I run a group home for severely mentally challenged adults. The residents are rewarded for good behavior and accomplishments with a treat from McD's. Outings are rare for these people as we are not funded to hire enough staff. As a result we usually use the Drive- Thru window. We make 5 – 10 trips per week so we can speak with authority.

Over 20% of our orders have errors. Needless to say, we have learned to check the bag before driving away. We understand that considering the level of experience of much of the staff, that errors are bound to occur, but 1 in 5 ?! We have tried different stores at different times but this error rate is stubbornly consistent.

But, there appears to be something else going on. Dare I say, conspiracy? We have now documented more than 350 trips. On only 2 occasions were the errors in our financial favour. All the rest were shortages or substitutions that wound up making them money. This is a mathematical near-impossibility. A true error rate should have approximately as many overages as shortages. Only an outside influence could sway the numbers into astronomical odds like this.

What could this influence be? If it were secret corporate policy, surely one of the millions of ex-employees would have blown the whistle by now. If it was staff theft, surely everyone would weigh 300 pounds.

More likely it's the 'gruntle' factor i.e. disgruntled employees. Anyone over 40 in the position of hiring young workers will tell you most have no idea that an entry level position means exhausting work with little pay with even less recognition Rather, they expect to receive managerial perks and pay from day one. With the level of oversight they are subjected to it is difficult to get away with peeing in the coffee pot or spitting on the quarter pounders, so they 'forget ' to drop an item or two in that to-go bag. If only they realized they are doing their hated employers a big favour by collecting money for undelivered food.

Written by Graham Reed