Better than the 2nd Window

One Liner WednesdayThis post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series: One-Liner Wednesday. I don’t usually do well with the one-line thing, and this week is no exception, but I think I have a pretty good, albeit two-part excuse.

First, the comment I wanted to share wasn’t a “one-liner” in that is isn’t something you can say to someone else, or that you might expect to hear in normal conversation. Still, as I think back over the variety of things that were said to me last week, by people in the outside world, this question stands out as the one that made me feel the best.

Second, the comment begs a (rhetorical) question that I inadvertently answered. That’s OK, I’ve established the fact that I often answer rhetorical questions, in the same way that I offer solutions for problems my wife wishes I would just acknowledge as existing.

I stopped at Maddie’s (the restaurant, not my dog’s place) on the way to work last week to get something to go for lunch. I took the menu and started looking at sandwiches.

“Can I help you?”

“I’m going to get a sandwich to go, for later. I just have to decide what I want.”

“OK. In addition to those, we have Chicken Salad today.”

“Mmmm, that sounds good.”

“Maddie makes the best chicken salad. All fresh ingredients and she cooks the chicken right here.”

“Let’s go with that.”

After a few minutes, the waitress brought me the to-go container with my sandwich, some pickles and some chips. Then she added:

“We serve that with a cup of soup here. Do you want an instant soup to go?”

The way she asked made it clear that she really wanted me to enjoy lunch. No one else that I would deal with that day, until I got home, seemed to care if my day was good, bad or otherwise. I realized just how little effort it takes to make someone feel good.

I thought about using that as my one-liner, and I thought I would pose the question that I raised a long time ago when I first wrote about Maddie’s, i.e. why do I ever stop at a fast-food place.

Yesterday, I was going to stop at Maddie’s for breakfast, but they were crowded to the point of having no parking places. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and McDonald’s for an Egg McMuffin. When I spoke to the place-your-order-here-spot on the menu board, the conversation, if you can call it that was short and not sweet at all:

I’d like an Egg McMuffin.”

“$3.49. Pay and pick-up at the second window.”

It’s just not the same.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
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66 Responses to Better than the 2nd Window

  1. Dan, two comments really.
    1: I really like McDonalds Sausage and Egg MacMuffins – my fave!
    2: I am surprised that you all that spare time to photograph your food. I am retired and I don’t have that spare time (maybe it’s because of the work you give me – grin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      1) I do like Egg McMuffins, and sausage biscuits, but there’s nothing better than that homey touch (Issac’s ???)

      2) I had to go back several months to find these photos, as I almost always forget before taking those first few bites.


  2. This is bad. Now I need to eat something unholy, I mean unwholesome.

    I love it that all kinds of Maddies deliver. And one time in Ljubljana, when McDonalds was still sort of new, I ordered a salad with eggs and upon opening the container was terribly tempted to go back to the counter and tell them that their eggs smelled bad. Which is even funnier in a language with the same word for ‘eggs’ and ‘cojones’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      That would make for an awkward complaint ;-)

      Sorry for making you hungry. I knew that if I only talked about the food, someone would say “why no pictures?” It’s always hard with food posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The effect of simple kindness and good customer service is immense. When you add it to good chicken salad, you have the ingredients for a really good day. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. GP Cox says:

    No, not the same at all. The personal touch is always the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. bikerchick57 says:

    Here’s my one-liner especially for you:

    “Thanks, Dan, now I’m really hungry for breakfast.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The phrase “heart attack on a plate” comes to mind — but what the heck! It looks great. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. marianallen says:

    Important question: Does she make her chicken salad with mayonnaise or salad dressing? Oh, and another: Is it the kind with grapes and nuts in?

    Maddie’s sounds like my kinda place. We had a great soup/salad/sandwich place in Corydon, but it turned out to be WAY more expense and work than than the owner/cook had expected (she shouldn’t have been so good!), and it closed, alas. Treasure Maddie’s!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. loisajay says:

    I do love a good, helpful wait staff. She sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      They are all so nice in that place. Just plain friendly people. The places like McD’s and Dunkin Donuts that have a timer running to measure the start-to-finish transaction time are actually discouraging human contact. It makes it so clinical. It would be different if the food was really good, but…


  9. I like a sausage and egg burrito every so often (and it’s a great deal) or these days, a $2 mocha. But I always try to say good morning and ask how the person is, which usually elicits a surprised but nice response. I think fast food places are a bit like UPS: they want their workers to work as fast as possible, which usually doesn’t allow much time for chat, friendly or otherwise.

    I was curious about the “instant soup”, though. Did she give you regular soup to go or an instant soup?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      I just responded to Lois with that same thought, Janet. Those places put the emphasis on fast, not food. I do like the Egg McMuffin and the sausage biscuit, but the experience is like stopping to put gas in my tank.

      She offered instant soup. I didn’t want the soup (I was hard pressed to finish the sandwich) but the offer made me feel so nice.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Steve Weissman says:

    And if she gave you instant soup, did she also provide a bottle of water with which to reconstitute it? Or was the water instant too?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. joey says:

    Mmm, chicken salad. I think I make the best chicken salad, but to be honest, I’ve never met one I didn’t like! :P
    Places like Maddie’s are to be cherished :)
    I enjoy sausage biscuits from McDonald’s. I don’t eat them often, but when I do, I enjoy them. Somethin about the eggs there doesn’t taste right with me, and their syrup is ungodly sweet, so it’s a sausage biscuit or nothin if I’m there. And a Coke, Dan. A really big Coke :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      The sausage biscuits from McDonald’s are very good. And, I discovered that they do bake the biscuits on site. I ordered one once and the clerk said “our oven is broken so no baked items today.” That made me feel good. Dunkin Donuts stuff is all pre-cooked somewhere else. McD’s does use real eggs, but I’m guessing they cook them in oil, whereas, I think Maddie’s and I know my wife cooks them in butter.

      It’s funny what you said about chicken salad. I prefer homemade, but I will often try it in places like this. Tuna Salad, on the other hand, is my wife’s or nothin. I man, I’d probably eat it if you made it, but not from a restaurant.

      I do try to let them know that I really appreciate their being in business. When we lose places like this, they don’t get replaced.


  12. Wendy Brydge says:

    So true, Dan. It take very little effort to be nice to someone, and it can make all the difference to them when you are. Just a smile sometimes is all you need! So why the heck aren’t we all doing it more…?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Almost Iowa says:

    Or how about: “I’ll have the organic, locally sourced #2” Sounds so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Looks so delicious. 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  15. jolynnpowers says:

    this is the same reason I like to cook at home… I care if everyone eating is happy feed well and having a good time… Just not the same effect at the drive thru window.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. AmyRose🌹 says:

    Sigh … Here I go again, reading a post about food when I am hungry. I mean, how does that work? What are the odds of that happening? Thanks, Dan, for putting a rumble in my stomach. As for niceness that goes a long way, doesn’t it? So glad you found some!! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I think the choice should be obvious about where you get your food from for now on.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Did I see bacon on that chicken salad? OMG even the donut looked better than the Micky D’s stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Joanne Sisco says:

    AHA! My timing was perfect! I read this post just after I finished eating so none of this appeals to me right now :)
    … and who wins the customer service award is a no-brainer!!

    But I have to comment on your statement “I offer solutions for problems my wife wishes I would just acknowledge as existing”. OMG! This must be a guy thing. After all these years, Husband still hasn’t mastered the art of simply nodding his head and making sympathetic noises.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. John Holton says:

    I always liked it when I would go to a small town and the client would suggest a local place to get food, rather than eating at McDonald’s or Applebee’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m so glad I had dinner before opening your post! Wow those buns at Maddie’s look so good.

    I like Egg McMuffins, and Breakfast Jacks. I don’t eat them very often, but when I want one I want one! At this point I doubt I’ll ever out grow them, but Maddie’s breakfast sandwich just might make me never want again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Thanks Deborah. I still like the Egg McMuffin and the Sausage Biscuit, but when I have time to stop at Maddie’s, it’s always a better sandwich. They also make a Pastrami omelet, that they serve with spicy brown mustard as an option. At first, I thought that sounded weird, but oh my goodness, it’s so good. Of course, if I eat a full breakfast there, I’m basically done for the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That does sound weird, but I like spicy brown mustard so I’d try it.

        “Of course, if I eat a full breakfast there, I’m basically done for the day.” You say that like it’s a bad thang! I don’t think I’d mind if that was my meal for the day as I imagine a full brkfast from Maddie’s would be quite delicious and FILLING! :)


  22. reocochran says:

    Servers who care are truly “saints,” Dan. This one made sure you were a satisfied customer and “lunch eater” later. I made up that word combination apparently. This was a great one liner. Soup makes lunch a perfect meal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Ha ha – I could have used that. They are just so nice there. They offer me a small coffee while I’m waiting, and they will top-off my to-go cup if I bring it in.


  23. Glynis Jolly says:

    The art of good service does not exist in many places anymore. The friendliness we used to look for in shops and stores is almost gone. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Val Boyko says:

    This is a yummy post Dan 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Aunt Beulah says:

    Great contrast in this piece, Dan, and oh so true. I try to never go where have to place my order to a faceless voice through an intercom.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ll go for Maddie’s in the blink of an eye. No question. Even more than the food I like to interact a minimum when I order something to eat. So fast foods are too… fast for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. LindaGHill says:

    Mmm.. that chicken salad looks good. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  28. sharukhbamboat says:

    These days the emphasis is on speed rather than customer service, Dan. That’s what I believe. You pay and get aside. However, there are establishments where you get exceptional service and they are still beating the MNCs because they treat customers as people and not a number.

    Liked by 1 person

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