So I was minding my own business like anyone else when I decided to pick up a diet Coke from a local Dairy Queen franchise. I finished the soda and took off the lid to find this happy little bastard tucked beneath the remaining cubes:
Disgusting, right? Seriously, can you believe this? We, as consumers, deal with so much crap from these companies, so it’s only natural to want the payout we deserve.
Naturally, I did what anyone should do: I notified the manager, returned the part, and received an apology along with a $10 gift card I didn’t even request.
By now you’re possibly confused as to why this isn’t another post ranting about huge payouts, customer distress, or “something something I DEMAND more compensation for these (apparent) atrocities.” Of course, when I first posted the photos online, some folks mentioned I should sue or raise Cthulhu to fight DQ and Orange Julius on my behalf.
I’d almost bet at least half of them weren’t kidding.
But that IS disgusting! You SHOULD have sued… or at least gotten more compensation. Why didn’t you?
Two words: consumer entitlement. We live in a society so hell bent on assuring the largest payouts for the smallest mistakes, which in actuality is a real huge problem. When folks forget other folks make mistakes, we get stuck in this clustered mentality that everything must be picture perfect to remain sustainable. And it’s not just a problem in consumer culture – it’s a problem in American culture as a whole. Every day we’re told to throw things out, yell at people, or throw tantrums for compensation if we don’t get our way in a situation.
Significant other questions your decision? Well damn, they’re not worth your time anymore. Your favorite restaurant messed up your order? Guess it’s not your favorite anymore. The TL;DR is there’s a huge difference between making a small mistake and doing something that impacts someone’s life with more dire consequences (see: giving e-coli to your customers and cheating on your spouse).
In this case, there were no complications involving a tiny, rusted washer in a soft drink. Furthermore, there’s more in the way of complications regarding the famous “hot coffee” McDonalds case than most people even realize.
But complications ARE possible! Are you up to date on your tetanus shots?
Yes, there’s a popular urban legend that interior exposure to rust causes tetanus. However, it’s not the rust itself that causes the infection. Most rust related tetanus infections sprout from individuals who somehow expose an open wound to a rusty (or even not rusty) object that enters their blood stream. Tetanus bacteria only reproduce in oxygen deprived environments, which is why puncture wounds could cause an issue. Ingesting tiny amounts of rust would do nothing more than supply us with… well, more iron than we probably want for a day.
Yes, it’s true that there could have been danger here. And yes, the restaurant is responsible for the mistake and fixing it. Regardless, nothing resulted in immediate health complications or stresses from this incident.
My responsibility as a consumer was not to shame on-the-clock employees about human error or search for a million dollar payout for nothing. No, it’s our responsibility to bring these errors to their attention so they may remedy them and assure nothing potentially dangerous happens to any other customer.
What if you had swallowed the washer?