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Don’t Be a McAsshat: A Lesson in Drive-Thru Etiquette

May 16, 2013


Normally, I have a Diet Coke for lunch, but today I decided to shake things up a bit and head over to the Mickey D’s for one of those new chicken wraps. I don’t know if your McDonald’s has adopted this new 2 lane drive thru thing like ours has, but let me tell you what, not a lot of thought went into this decision. I think the McDonald’s gods just woke up one day and said, “Hey let’s add another lane to the drive thru! We can squeeze twice as many people into the same space and probably make them wait twice as long for their food! This will make our customers happy!”

Well, they were right about one thing. They were able to squeeze twice as many people into the same space, but that’s where their logic goes to hell in a hand basket. McDonald’s failed to employ a psychologist. Any warm body whose taken Psych 101 can tell you that humans are naturally inclined to think about themselves first and foremost. So here’s what happens when you now pull into the new 2-lane drive thru. Most of us get in line and obey social norms. But then comes along a jack wagon who thinks he’s better than everyone else and just slides on up to the end of lane 2, despite all the people sitting in the lane that you are supposed to wait in until you get to the point where you decide if you want to be in lane 1 or 2. I’ll call this drive thru purgatory.

It is NOT until AFTER you get out of drive thru purgatory to the fork in the drive thru that you can pick a lane. Let’s face it. The McDonald’s drive thru is now the equivalent of the rest of your life. Sometimes you make good decisions, sometimes you don’t. And sometimes asshats don’t follow the rules and you’re left with 15 minutes to scarf down the lunch you’d hope to enjoy on a sunny day in the park with a good book. But if I endure drive thru purgatory and then choose the wrong lane and wait 15 minutes for my food; that’s my fault. If I wait in drive thru purgatory and you cut in line and get your food 15 minutes before me, you are the biggest douche this side of the Mississippi and you deserve to die a slow and painful death from choking on a Big Mac with no one around to administer the Heimlich Maneuver.

I blame this fiasco on McDonald’s. Apparently us Americans are so dumb that we now need an instruction manual to navigate the damn drive thru. And that little sign that says “any lane, any time” makes people think they can just cut in front of the other 10 people waiting patiently for their turn to pick a lane. I mean did that dickhead in the black Lexus really think that I, and the other 5 people in front of me, all were dumb enough to sit in the long ass lane instead of picking the shorter one? And did he NOT see that he was now blocking the exit for the McDonald’s patrons who are still willing to get out of their car for some crappy fast food? If I had 65- minute lunch, I would have gotten out of my car and kicked him in the McNuggets my own self.

Hopefully, since I notified my local McDonald’s management today of the drive thru fiasco we’ll see some results. I fully suspect Mayor McCheese will be issuing an edict to quell the chaos in the drive thru and if you don’t start behaving yourself, you’re gonna find your ass in black and white stripes sitting next to the Hamburgler for crimes against humanity. And if that doesn’t happen, I will go all evil Grimace on your ass and post my own signs about how shit is supposed to go down in the drive thru. I imagine myself becoming the local hero, but if that doesn’t work out, the good news is I know a few good attorneys and at the very least I’ll be able to cross off achieving a Class 3 misdemeanor from my bucket list.

So the bottom line is, if you recognize yourself as being the jack wagon to which I refer to in this blog, STOP IT RIGHT NOW. We won’t judge you. Wait in line like the rest of us. You aren’t special. Your need for a quarter pounder with cheese doesn’t trump the rest of our hungry bellies. And if you insist on being a dick, you should at least buy the person behind you a strawberries ‘n cream pie. Those things are delicious. In my opinion, they could use a lot less strawberries, and a helluva lot more cream.

Maybe after I fix the drive thru, that will be my next project.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. May 16, 2013 7:22 pm

    Love the title!

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. May 17, 2013 2:05 am

    And I like Mickey D. I now have a name for the new puppy I am bringing home in September…In Germany we only have one lane and it is ALWAYS empty. Germans don’t do drive thru…they all go inside and wait in incredibly long lines (very patiently I might add) for the ultimate in slow food – obviously the McDoof employees do not learn in their training period that this is supposed to be a fast food place (McDoof means McStupid in German and it is what the kids call McDonalds, which gives me some hope for the future). Always great to read you. A mom with a bad mouth…love it!

    • November 14, 2013 8:05 pm

      Thank you Mishe! I love to hear your German viewpoint. Thanks for reading!

  3. May 17, 2013 8:08 am

    McDonald’s clearly needs a bouncer working the double drive thru lane to enforce the rules. All he would need to do is stare down McAsshats and then wave his finger at them if they try to disobey the rules. And maybe gesture menacingly at a billy club just for fun.

    After all, nothing tastes better with fast food then a side of light shame.

  4. Liz permalink
    October 31, 2013 2:32 pm

    Since I have learned that my taxes help subsidize McD’s payroll, I have stopped giving them my business. Go elsewhere and you won’t have this problem.

  5. Burma permalink
    November 12, 2013 11:53 am

    If it says any line any time…don’t wait in the long line dummy!

    • November 14, 2013 8:07 pm

      Hey Burma, thanks for stopping by and reading and taking the time to call me a dummy. 😉 Apparently, you are from Burma and don’t have the 2 line quandary at McDonalds. Hell, maybe you don’t even have a McDonalds. Either way, thanks for the input.

      • Daryl permalink
        November 19, 2013 9:54 am

        Helle, I’m on board with you all the way. Ahmen brother! but I do agree with Burma. McDonanlds odes indeed encourage people to be asshats by making these stupid statements on signs. I agree that they shoudl have hired a psychologist to help them explain how stupid people are. Keep up the good work!

    • Jessica permalink
      December 5, 2017 2:55 pm

      If yours is like ours, that sign isn’t til the split. Driving around people that were there before you, queueing on the side of the restaurant, left of the white line with “Drive-thru Lane” printed on the ground, is line jumping at its worst. And basically saying, “you don’t give a shit, nor you, I’m obviously better than you, why didn’t everyone else take the shorter line? Idiots.”
      No, darling, there ARENT TWO LANES!!! Well, until the split. People are supposed to stay in one line (as next to them is space to be left for patrons parked to back out safely and continue on their way. The McAsshats that form a 2nd line in that space, probably ignore signs and lines on road. They certainly know they’re driving around people that were there long before them. Look at the sign again, even the little picture shows that it only becomes two lanes at the break, and then there are those lovely painted lines on the pavement as a SECOND visual for those that obviously still need a third. It’s the ones that pretend that they believe it’s two lanes starting from the road and drive around 5-8 cars that were following rules of propriety and common decency, that have no care for others are entitled lil small-minded people that those that follow the rules and treat others kindly.

  6. Robert Wagner permalink
    November 6, 2014 3:48 pm

    I just encountered this. Did a search for drive through edicate and found your post absolutely the most frustrating thing I’ve ever come across.

    • November 7, 2014 11:03 pm

      If you think I’m frustrating, you should try getting coffee at 7:45 am in the double drive-thru

  7. c.moore permalink
    October 31, 2015 8:27 am

    its not my fault that dip shits like you line up single file when the sign clearly says…any lane any time. just make a god damned decision and get on with your life. maybe try a happy meal.

    • October 31, 2015 1:18 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your input, however rude it was. I suggest you try being a solution to the problem instead of adding to it, darling.

    • James permalink
      January 11, 2016 2:42 pm

      Wow, you sound like an absolute moron.

  8. James permalink
    January 11, 2016 2:40 pm

    I too have been witness and victim to the jerk-offs who think that the outside lane is wide open although there are 9 cars lined up waiting. I’m a laid back guy but want to start throwing punches when this happens. Every time it has happened to me (at least 10 times) I have had my kids with me. So, I’ve remained somewhat calm but have had the window down and talked very loudly to these morons in hopes of getting their attention. I really don’t know if they are really stupid or just that full of themselves to think that they don’t have to wait like the rest of us. TWICE in the last 2 months this has happened at my local Micky D’s. In line at breakfast time, already had been in line for a good 3 minutes. Getting up to the point where I need to decide which lane to choose to order. I had been watching in my side mirror at the line behind me, it went all the way to the front of the building. I see a shiny Ford Explorer pull to the back of the line. It waits there about 15 seconds then pulls out and bypasses everyone including me. It noses in right in front of me in to the outside lane. Of course I was thinking WTF? Down went my window and I yell, hay, are you kidding me? You just cut in front of about 6-8 cars!! HELLO!! They soccer mom in the Explorer keeps her window shut and just ignores me. She had on her giant sun glasses, you know the kind that look like a couple of bus windshields. Then while I yell some more she continues to ignore me. She gets to the order speaker and down goes her window. I yell at her some more but it does nothing, she won’t look over or back. I complain at the pay window about the drove thru set up and let them know how idiot people cut in line all the time.

    The other time this happened just the other week a guy pulled in from the road right there by where the drive thru is. He just pulled in and nosed he truck into the outside lane. Same thing, I yell a bunch of stuff about him cutting everyone, he ignores me.

    I’ve also had people not let you go when it’s your turn to pull forward. I guess the fact that you have to alternate which side goes forward (after you order) is a mystery to some. I actually had an old woman shout back at me after I gave her the business about her staying glued to the rear of the car in front of her. I said, you do know that you are cutting in front of me? The car in front of you goes ahead, then I go, then you go. GOT IT?? She gave me some lip about her being there before me. I responded with it doesn’t matter who was here first, to keep both lines moving you have to alternate which car moves forward, you know, we have to take turns? She said a few more harsh things and I just about lost it.

    All in all I think people today are just oblivious to anything around them. It’s me me me. Don’t even get me started on the A-holes that use the express checkout lane to buy a cart load of groceries……

  9. January 11, 2016 7:05 pm

    James, thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I don’t drive an Explorer anymore, so I promise that wasn’t me in the drive thru lol

  10. Jeremy permalink
    March 22, 2016 3:32 pm

    I came across this blog and this problem seems to be getting worse and worse. Some places even put traffic cones to block people from doing this, and that usually works but I did witness some asshat driving through the cones as well. The problem today got so bad it was blocking the people trying to park to go in the restaurant. Stupid shitheads, the the places should barricade the 2nd lane better so people do not do this.

  11. July 10, 2016 2:30 pm

    NO ONE seems to understand this concept anymore.

  12. Emily permalink
    October 2, 2016 1:05 pm

    Just experienced this by a lady in her 60’s returning with her church crew for some breakfast…. five of us waiting and she bypasses everyone….I was able to get next to her by luck and said “Ma’am you just cut in line, that was extremely rude.” She ignores me so I add “Do you think you’re better than everyone else?” She then spits “I thought there were two lines lady, sorry!’ I replied with “yeah, up ahead where the lane splits!!!” Hopefully she left more educated and slightly embarrassed in front of her peers…I was fuming more for the family of five in front of me and everyone else who had been there for goodness knows how long before I got there.

  13. Sara permalink
    October 12, 2016 8:33 pm

    At my McDonald’s there’s ONE line next to the curb and that part of the pavement is painted “drive-thru”. I’m in the line and decide on the outside lane; I’m moving forward and next to me comes Blondie in the black SUV who cuts right in front of me so I have to slam on my brakes. After ordering and having to merge back in she is inching forward trying to keep me from merging in front of her which I’m damned isn’t going to happen. Yeah I flipped her off, told her she already cut me off and wasn’t doing it again and then watched her in my rearview complaining to the McDonald’s employee at the pay window. She doesn’t get it and is just going to do it again to someone else-maybe Emily or James will be there!!! I don’t know of any other fast food joints that have gone to double lanes and I hope they don’t. I feel better (sort of) now 🙂

  14. July 20, 2017 9:41 am

    Amen! I don’t want anyone to die but I sure am with you. This has happened so much to me that it I’m losing it when it happens. Just happened today again I pulled up beside her and let her know and she put the problem on me. No the lanes hasnt split and you cut the line. I am so sick of rude service from the staff and now rudeness from fellow customers. Acting entitled!

  15. July 20, 2017 10:05 am

    I should add, one day my husband and I was in the double lane drive thru. We just got cut off again by someone which had us fuming but when we got up the the speaker the employee asked to take our order we know they were taking our order then the screen was erased as my husband finishes our order and the girl comes back and said I’m taking the other lanes order not yours. She started taking ours then stopped we left and I called and told the manager.

    Another issue, I’ve been in double line (line 2) and they have taken line 1s order over and over and over again 5 cars we had to leave and go inside and when I have to do that I’m not pleased at all. Even employees don’t rotate the line sometimes.

    I’ve tried paying for the person behind me before they can’t do that with double lines because it messes up their orders they told me. What does people cutting line do to the orders? I’m I missing something?

  16. Sue permalink
    October 18, 2017 6:07 pm

    I’m sorry but I must disagree with you. Just like when you pick a line at the grocery store, you do so and you wait your turn in that lane regardless of whether the person in the next lane over got in line after you and yet she got to check out first.
    During busy times of the day the line for McD’s can get pretty long, so rather than have people backed up onto the street, they all need to be in one line or the other. If there’s a line of cars backing up in one of the two, then someone should get into the opposite line to avoid the backup onto the road.

    • Lindsay permalink
      December 4, 2017 9:36 pm

      Ok, remember that, Sue, next time you and your kids are at the movies…. or amusement park…. and someone CUTS right in front of you because their line was backing up into the funnel cake stand. No biggie.

    • Mcasshat in Scottdale permalink
      October 14, 2018 3:47 pm

      Or by the logic explained today…the purgatory line you speak up actually blocks patrons who have parked and are trying to get out….because no one is using the second lane. I understand everyone doesn’t want to wait. I understand that everyone is in a hurry. I dont understand blocking in parked cars when the second lane is not being utilized or under utilized. To become irrational and freak out on a mcasshat prior to understanding that drivers perspective…is also highly irrational and just as mcassaty. Its dumb actually. I bought the ladys breakfast behind me today because she clearly was all knowing and understands and or has put entirely too much thought into drive thru lanes. I submit. You can have your system that locks in parked patrons trying to leave. I will go to wendys or eat oatmeal

      • Mcasshat in Scottdale permalink
        October 14, 2018 3:58 pm

        Please excuse typos and such. This mcasshat is using her phone.

  17. June 15, 2018 11:26 am

    I sometimes AVOID going to McDonalds that have two lanes simply because of conflicts that are always encountered. I would rather run over to Burger King than deal with someone cutting in front of me when it is time to merge at the window to pay. Or for someone that is slower at ordering in the other lane to get pissed off when I go ahead and merge in simply because they were not ready to merge yet and traffic was being held up! Not my fault! Then there is always the overly nice guy that lets EVERYONE get in front of him and I happen to be BEHIND him and have to wait for him to let everyone else in before he and I! Maybe he is retired and does not have to go back to work BUT I DO!!! Today, a guy got out of his car to confront a lady that he thought cut in front of him. Really? Anyway, I just think the whole idea is stupid simply because everyone knows lots of people take advantage and lots of people don’t have manners and we live in a world where many times we just don’t all get along! Not having clear rules and clear directions creates havoc and the opportunity for someone to totally behave badly!

    • McAsshat of Scottdale permalink
      October 14, 2018 5:59 pm

      I do have manners. Quite a few of them actually. I tell you what, the next time you ring a call bell, and it takes forever to get your PRN pain pill….in an attempt to cut in line of all others who rang before you, and you get up and you lean your head out of the room and yell at your nurse….remember everyone line up and wait your turn….forget about the patient inside the other room in need. (In contrast to the drive thru line of us lazy people, vs the inside patrons who actually used muscle before they ate)

  18. Amanda Stonestreet permalink
    August 25, 2018 2:54 am

    You are the best…I encountered a Mcasshat today…Your article made my night! 🙂

  19. Mike permalink
    October 14, 2018 2:38 pm

    During rush hours, my McDonald’s actually sends an employee out to facilitate MORE mcasshats, so that the purgatory line doesn’t back up into the street. They set the precedent. Now we are plagued.

  20. Bev permalink
    November 25, 2018 2:33 am

    I’ll admit I’m the asshat that cuts right to the 2nd lane. I’m am not going to sit in the middle of the road and block traffic in several other areas just to sit in one lane so that you can get your food before me. If you don’t have sense enough to go to the second lane when traffic gets bad then you deserve to sit and and wait.

    • Joe Cornell permalink
      December 4, 2018 3:32 pm


    • Brett Manwill permalink
      July 24, 2020 9:56 am

      Still happening in 2020. It just happened to me today which is why I googled Double Lane DriveThru etiquette. I was pretty sure the other driver was a “McAssHat” but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just being a pushover.

    • Brett permalink
      July 24, 2020 9:58 am

      Bev from 11/25/2018 your are a MCASSHAT! I’m sure you are MSASSHAT in all other aspects of your life. Hope I never have to meet your selfish narcissistic MSASSHATTEDNESS!

  21. April permalink
    January 19, 2021 10:50 am

    Thank you for bringing this issue to light! This was my quora answer to “what infuriates you the most?”

    This may sound trivial but it makes my blood boil when people try to skip in line at the double lane at the McDonald’s drive through. If you don’t know what I mean it’s a little hard to explain. But you get in line, there are two order intercoms so one car goes to the one on the right, one car goes to the one the left, you take turns yada yada. But there’s always at least one a$$hole that thinks they can just skip the line and go up to the outer intercom and ignore the 10 cars already there in line that have been waiting. This absolutely infuriates me to my core and my primal cave woman instincts are to get out of my car and jump up and down on the hood of their car beating on my chest like an ape, ripping off their rear view mirrors and such….. but I digress. One day, this lady skipped the line and the heavens opened up and sent down an angel in the form of the guy in the car in front of me. He got out of his car, walked up to her window and went off on her. He asked her did she not notice the line of cars waiting to order and he told her she needed to drive around to the back of the line. After a little back and forth she did the right thing and drove around and got in the back of the line. If I could have given him a medal or trophy or something that day I would have because he deserved to be acknowledged and celebrated. But I did mouth “thank you!” And gave him a big ole thumbs up. 👍

  22. Anna Napolitano permalink
    April 4, 2021 3:45 am

    It’s not fair to make people wait in the line because someone in front of you chooses to wait behind the person ordering in Lane one while Lane two is empty people should not be rude and just take the line available when they are next up. otherwise someone else who wants to go ahead and order is going to grab it. We’re going about being rude it’s about being smart you’re actually being rude when you’re being stupid not grabbing the next available Lane for your time to make the order

    • Anna Napolitano permalink
      April 4, 2021 3:48 am

      why make car 3 and 4 wait longer because car 2 cant think to go to the next free intercom

      • Chris permalink
        May 15, 2021 11:12 pm

        I agree with you. It’s common sense. Move up quickly to the next available opening. So many rude drivers are always on their cell phone now and texting….they don’t bother noticing that are holding up the line. People just pull up to the shortest of the two lines….that’s how it was meant to be.

  23. Brett permalink
    May 11, 2021 12:52 pm

    For all of you above that think you are somehow “smarter” for realizing you can cut to the front of the line…Surprise, you are not smarter than the rest of us, just way more inconsiderate. Of course, you don’t realize that because your life is only about “you” anyway.

    Curious how you found this article or why you read it. Clearly it wasn’t about “you” so not sure why you would take the time to read it.

  24. Michelle Overaitis permalink
    May 29, 2021 11:39 am

    This is the best post and so true. Thanks for the laugh. We just experienced this. Person was in a Lexus too. Haha

  25. Brett permalink
    October 6, 2021 7:16 am

    I love coming back and checking in on this post from time to time. I have a new strategy to deal with McAssHats. I always pull up to the line to wait until the “appropriate” and polite point when the lane splits to “pick a lane”. However, I make sure that I keep enough space in front of my car to be able to make a last minute move when necessary. While I wait in line line a “civilized” and “polite” person I keep a constant eye on my rearview mirror for McAssHats. In the end my goal has become not to be the person who gets through the line the fastest, but instead the guy who thrwarts any “rude”, “selfish”, McAssHats. All it takes is a quick jog to the right and a creative road block and all the McAssHats get to sit and wait until I move my car into the lane I want.

    • October 6, 2021 8:21 am

      Now I just order in the app & have them bring it to me curbside. Voilà! 😊

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