Last week I stopped mid-morning at a local fast-food restaurant and ordered a breakfast burrito to-go. There was no one behind me in the drive-thru lane since it was 10:30 am. The lovely person asked if I would pull across the lot and park; someone would bring out my order to me. It has happened many times. “Why don’t I just stay here,” I suggested to her. “When my order is ready, you won’t have to have someone take the time to bring it all the way across the parking lot, you can just hand it to me right here. I promise to move to the parking lot if another vehicle comes up behind me.”
“Oh, no,” she said in a panic. “You will have to move your car now because if you sit here, you will mess up my numbers for wait time in the drive-thru.” I gave this confusing issue one more attempt. “But won’t that give your restaurant a false read? If you keep faking the actual wait time by sending me away, what incentive will there be to speed up the operation inside that caused my trip to the ‘wait lot’ in the first place?” She could not deal with this cognitive dissonance and pleaded, “Please don’t get me in trouble with my manager.” A completely inefficient procedure predicated on maintaining a bald-faced lie solely for the sake of important, but deceptive, metrics! Are you supporting truth-telling?