Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Never Again

Those of you who know me have probably heard me say it several times before, but this was the last straw: I will never go into another Dunkin' Donuts as long as I live.

If you're not from the northeast, you may not be fully aware of the cultural phenomenon that is Dunkin' Donuts. This is a coffee shop chain that is so dominant, if all of the Dunkies in New England were placed next to each other, they'd probably cover the entire state of Rhode Island. You can't swing a dead cat on the South Shore without hitting a Dunk's. There are two within 200 yards of my house.

And I will never go into either of them ever again.

Here are the top five reasons why:

1) Utter inability to get the order correct. How hard is it to put just a little tiny bit of milk into a coffee and do nothing else? Two of the last three times I got a coffee there, I had to bring it back.
"Give me a medium with just a little bit of milk only."
"Do you want sugar with that?"
I sigh and repeat, "No. Just a little bit of milk only. Keep it dark."
It is inevitable that I walk out with a lukewarm cup of milk, heavily sweetened, 30% of the time.

2) Dunkin' Donuts hires only those who have been rejected for employment by Walmart. "Too stupid to work for Wally World? Come join our team!"
Non-English speakers are given priority hiring status.

3) Reason number three is the one that really makes me angry. The line can be out the door, but Mbutu and Anitchka are standing behind the counter making certain that they keep themselves occupied checking the paper cups for spots or making sure the napkins are properly folded. The first skill they are taught as Dunkin' Donuts employee is never, ever, make eye-contact with a customer -- they may ask you to actually take their order.

4) Reason number four is the weasel who manages the shop just off the highway in Randolph along Rte 128. You know who you are. This morning when I asked why you don't open a second register given the long lines, you had the gall to tell me I had only been waiting in line for two minutes. The line of people behind me erupted in angry protest at that bold face lie. I only regret that I didn't hang around long enough after getting my coffee to see them jump the counter and beat the bag out of you.

5) Diminished quality. When I was a kid, I can remember my aunt's showing up for family parties with a box of delicious donuts from Dunkies. They were awesome. The chocolate donuts were big and all nook-and-cranny-ish, and smeared with sweet, delicious glaze. That was when the donuts were made in each shop by expert donut makers. Remember the Fred the Baker commercials? "Time to make the donuts." Well, Fred has been replaced by Stan the truck driver. He's the guy that delivers cold, tasteless, factory-made donuts to each shop. No more in-house bakery. Nope. Those have been replaced by the "central production plant" where all Dunkin' brand donuts are made and then shipped to the stores.

I was working as System Administrator for Dunkin' Donut's corporate office right here in Randolph when Joe, the C-something-O made the announcement for that little change in a company wide meeting. "We're going to start making donuts at a central plant and then shipping them to each shop to cut costs!" A roomful of drones dutifully applauded. My head snapped back in shock. I wanted to jump out and shout, "Have you lost your mind!?"

So that's it. I'm done with Dunk's. I'll have to dust off the ol' Mr. Coffee and program it to have my coffee ready for me each morning. I can make a better cup of coffee for less money anyway. And I won't have to speak Hungarian to get it.


Anonymous said...

There is still a DD in Weymouth that makes it's own. Its the only one where you can get any kind of variety that I know of.
I have to say that the Brazilians that work in my DD are EXCELLENT workers. They know their stuff and they operate like a well run machine, but god help you if you go in on the weekend when the American teeny boppers are "working".
Yeah, I can see why you would skip it. Our Keureg pod coffee machine keeps me well away from there, except in the summer when I want an iced latte. ummm

Michelle said...

I seriously cannot contain myself when I read your posts!

I know this is a post of frustration....but I am seriously wiping the tears from my eyes as I type!

You crack me up! I love the way you seem to voice my own feelings - I dont have Dunkin Donuts anywhere near me, but your frustrations with the lack of eye contact, the retards that are hired, and the complete non-existence of the English spoken word, are highly reminiscent of so many chain locations across the country. Here...it's Tim Hortons...or Starbucks....or McDonalds....

But as annoying and lame as it is....you have made me see the funny side of it. SO glad we are on the same page!

Anonymous said...

Bored. Blog again.