It takes a lot to get on my bad side. This applies to restaurants as well as people. There are many restaurants that I prefer not to eat at however there are two that I refuse to darken their door ever again. Those two restaurants are Whataburger and Marie Callender’s.
I’m not sure of the exact date, or even year, but it had to be post TAMS so circa 1997. Some of the TAMS group were headed through Brenham late at night probably either going to or from Shaun’s parent’s house in Round Top. We were in my Grand Am with at least Janice and Jodi although there were at least one or two other TAMSters in the car too. It was late enough that Whataburger was the only eating establishment open and being hungry we pulled into the drive-thru.
We pulled up and it took them a while to take our order. I believe every person ordered something, such as a shake, carbonated beverage and maybe some side order. After we gave them our order we pulled up. Shortly thereafter another car pulled up behind us. At this point there are one or two cars in front of us in line and one behind us. The drive-thru lane is designed such that once you are in the lane you can’t get out unless you pull forward or back up – there is a curb and a slight drop off to your right. We sit there and wait for ~25 minutes in that spot, waiting for the Whataburger employees to help the people in front of us. When we finally get up to the window, the clerk very rudely asks what we ordered again and goes off. Five minutes later she comes back and hands us the correct number of items, all of which were wrong: wrong flavor shake, wrong carbonated beverage, wrong side item. We inform them that they got our order incorrect and that we’ve been waiting in the line for around 30 minutes now. The clerk calls me a liar and said she gave me exactly what I ordered. I insist she is wrong and she goes off to fix it. She comes back and only gets 75% of the order wrong. At this point we just want to get out of there and accept all of the items and give her money to pay for it. She then proceeds to hand us back incorrect change and slams the drive-thru window.
In summary, Whataburger forced me to wait 30 minutes for a drive-thru order, got my entire order wrong, called me a liar, and then gave me incorrect change. In short, they failed at every single thing they tried. This is the reason that I refuse to ever give any Whataburger my business. Ever.
Last week a gentleman from the ISST group called me for a technical interview. After finding out that I was the performance lead on the product, he quickly informed me that he would not be asking me any technical questions because I obviously knew the product at least as well as he did. Late Thursday afternoon I received a phone call and email offering me the job.
Friday morning I emailed them back and requested to think about it over the weekend and let them know. About an hour later my manager called to let me know she would be out for the day but that we should get together on Monday to discuss when my availability date was for the new job, assuming I accepted it. She also let me know that my current management team was trying to locate “moving compensation” for me in an attempt to keep me within their group. How they thought this helps is a little round-about. My manager was under the impression that I was interested in the new job primarily to allow Benjamin and I to move to another, more “family friendly” state. With this in mind my management team was trying to see if they could locate funds to assist me in moving to another state while keeping me within their organization.
Given what Benjamin and I want to do (ie: live in various cities/states for a while and see how we like them) the moving compensation wouldn’t have really helped, however it helped me realize just how much they wanted to keep me. I asked jonobie out to lunch to help me filter out some thoughts on the various options. Before we went to lunch there were two basic choices:
- Decline the job: maintain status quo
- Accept the job: travel all over the US
While at lunch Jonobie came up with another option entirely – a truly “thinking outside the box” option. I present you, option 3:
- Decline the job: become a mobile employee keeping my current position but working outside of Austin
Being a mobile employee would allow me to live in different locations and keep my current job that I really enjoy. Granted it would not come with the “signing bonus” or the higher bonus potential but I consider that very acceptable if I could spend more time with Benjamin and less time in a hotel room. I decided to run this past management.
Seeing as my manager was out of the office for the day I contacted my 2nd line manager and set up an impromptu meeting later that afternoon. In the meeting I explained what I was wanting to do and my timeframe for doing so. He saw no reason why making me a mobile employee would not be possible. He was quick to mention that nothing is guaranteed but said that many people in the Security organization want me to stay within Security and that if making me a mobile employee would make that happen that they would do their best to make it work. I left for the weekend to ponder the three options and discuss them with Benjamin.
After discussing the options we agreed that option 3 was the clear choice pending two important items that needed to be confirmed.
- Danny in Colorado would be ok with the new plan and setting aside an office for me to work from
- My manager (who has been in the Security organization longer than my 2nd line) would validate that the organization is truly amenable to having mobile employees
We were able to validate those two items on Sunday and Monday respectively so early Monday afternoon I declined the new job offer.