Posted by: theboyfromsmallville | October 10, 2006

Quartered, pounded

No matter how urgent the cause may seem, I always treat forwarded chain letters with a pinch of disbelief. Causes circulated through the e-mail, especially those that end with “please forward this to x number of friends,”  have the same effect on me as a chicken knocking at my door frantically telling me to get ready for the worst because the sky is falling.

It’s not that the sky won’t fall. There’s just something I don’t trust about talking chickens.

Seriously though, recently, that bangs-sporting, perky, endlessly smiling, I’ve-got-bounce-in-my-step-everyday, charming little pipsqueak who goes by the blogger identity strandedwahine forwarded an e-mail to x number of people—present blogger included—about something that’s  making Gary Granada (the singer?)  ready to explode.

It goes like this:

My Personal Ordeal with the Arrogant Managers of McDonald’s
     My name is Gary Granada, I am a Kaalagad volunteer, and I need 5 seconds of your time to help reduce the use of styrofoam in fast food chains.

     What was meant to be a nice and simple Saint Francis Day motorcade-march to McDonald’s turned out to be a nightmare.  We were rudely treated by McDonald’s, to put it mildly.  Weeks before, we already sought a dialogue with them to reiterate our concern for their reluctance to reduce their use of styrofoam, despite their pledge to seriously attend to it during our dialogue in 2002! (Jollibee said the same thing, and while we are not satisfied with their response, at least they made some effort to shift to other packaging and serving materials.)  We wrote to them, went to their office, made follow ups, waited for a response.  The most we got from them was “you wait for our call”.  They never called, never wrote back, but verbally said they will assign representatives to receive our motorcade’s representatives. 

     When we got there, their representatives turned out to be the Citibank Building’s security detail.  Ill-mannered and impolite, they told us that they were told by McDonald’s that they were not expecting us. One of our staff went up to their 17th floor office to find out whether they were willing to sit down and talk matters.  Told to tell us to wait, we waited.  The giant that it is, the bosses of McDonald’s apparently regard little children, nuns, mothers, priests and concerned consumers as their employees. We asked how long we were supposed to wait and got no straight answer.  Finally they sent word for me to come up, just me, no one else.  I thought these people must have seen too many spaghetti movies, perhaps they thought they had a hostage crisis.  I was led to a conference room that could easily sit six or seven people and was greeted by two bright boys.

     Think about it.  Naglakad kami papuntang McDonald’s, at pagdating namin doon, wala man lang bumaba para kausapin kami ng maayos.  At pinatawag ako nitong dalawang batang managers! 
     It occurred to me that there were far more basic issues that plague McDonald’s than styrofoam.  Like common courtesy.  So I explained to these rich young rulers that the courteous thing to do was to go down, greet the delegation and ask how they may be of help.  I even asked them where they were schooled, because in the public school in an obscure town where I came from, they manage to teach such things in Grade One.   Their bloated bright brains must have taken up the space that was meant for their ears.  It felt like talking to an electric fan.

 Meanwhile I insisted that somebody from Greenpeace, the Ecowaste Coalition, Franciscan Movement for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, and the JPICC of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (our partners in the activity) be present as well.  They said they can only accommodate three people at most.  Fine.  So I said I and our staff will go down and we will send three people up.  But at the lobby, the three representatives we sent were barred by security people from proceeding, again upon McDonald’s instructions we were told.  It looked hopeless. 

     We decided to wrap up the program when out of nowhere a condescending woman materialized and introduced herself as the media relations officer of McDonalds.  She said “Why don’t you go to Jollibee instead, they’re number One.”  To which Father Ben Moraleda replied, “We did, and at least they are doing something.”

     On the side, irked by her audacity, Fr. Ben quipped, “And please take that hand of yours off my shoulders, I don’t like you.”
     And all that commotion for a very simple and very reasonable plan: that McDonald’s reduce the use of styrofoam by 50% within one year.  McDonald’s has once again demonstrated its arrogance and incapacity to appreciate the sincere and constructive efforts of common folks to protect our environment.  Unlike them, we do not make money doing what little we can to help make things a little better for everybody.

      5 seconds, that’s all I ask of you to help reduce the use of styrofoam.  Sa mundo ng mga mayayabang, papansinin lang nila tayo kung tayo ay maninindigan.  Take 5 seconds to think twice before choosing where to dine or order food.
     I feel sad for that woman and those two young managers.  So young, so successful, so ahead of their game, so privileged; so rude, so arrogant, so lacking in character, so bland.  And I have since stopped wondering why their burgers taste the way they do.
     It will take a bit longer than 5 seconds, but it will go a long way if you can email this page to friends.
     Thank you.

I don’t have a mailing list. That’s why I decided to post it here. Even if it kinda goes against my personal feelings for McDonald’s.

Not that I like the company.

But I am so head-over-heels in love with the quarterpounder.

When the strandedwahine, also known hereabouts as my beloved little sister, forwarded the e-mail, I felt my gut twist in a grotesque manner. Boycott the quarterpounder? Panic attack.

I mean, I can only recall five worse events in my life.

1. Losing my first (serious)  girlfriend at age 15 after already drawing up elaborate plans for a grand wedding.
2. A certain “event” in my life just this year that I’d rather keep quiet about.
3. Expecting a Spider-Man costume for Christmas and getting a thrice-as-expensive remote-controlled Pan-Am jet plane instead when I was 7. (Hey, I was expecting the Spidey costume).
4. My mom walking out of my life on my 14th birthday.
5. Learning that Kurt Cobain committed suicide.

Now this. Boycott the quarterpounder. This is worse than watching Bulagaan without Boss Vic and Jose. Worse than the day Champ, my loyal Spitz, died when I was in third grade.

But hey, this is for a good cause, right?
Besides, we all make sacrifices in this day and age.

This is mine.

Goodbye quarterpounder.
Goodbye just-right slab of beef bathed in a generous amount of cheese, pickles and onions.

Hello furnace-cooked-red-hot-blacksmith’s-tongs-that-I’m-going-to-yank-my-tongue-out-of-my-mouth with.

Shitty McDonald’s people. What’s so wrong with using environmentally-safe, biodegradable carton boxes anway?



  1. Hahahaha!! I can relate. Quarterpounder is about the only burger I truly can never have enough of.

    Give up McDonalds? Hah! Never.

  2. hi Kiko! Jang might be in Manila sa November. Daan ka minsan sa work ko hehehe, kape tayo before or after yung shift ko.

    Yung Yellow Cab sa Baguio nagse-serve sila ng pizza na nasa box, kahit dine in, sayang yung box as in, tapos paper plates pa. Ganon din ba ginagawa nila dito sa Manila? Itong mga fastfood na ito, grrr.

    (pero quarter pounder junkie din ako. hmmrff.)

  3. training pa lang ako so by November pa ang regular sked, so by then yayain kita ulit. (-:

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