The Not Vanilla Shake

Cravings come in all shapes and colors.  For some, it’s as simple as something edible.  For others, it could be mind altering, detrimental even, such as caffeine, nicotine, crack cocaine or Justin Bieber.

The former was mine and it was screaming vanilla shake.  Not just any vanilla shake.  A Jack in the Box vanilla shake.  The true test of a shake is how much shake you can get in your mouth on the first sip of the straw.  If you can get a cheek full of liquid, then it’s simply a cold drink. With a Jack in the Box shake, the first sip you’ll get, for all intents and purposes, is  jack.   

But this story isn’t about how kick ass JitB shakes are.  It’s about how I almost couldn’t get mine.

“One large vanilla shake please.”

I ask the woman taking my order, thinking to myself how life is soon to be wonderful in about sixty seconds.

Sally responds, “I’m sorry but we’re out of large cups for our shakes.”

This was the moment when I realized I had thought too much of a blissful future filled with hugs, sunshine and Miley Cyrus when she had long hair.  Sally’s words was like the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs.  With only a dystopic future to look upon, I asserted myself and demanded to not leave without a large vanilla shake.  I could not see a world without Miley Cyrus.

Sally wasn’t her real name.  I don’t know why I gave the lady at the register the name Sally.  But I think Sally is a nice name for a fast food worker.

Behind Sally sat a row of paper fountain cups.  Neatly stacked, and ordered by size.  Small, Medium, and Diabetes in a Cup.  I could see them as plain as day, staring at my face.  So I wondered, why are these cups staring, there must be something on my face?  Then it hit me, and I address the kind woman.

“Hey, you could put the shake in the large fountain cup!”

“I don’t know if i can do that and there won’t be room for the  cherry and whipped cream.”

Now I remember why I named her Sally.  Sally was this girl I knew that was blessed with miserable problem solving skills.

Second Sally, with her inspiring choice of words had just resurrected the asteroid, flung it back into outer space, let billions of years pass and now set the asteroid back on a collision course with Earth.  Where is Michael Bay when you need him.  Seriously.

Cherry topped whipped cream is a vanilla shakes foreplay.  I don’t have time for that because I’m a guy and I’m completely satisfied with a plain vanilla shake minus the accessories.  I didn’t need a plastic cup with a fancy dome lid.  I didn’t need the extra 400 calories, 7000 calories is just fine.  I just wanted the fucking shake.

“It doesn’t matter to me what container you put the shake in, I’m willing to pay for the cup if I have to.”

“Okay, I’d have to ask if I can do that.”

Of course you do, Sally destroyer of dreams.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why didn’t you just order a small or medium?   Because, I live in Hawaii where the humidity is the same percentage as what the islands are surrounded by.  And I wanted the Diabetes in a Cup.

Her Supervisor approached, a pleasant woman no doubt.  She held a large fountain cup,  a smile and for a moment I was thinking Wrecking Ball.

“If you want your shake in this cup, I’d have to ask my Manager.”

Of course you do, Supervisor destroyer of sequels.

As Sally’s supervisor disappeared behind the row of cups, Sally explained to me how they didn’t get a shipment of goods and how it won’t be in until a few days.  I stood there with a haphazard smile, and pretended to give a fuck.

Before I tie up this story, I would like to say how I’m NOT surprised with the process on how situations like no cups are handled.  I’ve never worked in the fast food industry and I don’t have any professional experience to form an opinion.

But I do have a brain.  Yes, it’s full of rainbows and bloody cats but it’s mostly full of doubt.  Doubt,  as in it’s most pure inquisitive form.  I doubted how naive an establishment as big as Jack in a Box could be, having no contingency to something as simple as depleted nonessentials.   A storage room is only so big and yes, shipments can get lost or undelivered.  I doubted how something as simple as replacing a cup with another equally functioning cup has to go through three people to do so.  Maybe that is the contingency.  Fuck it, we’re out of cups so let the customer deal with it.  Let’s call it the Fuck It Contingency Plan.

Okay, the manager says we can do that.  Says Sallys supervisor.

Sally filled the large fountain cup with a vanilla shake.

Thank you Supervisor of Nazareth.  There is hope.

I walked out of Jack in the Box feeling bitter-sweet and a bit mind raped.  I spent more calories thinking for them then what I was about to intake.

If it is any consolation, I have the same contingency.  Fuck it, I got my vanilla shake and I enjoyed the shit out of it.  But one thing that I hope you learn (or are taught), employees of Jack in the Box, if you don’t know jack sometimes you need to step out of the box.


Post Script;

I wouldn’t do this article justice by leaving out this link, so here it is even if I don’t want to.

“I apologize for any inconvenience but we are out of large shake cups and will be using fountain cups instead.”  Is that so fucking hard?








5 thoughts on “The Not Vanilla Shake”

      1. Ha. Indeed.

        By the way man, I finally got round to writing that book! As one of my original supporters with that dream, I thought you might like to know.


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