McDonaldization Exercise Kylie Kamba Almost every component of society has fallen victim to the process of McDonalization. We want things fast, easy, and consistent. We follow a strict code of how we should act in public and how others should behave. For this assignment, I went out and tried to challenge this code. I went to a trendy, upbeat restaurant in East Lansing called Hop Cat. A tall, young, brown haired waiter approached us and introduced himself. He continued by asking how my friends and I were today; this was my cue. I replied by saying that I was absolutely awful and gave him a straight, blank stare. This took the waiter aback as I’m sure everyone simply replies to this question with “I’m good, how are you”. The waiter stepped back and stared at me for a second. He clearly felt uncomfortable and wasn’t sure how to respond. He finally said, “Um I’m sorry to hear that. Would you like to see the drink list,” with an awkward chuckle. I replied by saying that I wasn’t twenty-one and asked if he had any other suggestions on how to improve my day. Again he started with a very awkward pause and then finally said, “I’m not really sure what to tell you.” The rest of the meal I could tell that he was avoiding our table and did not want to talk to me. I had completed my mission of disrupting the flow of the dining experience. Thinking of a way to disrupt McDonaldization wasn’t hard; it is all around us. The hard part was the awkwardness of the situation, not only did I feel uncomfortable but I could tell the waiter wanted nothing to do with me. I wouldn’t necessarily say that my needs were met since the waiter couldn’t come up with one way to improve my day, other than resorting to alcohol. I informed my friends with me of my plan prior but this didn’t stop them from feeling extremely embarrassed and uncomfortable. I do understand the appeal of McDonaldization; we are never met with surprises and this allows us to always be composed. However, through McDonaldization we often don’t experience personal, complex interactions. Everything follows a script and is rehearsed. This eliminates spur of the moment situations and pure conversations. This experience clearly relates to our reading, The McDonaldization of Society. The author George Ritzer deeply analyzed what McDonaldization is and provided concrete examples of its prevalence in our society. In particular, he discussed restaurants and fast food chains, making me want to use a restaurant in particular. This experience also made me indirectly think of the podcast, Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda. Looking around the restaurant I noticed just how many people were drinking soda. This sugary drink was being added on to an already greasy, unhealthy meal. This made me realize just how popular soda is and how many extra calories it contains. This experience not only pushed me out of my comfort zone but it also opened my eyes to how our society functions. We no longer can carry out conversations that disrupt the flow we have planned out in our brains. Our society is falling victim to the process of McDonaldization.