Call us cranky, but here at BoomerCafé, we really like this piece by New York City executive and essayist Bob Brody. Let’s just cut through the noise and let you read it yourself. He calls it, Would You Like Loud Music With That?
So I’m minding my own business drinking coffee the other morning in New York, at the McDonald’s on Continental Avenue in Forest Hills, Queens. And I’m all ready to perform a somewhat unnatural act — namely read a book.
Except the staff is blasting music through the whole place. At six a.m. And I mean blasting. I know loud when I hear it, and this was unmistakably high-decibel stuff.
So I approach the counter and ask the woman I’m told is the manager — as politely as I know how — if she could please lower the music. She promptly says she will. For a second I experience the relief that comes from a grievance redressed.
But the music stays just as loud.
So I ask the manager again, once again mustering all the courtesy at my command. She says, insistently, that she already lowered it. Only now she’s taking a tone. And that tone is something other than hospitable.
And then she says, “You’re the only one complaining.”
Ouch. She’s calling me out. Clearly, if I read her right, I’m the one who’s the problem here.
I say, “For all you know, every customer in here feels the same as I do.”
So I go around the place to take a poll among the customers. And as it turns out, three out of the four customers present agreed the music was too loud. Majority rule!
So I notify the manager of my highly scientific research findings. Only now she’s trying a new approach. She’s going to ignore me. She keeps her back to me, saying nothing.
So I do something I hate to do, but feel I have to do. I have no interest in making trouble for people who happen to work at McDonald’s; I figure they already have more than enough problems. But I tell her I’ll be alerting her higher-ups at McDonald’s Corp.
Whether she hears me – or cares – I have no idea. I just wish she understood something crucial here. Without customers she would have no job.
I also wish she understood something else. The world is already loud enough. In New York City, we have loud literally coming out of our ears. Honking. Jackhammers. Subways. Noise control is a near-impossibility here. Do the places where we go for coffee at six in the morning really need to add loud music to the menu?
Bob is the author of the memoir, “Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.”