I know the picture to the left doesn’t look like me, but it is.
It is probably you, too.
The other day I took my kids to the BK that across the street from our church. The kids like the playground there.
I got the best customer service I’ve ever received in that restaurant. On my overall scale of fast-food expectation, the service was at least an 8 of 10.
Except for this: he suggested I try the new pulled pork sandwich. One of the images above is from the menu board. The other is the actual sandwich I was served.
Can you guess which is which?
I wasn’t particularly happy. No amount of friendly service would have made up for the disappointment of barely being able to see the pork under the onions and pickles. I think it tasted ok, but mostly I tasted bread. I expected, hoped for, the taste of pulled pork.
I know that in fast food in particular each menu item is very specifically defined for the kitchen staff. There is a precise amount of each item for each product. There is no room for creativity or interpretation on the part of the kitchen staff.
I felt pretty sure I hadn’t been shorted pork – at least not by the people working there. No, I had been shorted by the BK Corporation.
I shared my disappointment with the manager, who shared my sense of loss.
I didn’t think it fair to advertise that particular picture of the sandwich when the actual sandwich was so miserable and slight by comparison.
I never expect the food I actually receive in a restaurant to look as attractive as the image on the menu. I know better. This seemed too much of a stretch for credibility, though. And it still does.
At the same time, I began to wonder how fair this serves as a metaphor for the way we live in public.
Too many of us present a version of ourselves to everyone around us that is not at all a reasonable facsimile of who we really are. Beyond “fake it till you make it,” too many of us live a facade and have for years.
How do you compare with the version of you your friends know? with the social media version of you? with the church version of you? with the version of you your family knows?
May we all, by the grace of God, move our lives in the direction of a little more truth in advertising.
Who knows, maybe Burger King will follow suit!