Monday, October 13, 2008


"The cup. You can only use once when you come in and go out."

That's the manager at El Pollo Loco telling me I'm not allowed to save my cup for free refills.

"I'm sorry. I don't understand."
"You have to get new cup every time."
"Oh... no, this is from earlier. I was here for lunch."
"I can't... you can't--"
"I can't what?"
"I saved this from earlier. Same day."

He pauses for a moment, frustrated. He wasn't expecting a fight. Unfortunately for him, I'm stubborn when it comes to shit like this. Shit that I shouldn't care about. Shit that he shouldn't care about.

This isn't the first time someone's said something to me. A couple weeks ago a behemoth manager with fat-woman-on-a-motor-scooter arms stopped me for the same thing.

"I'm going to order."
"... okay. The cup supposed--"
"This is from earlier. I was here for lunch."
"Okay, but--"
"Earlier. Me."

Bullshit, of course, but it silenced her. Since then, I've taken to setting my cup on a table before I order and then refilling it afterwards to eliminate any problems that may occur at the register. To my surprise, it only worked for a few days. Motherfuckers caught on rapido.

"Hey! No! No do!"
"What? What'd I do?" as I gulp as much Diet Coke as I can.

I eventually capitulate because I don't want them fucking with my cole slaw, but I let the manager know that I'm not a happy camper.

"That's messed up, man. I'm in here all the time."

My logic:

If I get caught filling a water cup with Diet Coke, okay. I can understand that. There's deception involved. Trickery. But the saved cup is like a backstage pass. The saved cup says, "Hey, this motherfucker is a loyal customer." It's a silent agreement: you allow me free refills and I'll keep coming back and overpaying for this pollo that is loco.

But maybe they see it as a slight at them. What if me refilling my cup for free is symbolic of me curb-stomping their souls? I know I get a teensy-bit miffed at the gym when motherfuckers think they can roll right past me without acknowledging the shred of authority that I have. That's when I stick it to them. Perhaps things would have been different if I pulled the manager aside and told him I respect his position, his yellow management shirt, and that I'd like to refill my cup with his blessing.

Doubt it.

Which is why I now get my refills at Subway and migrate over.


Anonymous said...

cheap ass... lol

Anonymous said...

I used to go to Mcdonalds and get the water cup and fill up with coke all the time... fuck them they overcharge us for the burgers anyways.

mom said...

I see you didn't post the comment I left.

Jeff said...

I don't moderate my comments. At all. If your comment isn't showing it probably didn't go through.

Anonymous said...

Great post as always!!!