Wednesday 23 July 2008

No such thing as a free lunch

I had an opportunity to eat for free today, the combination of being an unrepentant omnivore and seeing I am off to see the film it is currently tied in to tonight I decided to try the Dark Whopper[1] for lunch. My nearest BK is in the station and along with all other Select Service Partners outlets it has signs telling you that you get your food for free if you don't get handed a receipt, which in this case I didn't. I thought for a moment but decided not to mention it, partly because I disagree with the policy on environmental grounds (I know that merely eating that kind of food has it's impact, but they don't need to kill the extra trees).

The biggest reason I didn't was they nagging suspicion that while it would mean a free lunch for me, it would be a world of pain for the lad serving me. I must at this point stress that all this is supposition, I have never worked for SSP, so none of this is based on observed facts of their employment rules. Having worked in the service industry, those serving the public are under a lot of pressure from management to make the most from each customer through up-selling, cross-selling etc and to minimise waste. That pressure is applied as in most arenas using carrots and sticks, cooperative ladders and voucher incentives for those that do well, harsh disciplinary penalties for those that are considered to be failing or cannot balance their till at the end of the shift.

In that moment contemplating I thought about the possible scenarios for the person in question after I had my money back, a black mark on the record or even having the money deducted from their wage packet all for not handing me something I didn't want or need. It was this last one that definitely stopped me, I wasn't going to risk that he would have worked for more than an hour during the lunch rush for no pay to feed me.

[1]If you want to know, not anything to write home about, probably why I can't really compare it with last time they did it it just doesn't stick in the mind. Not as disappointing at the Angus 6 pack, or as tasty as the angry whopper and no-where near the excitement of walking in and asking them to Kong my whopper![2]
[2]Note to self: I must remember to finish tweaking that footnote plugin.

1 comment:

kevinjones said...

Wise words! Your blog on 'No such thing as a free lunch' delves into the reality behind seemingly free offers. A thought-provoking reminder to consider the true costs. Well-done!
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