Yesterday I bought my lunch at a local Wendy’s (you know, they offer “healthier” side items with their combo meals than just french fries, like most fast food restaurants). Instead of dining in, I opted to go through the drive-through lane.

I ordered a #1 Combo Meal: Single HAMburger w/small Chili and Diet Coke. NOTE: The menu actually reads “Single HAMburger” (“Single” = one hamburger. I’m adding the emphasis on the HAM part of the burger’s name).

Now I Call This “SUPERSIZED”!!!

REALITY CHECK: A CHEESEburger is a HAMburger WITH cheese. A HAMBURGER has NO cheese. Therefore a “HAMburger with cheese” is NOT a HAMburger — it is a CHEESEburger. Savvy? Yet just about every time I order a HAMburger at Wendy’s they ask me if I want CHEESE on it! If I wanted a “HAMburger with cheese” it would NOT be a HAMburger — it would be a CHEESEburger!!! Calgon, take me away!!!

So I ordered a HAMburger, but in the cashier’s frenzied attempt to “suggestive sell” me something MORE than what I ordered, she attempted to charge me for a CHEESEburger with my combo! (Who in their right mind would pay 40 cents for just ONE slice of cheese? Not moi! I can buy a package of cheese with 16 slices for less than $1.75 at my neighborhood Krogers.)

So I confronted the cashier about their mistake and was then charged the proper amount for a Single HAMburger Combo Meal.

However when I opened the wrapper on my sandwich (as I was driving away from Wendy’s) I discovered that I was given a CHEESEburger!!!

In a way, I got a little thrill that I got an overpriced slice of cheese for FREE. But then again, I’m on a food plan and I want my food order to be respected and I don’t want to deal with that suggestive selling crap!

IMHO, suggestive selling is rude — it shows a blatant disregard and disrespect for the customer. It prevents the cashier from listening (really listening) to their customer.

“HAMburger” means HAMburger.  “CHEESEburger” means CHEESEburger.

What part of “HAMburger” don’t they understand!?! They DO understand, they just disrespect me and deceptively try to sell me something that I didn’t order. As a consumer, I deserve BETTER treatment than that.

What part of getting my order RIGHT can’t they handle?!? Isn’t that what they are paid to do?!?

Some of my journal entries deal with the subject of the problem I refer to as “perfectionism”: the unrealistic expectation of PERFECTION from myself. I don’t think that I’m coping a perfectionistic attitude with fast food cashiers who engage in suggestive selling. Suggestive selling is an INTENTIONAL behavior.

When confronted by me, many a fast food cashier over the years has told me that their supervisors insist that they engage in suggestive selling. Some have even been warned by their boss that if they don’t suggestive sell that they will be fired!

So I’m not demanding perfection from fast food cashiers.

I am, without apology, insisting on respect and that the person taking my order “actively listen” to what I’m telling them.

Being a guy who is still overweight (oh just a little), I obviously do NOT need to “supersize” my meal. Rest assured that I wont be mistaken for being anorexic any time soon.

So what did I do with the slice of cheese on my HAMburger? I ate it. <gasp>

Thankfully with Weight Watchers POINTS food plan I have the flexibility (NOTE: perfectionism and flexibility are typically NOT compatible with each other) that allows for errors on the part of those who serve me food. I just counted the Point value of the cheese along with the other items that came with my Combo Meal.

Eating the cheese on my HAMburger did NOT cross the line into “overeating”. I simply ate something I hadn’t pre-planned for, yet was still able to stay within my allowed number of Points for the day.

Prior to Weight Watchers, I probably would have gone into a “(downward) shame and guilt spiral” and would have used the UNexpected piece of cheese as an excuse to OVEReat. Even though eating the cheese would not necessarily been OVEReating.

Dieting fed my perfectionism. Dieting severely limited my choices. Dieting created new excuses to overeat.

Moderate eating, achieved by following a nutritionally-sane food plan, can (thankfully!) undermine my perfectionistic tendencies, increase my choices/options and circumvent the guilt and shame that used to help me discover new excuses for overeating.

Thankfully my recovery is NOT about “dieting”!