When a Denial of Happy Meal Turns Into Crappy Deal
No one ever said dealing with John Q. Public was easy. And there are no guarantees that John Public will get what they want, nor be happy with the results. But when Mr. Public (or Ms., even though this specific incident involves a Mr.) threatens to kill everyone in the room, it may be a tad of an overreaction to the situation. Our Mr. J. Q. Public is apparently not a morning person. Someone should've given him a Happy Meal.
And since the refusal to do so is what triggered the event, that advice seems even more apropos.
The man, who is employed as a DoorDash driver, arrived at the restaurant before 10 in the morning. He asked for a Happy Meal but was told it was too early for one. I suppose he had to settle for a McGrumpy breakfast. Witnesses told police that he “became agitated when he was told it was too early to get a Happy Meal.” Before leaving the restaurant, he told those witnesses that he would come back and execute everyone. The McDonald's workers (wisely) contacted the police.
To my knowledge there have been no scientific studies done related to incensed reactions from Happy Meal refusals. However, in these post-pandemic times it may be a good idea for a university researcher somewhere to apply for a million-dollar government grant to fund such a study. This guy can't be the only person poised to go from Happy Meal to slappy zeal when left disappointed at the retail counter. This could be the start of a trend representing a much bigger threat for the average restaurant employee.
Details indicate that while deputies were at the scene of the Happy Meal fiasco, other reports of people being threatened by a man with a gun started to roll in. Our miscreant delivery dude had apparently decided to take his decidedly unhappy state to a broader audience. While deputies were out in the area trying to find him, he returned to the McDonald's and began threatening customers and employees there.
What can we say? When you wants your Happy Meal you really wants your Happy Meal.
Deputies returned to the restaurant where the man was arrested without further incident. In retrospect, it seems like a really stupid thing to go to jail for. I'd love to see his cellmates faces when they learn why he is in the pokey. I don't think prison will work out well for him.
And they don't serve Happy Meals, which will no doubt compound the issue.
This could be an important lesson for those of us in the workers' compensation industry, who had no idea that a simple thing like a McDonalds Happy Meal could have such an influence on mood and behavior. Here we thought the name was simply a clever marketing ploy; but it turns out that we could be on the cusp of a significant breakthrough in psychological therapies. To my knowledge, Virginia benefit requirements say nothing about the provision of Happy Meals for injured workers. But maybe they should. After all, when dealing with an unhappy injured worker in our system, nothing would turn that frown upside down like the sudden presentation of a Happy Meal. Supporters of claims advocacy in our industry should look into that. Or at least wait until a million-dollar government funded study is released on the topic. Whichever.
But there is really no need for the study. The proof is right in front of us. If this McDonalds had only given this man his Happy Meal, his life would now be on a completely different trajectory.
And the world wouldn't think of him as an imprisoned putz. That is what happens when you turn a Happy Meal into a truly crappy deal.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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