Honesty might be the best policy most of the time. But other times it might be more appropriate to bend the truth. Like when it will get a food service worker into trouble with their manager.
That was the conundrum Kate Smith, who is known as katelivingoutloud on TikTok, found herself in earlier this week. Kate posted a video explaining that she recently went through the McDonald’s drive thru for a chocolate shake.
The only problem? The shake she received was vanilla.
@katelivingoutloud i don’t know how that got in my hair i just washed it 🙄 #mcdonaldsworker #mcdonaldslife #foodserviceworkers ♬ original sound – Kate Smith
Kate says she got up to the window and one of the McDonald’s workers handed her the shake. After pulling away, Kate took a sip of the shake and realized it was vanilla “with a little bit of chocolate syrup at the bottom” instead of chocolate. She pulled up to the window and let them know the error.
“When I pulled up to the window to get my new shake, the same girl that had initially handed me the shake was there,” Kate explains in the video. “Now when I first got my shake, what had happened was I pulled up to the window, I had already paid, and she said here it is, and I said thank you, and I drove away.”
But Kate says the story changed her second time through the drive thru.
“But now she’s standing there with her manager. And she looks at me, she looks at her manager, and she said, ‘Yeah, this is the girl. I gave her the shake and I asked her to taste it and I asked her to tell me if she thought it had enough chocolate in it. And she said it was totally fine. Isn’t that what happened?’
“And then she looked at me. And if there’s one thing I will do for women and food service employees it is lie for them. And so I just looked at her and looked at the manager and said, ‘She asked me to taste it and I told her it was totally good. But I’m just so high maintenance and I just came back to complain anyway. And I’m sorry.'”
Kate says the manager looked at her, “glared” at the employee, and walked away from the window. “I don’t know what that was about but I ended up getting two shakes out of it. So,” Kate concludes.
The video has received more than 217,000 views since it was posted on July 25. Users offered up theories as to why the manager looked angry and shared what they would do in the situation.
“I’m guessing the Manager’s glare was that this wasn’t her first lie, but you’re the first to corroborate the lie,” wrote one user.
“Yea I’m not lying for anyone unless it’s for their or my safety. I spent years not speaking up for myself and it kept me from so much,” wrote user Tiffany La’Kia Felic.
“I would have been so defensive in that situation but I’ve never worked food service. Good for you!” wrote Lara.
“I’ve worked food service and would’t of done this,” admitted wiglet.
“I would have said that there was a weird pocket of non mixed vanilla. So fist [sic] was perfect,” suggested Andrzej.
McDonald’s drive thrus across the country have become fodder for TikTok content. Creators have posted videos pointing out brand partnerships, shrinkflation, and the dreaded recession apples. And McDonald’s employees frequently go viral by discussing the best shifts, rude customers, and behind-the-scenes secrets.
The Daily Dot reached out to Kate via TikTok DM for comment.