me and then gave me more money to pay for a new order. The McDonald’s staff directed me gently to the counter where they had prepared a tray full of exactly the same order I had made previously, which relieved me greatly.
Here comes the crunch. I OFFERED THE MONEY, BUT THEY REFUSED IT. IT WAS ENTIRELY MY FAULT THAT I DROPPED THE TRAY, BUT THEY WERE CHEERFULLY REPLACING OUR ORDER WITHOUT TAKING OUR MONEY. Can you possibly imagine how I felt?
I was overwhelmed by the care that the staff showed me during that embarrassing incident. That moment when they picked up my self-esteem from the floor, dusted it off carefully and returned it to me cheerfully is worth any number of Extra Value Meals.
Though it happened almost 15 years ago, I remember it almost as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. Thank you, McDonald’s. Thank you, KAP. I will remember you...