Coffee at Wendy’s


Yesterday’s blog post brought back another memory from our repertoire of absurd experiences. Ordering coffee at Wendy’s.

We were on the way home from Kentucky in 2011. Running on fumes and exhausted, we decided to grab some coffee at a Wendy’s off of I-71. We don’t usually order coffee at fast food restaurants but make exceptions when, well when we are desperate. This was such a time.

We went inside the restaurant instead of using the drive-thru for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who travels. We’re not sure our experience ordering coffee at the drive-thru would have been any more successful than ordering in the restaurant. But we are jumping ahead of ourselves.

Greg was planning to order real coffee. He was driving and really needed the wake up. Joan decided to get decaf. Although also pretty tired, sometimes too much caffeine makes her sick. She figured the psychological effect of a hot drink would be the better choice.

After waiting patiently in line Greg told the young woman working at the Wendy’s counter that he wanted a small regular coffee. You might not believe that what happened next was true, but we swear it did!

“We don’t have coffee,” the young woman told us.

Greg pointed up to the menu on the wall behind her and said, “Your menu says you have coffee.”

She didn’t say anything for a moment.  “I’ll be right back,” she muttered as she left to go into the back area where food was being prepared.

When she returned, she said without explanation, “Yes, we have coffee. Do you want anything else?”

“One small decaf coffee.”

“We don’t have that” was her response.

Greg again pointed to the menu. “Your menu says you have decaf.”

Without a word the young woman left us standing at the counter to apparently consult (again) someone in the back food prep area.  This time, however, she returned with 2 coffees. Problem was there was no way to tell the regular cup from the decaf. No marking with a “D”, no depressed lid, nothing at all.

“Which one is the decaf?” asked Greg. Unable to answer, our young woman disappeared again, this time returning with a man who appeared to be the manager. He pointed to one of the cups.

“This one is the decaf,” he told us with a tone of certainty.

Greg countered with the logical response, “How do you know?”

“This is the decaf,” he repeated without further explanation. We decided it wasn’t worth our time to argue and left, grabbing some creamers on the way out. Joan typically drinks her coffee black, but Greg always uses cream.

As we got back into our car, we laughed about what had happened. But we were also wondering if Greg got the decaf and Joan the regular by mistake. We figured we might only know for sure after drinking the coffee. But then again, maybe not. We were both fully awake after our amusing experience.  Before we pulled out of the parking lot, Joan proceeded to pour a couple of creamers into Greg’s cup.

“Gross!” she exclaimed. Globs of creamer were swimming at the top of his coffee. The creamers were obviously curdled.

Yes, we could have gone back into the Wendy’s to return the coffee. But some battles are not worth the trouble. Greg grabbed his cup and threw it into a trash can outside the Wendy’s restaurant.  As we continued to travel another long stretch of the interstate, we shared Joan’s black coffee. To this day we aren’t sure if it was regular or decaf.