Crisis Mode – #1linerWeds

Earlier this week, on my way home from Iowa, I had a 2 ½ hour layover in Detroit. That’s a long time between flights. I checked my email, caught up on some blog posts, and I walked. We’re having a walking contest at work, so I figured I could get some steps in. The sun was beginning to set, so I tried to get some pictures from vacant gates – I didn’t want to be the victim of a “see something – say something” moment.

Not wanting to go overboard on the healthy, I stopped at McDonald’s the third time I passed it. I ordered a Big Mac and a small fries.

Something was wrong at this Micky D’s. Things were being prepared that hadn’t been ordered, and several orders were missing things. In addition to that, they had run out of fresh beef and had to wait until someone brought more out.

The crowd started to build in size and people started getting antsy. People interested in fast food are impatient enough, people interested in fast food at an airport – don’t go there. One young woman took charge and single-handily kept everyone engaged and amused.

She offered to give a cup to anybody who wanted to get their drink while they waited for their food.

She started checking orders against the receipt the customers were holding. She added every missing item before each customer got their bag.

She kept explaining and apologizing for the delay and gave us pretty accurate estimates on when the new burgers would start to flow.

In between her updates and the trickling supply of food being delivered, people started to return to an uneasy state. Shifting from foot-to-foot, looking at watches, looking at phones, peeking around the corner to see if burgers were coming. The young woman kept talking to people. She kept engaging individuals and the crowd at large. At one point, she practically screamed:

Y’all Look at that sunset! Isn’t that beautiful?

Everybody turned around. Half the people fumbled for their phones and took pictures of the sunset. It didn’t matter that the sun was setting outside the window across the terminal that was reflecting everything going on in the airport, it was a beautiful sight. I had several pictures of the sunset already, but I snagged some form McDonald’s.

It’s amazing how someone with the presence of mind to communicate, educate and entertain people can defuse a situation on the brink of disaster.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.


  1. I love your photos Dan! Sundance seems aptly named. It is good to see an enthusiastic old style McDonald’s server. I used to be one. Ray would have been proud of her. Wow. Now and then I dream of a Big Mac and fries. My favorite. I always wish I could get into a time machine and zip back to when they first came out, before they cheapened the sauce and it was wrapped in that foil and a paper sleeve. I love those “eyes” too! Your photographer’s eye is getting keener every day! Enjoy being back at work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Cheryl. I do remember the original Big Macs. They are still good, but not as good. And the fries, my wife says they will never be the same as the ones they cooked in lard.

      The eyes were a happy accident, but I really like that picture.

      Have a great rest of the week – a Free48 is coming!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. I flew at some weird times, and the airports were curiously quiet – except Atlanta, which is never quiet.

      The young lady at Micky D’s should get some recognition, she saved the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice photos, Dan. The sunset in Detroit reminds me of one a week ago…except the sky was this deep, rich crimson pink in the northeast, while it lightning in the south. Coolest thing ever.

    Kudos to the woman at McDonald’s for keeping the hungry audience entertained. I admire people like that…the ones who can engage with people during a crisis and also fix the crisis. Job well done!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mary. I like sunrises and sunsets where they light up the sky in a burst of color. Your sky sounds remarkable.

      The people who can work through a crisis, are special people. I think this young woman could handle anything.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! The walking man was one I almost skipped because I was sure it’s a “tourist thing” to take that picture, but I really thought it was cool, so…


  3. The eyes in the sunset photo is wonderful, Dan. The joke here in the Panhandle is that you cannot fly anywhere without going through Atlanta first. That is such a busy place…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois. It sees that more and more of my flights go through Atlanta, including all of the ones I take to Florida. I was surprised at how many people were flying to Jacksonville on a Wednesday. That plane was packed full.


  4. Cheers to the McD’s employee who kept her cool and managed to keep the customers entertained and eventually fed. Every customer on that line should write to the company bringing her to their attention.

    Great photos. But the “eye”, the gorgeous sunbathing cat and the ginormous man on the window are super special.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ginger. That young woman was amazing. She just kept going and handling everything that went wrong.

      I really like the “eye” and those other pictures. The cat literally flopped right in front of me, I almost tripped over him. My brother has two (brothers) and they are comical and rather large.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. These days I’m wary of taking photos in airports, too. You never know what security might think you’re up to. As I currently work part time in a service industry as well as having been on the other side of the counter, I can appreciate that woman’s effort and work. On one Southwest flight some years ago, we were stuck sitting on the tarmac (in the plane, of course) and the passengers were getting restless. The flight attendant doing the safety info-mercial, though, saved the day. He did the most marvelously humorous spiel and had we been able to get up at the end of it (seatbelts were all on, of course), he would have gotten a standing ovation. As it was, he got a sitting one and the attitudes of all the passengers changed to upbeat. Quite a feat!

    I had a bit of a laugh at your “fresh burgers.” Have you seen how the current MdD ads are talking about fresh, not frozen beef? That’s a direct response to Wendy’s calling them out in ads that talk about Wendy’s fresh, never frozen burgers and McD’s frozen ones. :-)

    I, too, really like the overlay of the giant walking man. Lots of airports have all sorts of interesting art and other things these days.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. I’ve been on planes that are delayed on the tarmac, and it’s tough to keep the passengers happy. Some crews are way better than others. I think the ones who keep you in the dark are the ones that don’t end well.

      The young woman made a big deal about the beef being “fresh” and how they have had to change the way they store and process the meat. She just kept giving us more information and the time passed without our getting upset.

      I have noticed the trend to make airports more visually interesting. It helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent customer service by the lady at McDonald’s…but…you left me wondering did the food taste okay once you got it? ;-) Great sunset shots you captured!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comment, Shelley. McDonald’s is making a big deal about fresh meat, but the Big Mac tasted like every other Big Mac in the past 20 years. I sometimes choose McDonald’s because it’s predictable, albeit not wonderful.


  7. Hi Dan – I hope she gets to read this complimentary post … as too the powers that be at McDs. Love the sunset shots … great read – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan, you know me and sunsets! Love them and your airport sunset! Sundance another favorite, Maddie too! McDonald’s no so. Never liked fast foods! But I always like your photos and adventures! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Christine. Sundance certainly likes the sun. I practically tripped over him. I don’t blame you for avoiding fast food, it’s a healthy choice, but eventually, the thought of a burger and fries will wear me down.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Again, cracked up with the “not wanting to go overboard on the healthy,” because I’m the same way. And I so relate to this woman! As a retired teacher, I’m that gal who boards the bus and announces that everyone should hold hands and stick together. I put the Southwest airlines passengers in order in the line, and I regularly stop other people’s children from running in restaurants. Your gal has the makings of one fine teacher! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lynn! Having her teach children “life skills” would be a blessing. So many people are awful in a crisis, no matter how minor, that they actually aggravate the bad situation. This girl turned it around.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Kudos to the young woman at McDonalds!! I hope corporate gets wind of how awesome she is with people in sticky situations.

    The sunset was amazing and really those eyes in the window are neat!

    Glad you made it there and back again safely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. Once I know my plane is on time and preferably at the gate, I like to wander around. Air travel is so much sitting in a cramped seat, that moving feels good. I resist taking my camera out, but I’ll snap away with my phone. I got lucky with the eyes (I doubt I could have planned that) but I really do like it. I think that will end up in a presentation at some point.

      The young woman really should get an award.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kudos, Dan. This is a great story about communications. The Mickey D employee sounds like a natural — and there aren’t very many any more.
    That’s your brother’s cat? MiMi and MuMu will be jealous. =^-^= Have a great rest of the week. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m impressed with the employee’s resourcefulness, especially under stress. And YEP, that’s a real good sunset. God put that there for y’all, no doubt. Wonderful photos — who could even see the terminal?!?
    Also, I haven’t had McDonald’s in weeks and weeks. Not even a swate tay. I gotta go soon! McBreakast this weekend, me thinks!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your images tell the story of waiting – going through checking points …did I say waiting? A humorous story …that lady would be a good mother, because some days with little kids are just like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan, I really think you should forward this blog post to the manager of the McDonald’s at the Detroit airport. Seriously. You will do more good than you can imagine. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve had this post opened in my browser for a while now, since this is where I stopped checking your posts regularly due to visitors and all, since I don’t wish to half-ass my visits and do them right. Now the time has come.

    This is such a great example of how to diffuse a situation and of a man choosing this event to blog about it. I find it beautiful. Also how you admit to giving in to it on the third passing. :) The lovely sunset is just a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I really appreciate your catching up. I understand about life getting busy. This woman really stepped up and kept things from getting ugly. Sunsets from airports are often very pretty, as there’s rarely anything to block them.

      Liked by 1 person

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