I was born and raised in Decatur, Georgia and if you ask me it’s one of the most interesting places on Earth. It’s definitely an acquired taste and in some parts of town you might actually need an interpreter because the accent is unlike anything that you’ve likely heard before. Anyway, aside from the time that I spent away at college I’ve always lived in, or a stone’s throw away from, my hometown but even with all the time that I’ve been here, I still manage to experience something new every single day. Why even a mini jaunt over to a local fast food spot is not without its fair share of drama. Like this one; I’m nearly certain that this could never happen anyplace else but here in “The Dec”
Some time ago I was attending a local sporting event with my brother in law sharing some small talk during a break in the action. He started in on a story about how he and my niece had become addicted to the new Monster burgers from Hardee’s. (Carl’s Jr. if you’re a West Coast resident and reading this blog) This burger featured a mind numbing and possible coronary inducing near pound of Angus beef, 3-4 slices of bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and all the other fixings. As an honest to goodness burger fan, I obviously thought to myself, “I’ve got to get some of that pronto. That sounds like a burger that would make me really happy if it doesn’t manage to send me to my grave. There were no Hardee’s restaurants close by, I would have to make a trek of about 6-7 miles which was a little far to go just for a burger but with the bouquets that my brother in law was throwing out I figured I’d give it a go.
Fast forward to a few days later, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, about 80 degrees, birds chirping, nice breeze. I figured that I’d treat myself to a little lunch and the conversation with my brother came to mind and I figured this was as good a day as any to find a Hardee’s. So I go to the Hardee’s website in search of the closest location. It’s in Decatur on Bouldercrest Rd. and Bouldercrest Rd. is one of those areas of town where you might need an interpreter…and a Kevlar vest. But I’m a Decatur native, I’m not worried about any mishaps, I’m going in, going to get my burger, and be out of there so I grab my keys, open the sunroof, and I’m on my way. 15-20 minutes later, I’m there.
Since I hadn’t been to Hardee’s in a while I figured I’d better go in rather than go to the drive thru because I hate people that sit at the Drive Thru speaker saying “hold up, I’m not sure yet.” At least if I go in I can stand back and look at my options and make way for the people that know what kind of heart detonator they want to order. I park out front and go to the door ready to partake in some good Hardee’s burgers and the door is locked. My first instinct is that the location may be closed and I just didn’t pay enough attention. But the hours are posted right there on the door “SUNDAY: 10:00AM to 9:00PM” and since its right at 3PM that means the door should be open. I peeked in the door and didn’t see anyone stirring around, I pulled the door again just to make sure that it wasn’t stuck and then went back to my car. Immediately I begin to think the worst. “They’re in there getting robbed”, I thought to myself as I sat in the lot.
But I REALLY wanted that burger.
So I drove around to the other side of the restaurant thinking that they only kept one side open for security reasons or something like that. I parked on the other side and while walking to the door I saw a guy in a Hardee’s polo style shirt in the drive thru window. So everyone on the inside is safe and secure and I’m well on my way to getting my burger…and when I got to the door on the other side it, too, was locked. Worse still, dude saw me try the door and didn’t even acknowledge nor give an explanation. So then I think that maybe the dining room is just closed and I HAVE to go to the drive thru so I do…and I sit there for 1-2 minutes, no response. The sign is lit up; the display is up and running, but no voice through the speaker. A lady pulls up behind me so I tell her that I don’t know what is going on but the doors are locked and there’s no answer on the drive thru box. Apparently, she REALLY wanted a burger too so she drove around to the window, got out of the car and tapped on the window. The 19 or so year old that’s inside peeks out and tells her “Umm, well, yeah, we open. Go around to the other side.” So I drive back around to the other side in time to see another 19 or so year old unlock the door and wave me in.
In retrospect, I really must have wanted that burger because anyone else with a right mind would have just gone elsewhere am I right? Anyway…
So I go inside and I tell him that I thought that they were being robbed since all the doors were locked and no one was answering the drive thru. To which he replies, “Naw, it ain’t nothing like that. We were just tired. About 30 minutes ago, man, it was about 10 people inside in line, about 5 cars in the drive thru and we were like ‘just lock the doors we need a break'”. That’s right, just didn’t want to work anymore so they locked the doors and went into Operation Shutdown. And when I say they shut it down they went all the way into shutdown mode. There were even a couple of “workers” that had plugged a television in the dining room and they were reclined in a booth watching a game. Oh the stressful world of fast food on a Sunday afternoon.
After about 10 minutes my food came up and I was thanked for my patience in a way that only a fast food worker in Decatur could – “My bad on the wait, Shawty. Have a good day, a’ight?” – to which I nodded and smiled cordially and took my leave from my Decatur Hardee’s experience; if I’m not mistaken I think someone locked the door behind me, perhaps they were still tired.
Oh well, at least they upsized my combo for free.
~thanks for reading 🙂
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