Tag Archives: Discovery Center

But … all I wanted was a burger


Technology is driving me nuts.

Batty and bonkers, too.

Cell phones are doing more and more. Everyone is in touch 24/7 with everyone else on the planet. It all makes my head spin.

Then came a moment this morning when all I wanted was a fast-food hamburger at a well-known chain of burger joints. I busted out laughing.

I had finished a fascinating session this morning talking to high school juniors about whether they wanted to pursue a career in journalism. The event occurred at the Discovery Center in Amarillo and — just as in previous years — the kids were attentive, articulate and engaged in what my fellow panelists and I were telling them.

I was driving down Soncy Road to one of my part-time jobs. I peeled off the street and stopped at McDonald’s.

I needed a quick bite to eat before I went to work. I walked in. A nice lady greeted me with a “Good morning, sweetheart,” and then pointed me to this enormous electronic touch-screen board where I could order my meal.

Did I want to build my own burger? Did I want small or large fries? Did I want a drink to go with it? Was I going to pay with cash or with a credit card?

I touched the screen to answer all those questions.

My head was spinning. I just wanted to walk to the counter, order my lunch, pay the person and wolf it down before heading off to work.

The high-tech wizardry made me recall when I worked at McDonald’s back in the day. That would be in the mid-1960s, an era before minimum wage; I earned one whole dollar an hour.

Burgers cost 19 cents; cheeseburger cost 29 cents; milk shakes cost a quarter; a fish sandwich cost 29 cents, too;  big burger was the double-meat burger … and I forget how much it cost (might have been 49 cents). We had a short array of soft drinks — Coke, root beer, orange drink — and coffee. That was it.

These days you have to learn a whole new skill set … just to order a burger!

Hey, I like technology as much as the next guy — most of the time.

I just don’t expect to get headaches while ordering a hamburger.