I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 20 - King Klown

I spent the day shuttling a small child to the doctor's office where she received five injections to the dentist where she received two shots of novacaine. If you've ever spent a day with a stinging, bruised and puffy child, you know that a bar would make a reasonable third stop.

While I was still in the throws of feeling like 'the parent who caused all this pain that the child does not understand' -- but will be covered in therapy at some future time -- I got suckered into taking her to lunch at Burger King. It was my own fault. I wiped away her tears and asked, "What would you like to do now?"
Enough has already been said about the Burger King of TV ads, the monstrosity with the giant plastic head. If you actually go to a Burger King, you don't see that branding anywhere and that (say it like Martha everyone!) is a good thing.

When you enter the door of the local BK, this sign greets you on the inner door. Already on edge, I immediately got all Fourth Estate-y. What exactly do you have to hide, Burger King? It's not like you enriching plutonium in there. Is there a new bun toasting technique that you feel will allow you a strategic stranglehold over MacDonald's? Does someone at the Arby's across the street have a telephoto lens? Are you having it "your way" behind the milk shake machine and don't want anyone to find out? Are you literally holding the pickle and lettuce? Is there some truth to the rumor about why you never see stray cats or raccoons lurking near the dumpsters?

I suppose that this might be a security measure to keep crooks from casing the joint and finding out where the cash registers are. Crook to Accomplice: "I wonder where the cash registers are? All I see is a row of boxes on the counter with big buttons showing pictures of food labeled hamburguesa."

I'm puzzled that videotaping merits a larger font size than photography. Is the thought that a great many people carry cameras around with them in their phones, but bring in a camera large enough to use videotape and "Mister, you are WAY out of line!'? If videotaping is verboten, which should be easy compliance given the impending death of tape as a recording technology, does that mean digital motion recording is OK?

So, of course, I had to take pictures. They double-dog-dared me.

This particular Burger King has a kids' room with a large play area. It has fantastic climbing tubes and I generally wish that I were allowed to play in them. A couple of times I've pretended that my daughter was stranded somewhere in the maze and, good parent that I am, I have to climb through to retrieve her. Yes, I don't think anyone was fooled either.
Next to the play area door is this sign:

It's number 7 on the countdown that perplexes me. "Please Show Respect For Plant Life." It's a good thought and I can get behind it 100%. Only there are no plants. There are no plants in the play area. In the dining room, there are purple silk flower arrangements. Maybe the admonition is on the plaque for general principles. There was a meeting of the marketing management; after heated debate, "respect for plant life" squeaked past "Always write thank you notes for gifts from your grandmother" and handily beat "If you make that face again, it might stay that way."

There are two nearly identical signs on opposite sides of the play structure. In orange type around the white circles on the lower right, it says maximum capacity. It's as though Salvador Dali designed play structures. When next I bring in my maximum of zero or up to twenty children to play, I'll make sure that they are on the appropriate side of the structure, the one that doesn't extend into negative space.

And, Finally, here are the rules. I looked around and none of the adults looked happy enough to be there. (Reference Rule 1) And regarding Rule 6, the "anything weird" is intriguing. Remember, if you see anything weird, you can't videotape or photograph it.
And, in the end, maybe that's really what the sign on the front door is all about. Burger King doesn't want any pictures taken because they are afraid that someone will make fun of their signs!


Corsair, The Mostly Harmless said...

BK's "no photography" rule is pretty bold for a company who's current marketing ploy is a commercial extolling the virtues of corporate espionage and criminal trespass.

The creepiness factor just KEEPS GOING UP with the plastic-headed incubus. Seriously, if you woke up to that.. thing in your bedroom holding an overly large breakfast sandwich, your first thoughts are not going to be, “Well, I am hungry,” but rather, “Where did I leave the 12 gauge?”

I do have to confess to some jealousy about the kid’s play land type stuff. WHERE was this coolness when we were kids? All we had was the school’s rusty merry-go-round, and the steel beam monkey bars high above the unyielding blacktop paved playground.

Maybe we were tougher kids then. Perhaps the limb fractures and tetanus shots and road rash from old school playgrounds instilled a level of understanding that the world is tough, uncaring, and generally NOT filled with brightly colored ball pits.

Still, it does look like fun playing in those toddler habitrail tubes. Dang kids get all the fun stuff. I’d better go make sure none of them are on my lawn..

Burning Khrome said...

My ex works at the amusement park in the Mall of America (Camp Snoopy/Park at MOA/Nickelodeon Universe) and says that what congregates in the bottom of the ball pit is monstrous. They have a dishwasher just for the balls and wear hazmat suits to clean the pit.

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