A few times a week I’ll motor over to the drive-thru at Truett’s Luau and get a nice fruit cup. Not only is this the easiest place from which to obtain my fruit cup but the people are always kind and friendly. This pleasure all ended a few weeks ago when they began requesting a “name for the order.”
Nearly complete with the order and ready to drive forward, it now ends with an exchange that sounds something like this: “Can I get a name for the order please?”–“Larry”–“Pete?”–“Larry”—“Stuart?”—“Larry”—“Nancy?”—“…………….yes”.
This has now added some ninety seconds to the process as I helplessly watch my fruit cup sitting on the stainless steel sill of the drive-thru window and taking on the aroma of exhaust fumes and the sun’s heat rendering it inedible.
But they must need my name for some reason, right? Driving along the dangerous and winding course to the window I envision a back and forth between pals is coming. “G’morning Larry. A nice fruit cup for you today?” to which I’d respond something like, “Hey Frank. Yes, please. Having a nice day are we? Did you happen to catch that crosstown rival basketball game in which we both share an interest?”
Instead, arriving now at the window I’m greeted by someone who calls me “Mister Larry” in a cold and unfamilial way. This addition of “mister” leaves me feeling unapproachable and old. At once I feel like the bad guy in a children’s book. They in no way wanted to make me feel like an old friend by calling my name. I shall pay with nickels and pennies.
I’ll try not to take the damage caused to me personally. There are just too many variables when trying to communicate something as random as a name over such a low-fidelity medium. When I was a sheep-herder I named my dogs two syllable names with hard consonants so when I called for them through a cold and windy day I could be heard. This seems little different.