Tag Archives: McDonalds

Don’t Treat Them to Ham Sandwiches

Story of the Day for Wednesday May 16, 2012

Don’t Treat Them to Ham Sandwiches

                    Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. 

                                                                                 Mark 8:23

 “Welcome to McDonalds,” the young man said, “may I take your order?”

“You bet,” my sister’s husband, Sean, said.

The voice on the drive-through intercom replied: “Fire when ready; shoot to kill.”

They laughed at the unexpected reply, and were still chuckling when they pulled up to the take-out window. The restaurant manager, however, stood scowling with his arms folded across his chest. He loomed over a scrawny teen who meekly apologized, “I’m sorry I said ‘Fire when ready; shoot to kill.'”

“Please, don’t apologize,” my sister Mary protested, “we thought it was hilarious!”

But the manager was having none of it. The success of a franchise lies in consistency. You can’t afford to let free spirits slip the leash.


Scripted responses (“Would you like fries with that?”) may be necessary for a franchise restaurant to succeed, but we dislike being treated impersonally. Ever call a large company with a question or a complaint? The call service employee types up a decision-tree script on a computer and rattles off the appropriate scripted response.

Management prefers this cost-saving approach. But customers feel like they’re talking to a lawn ornament. It’s even more de-humanizing for the workers. The annual turnover rate at call centers is almost 100 percent.

One company, however, came up with the wacky idea of treating customers personably. After two weeks of introductory training, they offer new recruits $3000 to walk away from their job. They only want workers who want to be there. Employees are encouraged to decorate their work space any way they want. They’re trained to be adventurous, creative, fun, and a little weird. They ask how their customers are doing, about their plans for the upcoming holiday. If the customer isn’t doing well, the call service employee sends flowers. No scripts. Just treat the customer like a person.


Jesus’ approach to people was never scripted. No canned speeches; no cookie-cutter approach. When he encountered a Roman captain who viewed verbal orders as a sign of power, Jesus healed the captain’s servant by issuing verbal orders. When he met a blind man, he took him by the hand and led him out of the village. Jesus was always keenly aware of each person’s situation. When he miraculously fed over 5000 Jews, he didn’t treat them to ham sandwiches.

When Jesus sees you . . .

We visited a church in Missoula this last Sunday. The woman greeter welcomed us and patted me on the back. Later, I noticed that when she sang, she moved her hands — as if she was molding the words. “Now I get it,” I thought, “a kinesthetic learner.”

Normally, I miss these opportunities and mumble for the rest of the day about what I should’ve done. I’m not the touchy-feely type, but on the way out of church, I saw her, thanked her for being a good greeter . . . and patted her on the back.

                                              (copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)

No Matter How Small

Story of the Day for Monday April 23, 2012

No Matter How Small

                 Jesus said, “What is the kingdom of God like? . . . It’s like a mustard seed which, when you plant it, is the smallest of all the seeds in the ground.”
Mark 4:30-31

In ancient times, Mesopotamia was considered the most advanced civilization on earth. What better place to be if you wanted to have a significant impact on the ancient world.

But when God called Abram, he told him to leave this advanced civilization and retreat to a lonely, desolate land where he could carve out a living as a wandering nomad. So much for significant world impact, right?

The Lord wanted to create a family that could be called “God’s children” – a family greater than the stars you can count in the night sky. And how does God bring about this staggering multitude? He tells Abram and Sarai to go and make a baby.

When your objective is to create staggering multitudes, it just seems that Abram’s contribution didn’t get things off to a rousing start. But that is how God’s kingdom works. You start with the little things – things as tiny as mustard seeds.

Common sense tells us that, if you want to be fabulously wealthy, you should sell products that yield enormous profits – like skyscrapers, or Boeing 747s, or tickets to a Packer game.

But Ray Kroc chose to make a profit of only a few pennies on his products. He started selling hamburgers in 1955 for fifteen cents. He called his restaurant: McDonald’s. Apparently, pennies do add up because Ray’s widow gave a gift from the profits of those hamburgers to the Salvation Army – a gift of 1½ BILLION dollars.

A woman once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

The “small tasks” this woman sought to accomplish were smaller than you might think. She was both blind and deaf. At the age of seven, she first learned what a “word” was. When the rest of us have reached the age when we can speak fluently, she was learning how to speak audibly. Her small task was to learn to pronounce a word that she would never be able to hear.

But, through her small tasks, Helen Keller became one of the most popular authors of her age. She was invited to the White House by every president from Grover Cleveland to Lyndon Johnson. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Radcliffe College (graduating cum laude). And she was awarded the country’s highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Keller summarized her life by saying, “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

No matter how small.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarre)