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"No, SWIRL Cone Please." "For the Last Time Ma’am, We Are Out of Chocolate Ice Cream"


Photo by inhisgrace / CC BY-ND 2.0

"Hello, welcome to McDonald's. Can I take your order?" Those sacred words made my heart leap. I had been waiting for them all day. 

I cleared my throat and asked politely but confidently (I had practiced earlier!) "Yes, could I have a swirl cone, please?"

"A what?" my heart sank as my request was met with confusion. Not one to be set back, I went off script and tried again, clarifying my order with more detail. "An ice cream cone, but with the flavors swirled together?" Shoot. I had forgotten to say please. I added it in real quick to show that I'm a nice person. "Please." 

I accidentally cut off the cashiers' "I'm sorry, but we are out of chocolate ice cream."

Was there still a misunderstanding?! "But I want a swirl cone," I stated, confident that the cashier must have misheard "chocolate" instead of "swirl," a common mistake. Again, the cashier responded, "Yes, but we do not have any chocolate ice cream."

What's step one to winning a disagreement? Explaining that you hear the other side. I gave it a try. "I understand that, but I do not want chocolate ice cream. Instead, I would like a swirl cone." The cashier sighed, somehow still not understanding my order. A line was forming behind me as the second cashier struggled to do two people's work at once while I still explained my order to the first.

"For the last time, ma'am," I could tell the cashier was getting irritated, "we are out of chocolate ice cream." I was about to remind her I wanted a swirl cone when she continued, "you need chocolate ice cream to make a swirl cone." I was floored. She was right. You DO need chocolate ice cream to make a swirl cone. Thoughts of every embarrassing thing I'd ever done flooded my mind.

"Ma'am, is there something else I can get for you today?" I did my best to compose myself. Then, on the brink of tears, I took a deep breath, cleared my throat, and squeaked out, "one vanilla cone, please."