I got to spend a bunch of time at Abbott Northwestern Hospital last weekend for the birth of my daughter, Avery. We got to the hospital on Friday night about 11 p.m., and our new package was delivered about noon on Saturday. So, after the delivery, there was dialing, texting, and answering phone calls to shout to the world that I was a daddy, and then it dawned on me . . . I had not eaten for nearly twenty-four hours.
At 7 p.m., I decided to skip down (because that what new dads do, I guess) to the cafeteria. I decided, on my way down, to keep my expectations low because cafeteria food is not my favorite even though it has come a long way in the past few years. I had my mind set on a salad bar and maybe a tuna salad sandwich. I got to the escalators that bring patrons to the basement eatery, and they were turned off; I couldn't understand why. I walk down the escalators thinking that a hospital can't close it's cafeteria before 7 p.m. . . . right? Wrong! A polite little sign directed me to the McDonald's I had just passed (and not even noticed, as I was skipping after all) one level up. The sign also reassured me that McD's is open twenty-four hours a day . . . hooray!
By then, I was ravenous and furious, working on two hours of sleep and tons of coffee. Call me a snob, but I don't do McDonald's, even its so-called heart-healthy offerings. I have a nineteen-month streak sans that chain, which I don't even consider food, just like I don't consider Twizzlers food. I walked up the escalators and entered the place, it smelled like the fryer and people were buzzing around, it was packed.
I tucked behind a wall to look at the menu, trying to figure out what I could eat without feeling like I had eaten a fast food dinner. I settled on a chicken bacon ranch sandwich, the grilled variety, which you can order crispy (read: deep-fat fried), and a salad. The food, along with the whole experience, was undesirable. I should have acquiesced and had a Big Mac and fries and felt bad about myself. Instead, I got the chicken sandwich and was sorry for many reasons.
While I was waiting for my food, I noticed all these awards on the wall, some of which were commendations for being a high grossing McD's. What? How is this possible? How can a hospital contain a fast-food joint in the first place, and how can it do so well that it gets volume awards? How can a hospital named by Thomson Healthcare as a 100 Top Hospitals®