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Band-Aid Burger

Mmmm… The aroma of sizzling burgers makes my mouth water from the moment we step in the door. We place our order and move beside the throng of customers anxiously awaiting their meal. It doesn’t take long—this establishment prides themselves on their speedy customer service.

We carry our order outside and sit at a table under an umbrella. The day is perfect. Sunny blue skies, a scuff of white clouds and a cooling little breeze. The mood is light and laughter spins around us like a carousel. Suddenly everything screeches to an abrupt stop. Under the bun sits an oozing yellow band-aid. It only takes a moment for my gag reflex to kick in. AWW-OHH! Gross!

I stomp into the building, push my way to the counter and brandish the offending bleck-burger. I hold it out for the clerk to see. He stares at it evenly and asks, “Can I get you another one?”

Really? Um… I don’t think so. In fact, I don’t think I can eat another burger from here ever! I grit my teeth and simply ask if he would please just show it to the manager. Like every business owner’s dream employee, he shrugs. Don’t look at me with that blank expression… yes, I’m being sarcastic! Shrugging is the worst possible customer service interaction there is. Shrugging is the equivalent to saying whatever. Hey, there’s a band-aid in my burger! Not a spanking brand new one, but a stinky old nasty infection-dripping one. A shrug doesn’t cut it here. This situation requires a gesture of, I don’t know, concern?

Reluctantly, the guy takes the burger and heads toward the back. After what seems a long time the manager approaches me smiling. “Sorry! I really have no idea how that band-aid got there.”

I seem to be the only one disturbed. Coolly, I suggest that if he wants to know how it got there he might check his employees for 1) someone not wearing latex gloves and 2) someone with an infected wound. He nods in acknowledgement of the ingenious idea and heads back inside.

Ten minutes later he returns. “I found him!” he grins enthusiastically, “He had a cut finger… and for the inconvenience, I want to give you six coupons for six free burgers!”

Would that be six band-aid free burgers? I stare at him in disbelief as the smiling manager hands them to me and walks off triumphantly. I hold them up in a generous offer to the others in my group. Anyone want a free band-aid burger? Surprisingly, there are no takers.

I drop the coupons into the trash bin and my husband laughs. “What? You’re just going to waste six good hamburgers?”

I shrug. Sometimes a shrug says it all.