Saturday, August 4, 2012


Wednesday I went to McDonald's to get a drink.  They gave me an empty cup (as usual) and I filled it myself (as usual).

By the end of the day, when I'd finished it, I shook the cup and noticed to my surprise that there was still a little chunk of ice in the bottom.  I felt pleased at how well the styrofoam cup had insulated it for all those hours.

Thursday morning, as I was cleaning up, I picked up the cup to throw it away.  To my surprise, there was STILL something in the cup thunking around.

I opened the lid, looked inside, and was horrified to see a screw in the bottom of the cup.

A screw.

All day long, I'd been drinking from a cup with an old grungy screw in it.
I drank the whole thing without even noticing.


It must have come from the inside of the ice machine, since the cup was empty when they first gave it to me.  I filled it myself.  There's no way it could've come out of the soda spigot, so by default it had to have come out with the ice cubes.
I realize it won't "kill" me, but that's not the point, of course.

I took the cup back to McDonald's to let them know.

I wasn't a jerk about it.  I calmly explained to the cashier that I needed to speak privately to a manager.  When she arrived, I tactfully but truthfully described the situation and showed her the cup with the screw.

She was surprised and horrified too.  After an apology, she gave me my money back and promised to "write a note" to the supervisor so the ice machine could be checked out.

Yes, yes, I'll live, but still.

(Side note: I'm glad to learn that the phosphoric acid in Coke doesn't dissolve nails like I'd heard.  So I guess I wasn't drinking molecules of dissolved screw bits.  Still... it wasn't exactly a brand-new looking screw.  Yuk.)

I've told some people about it since then, and most people seem dismayed that
(a) I didn't pursue the issue further, and
(b) McD's didn't offer greater compensation.

I'm not the litigious type; I have neither the energy nor the resources to pursue anything like that.  I realize plenty of other people would sue. And I can understand why.  But it doesn't interest me.
Even though this really grossed me out, I handled it discreetly because I knew they weren't purposely trying to injure me or be negligent.  It was an accident.

My mother was surprised they didn't at least offer coupons or something.

I dunno.
What do you think?
Tell me.  I'm curious what you would have done if this had happened to you.


nonamedufus said...

That's serious. You could have swallowed or choked on it. Then you would have been, um, screwed.

Marcia said...

Yeah but I'll take the screw any day over the half a mouse my niece found in a can of spinach.

Shelly said...

I think giving your money back was sufficient. No real harm done, right? I think too many people expect too much.

Janna said...

nonamedufus: I agree; there was potential danger. Some people really do drink straight from the cup instead of using a straw. Those people could've tipped up the cup and dropped the screw into their mouth or throat. That could've caused problems. Luckily I used a straw. Again, the "grossness factor" remains the same. ;)

Marcia: OMG. Yuk! Really? I think my mom found a giant slug (dead, of course) in a can of vegetables once.

Shelly: Weeeelll, I dunno. Whether or not I was physically "harmed" isn't the point. There's that grossness factor to consider. And the issue of negligence (Keeping their equipment from falling apart). But mainly the grossness. I certainly don't think I deserve millions (like some lawsuits have given others). But somehow, the more I think about it, simply refunding my $1.06 doesn't quite seem like it makes things right. Heck, even a coupon or two would've made me feel better. It's hard to explain.

Shelly said...

I guess only you can decide how much grossness is worth to you. ;)

For me, anything less than a bug isn't that bad. heh

Adrian Katrina Miller said...

Woah, that is really freaky! It's a good thing you didn't swallow the ice. I'm also pleased the manager believed you when you took it back.

Janna said...

Shelly: It's just the principle of the thing, I guess. Screws (and bugs) shouldn't be in food or drinks.

Adrian: Hi! I'm glad they believed me too. I think part of the reason they took me seriously is because I was respectful about it. I didn't want to make a scene in front of customers, so I took the manager aside privately.