Death stares in the carpark at 20 paces

Death Stare

This was gonna be one of my most ambitious (some might say, before knowing the full details, ridiculous) writing challenges.

How to compose a credible letter of complaint to (Indooroopilly) Shopping Centre Management alerting them that one of the retail employees working on their premises had looked at my wife, seven-year old daughter and myself with less than welcoming eyes?

You think I’m joking?   I’m not.

For starters, let’s substantially upsize the aforementioned ‘less than welcoming’ look to what it more correctly resembled and really was:  a withering stare of unbridled loathing that could easily have peeled the paint off any unsuspecting metallic street sign for miles around. A common enough weapon amongst the passive-aggressive crowd I know, but when it’s directed at you, you’re left in no doubt you’ve just been given a deliberate black-eye minus the visible mark.

Then there was the time factor.

By that I mean how long this malevolent optical blowtorch was applied for.

Which, if you haven’t begun forming a mental picture yet, was, I’ll tell you, a bloody long time. Too bloody long. Way too bloody long! Like ‘mentally irregular’ (as Rocky Balboa might say) way too bloody long!

Still reading? Good, ’cause here’s the details.

Last week’s blog post mentioned a family outing to the movie CARS 3 I had taken along with my wife and daughter. I described that though the movie may have been full of car chases spun in together with the occasional car crash, the real action, at least for my family and I, had started in the shopping centre carpark before the movie had even gotten underway.

At this point in the retelling, it’s simpler if I just reproduce the letter of complaint I was asked to compose after contacting both Indooroopilly Shopping Centre management and McDonalds Brisbane head office (located at Chermside). Yes, you read that correctly. This is another one of my adventures involving the golden arches, only unlike last time, (February 24th – Miracle at the Drive-thru  ) this was definitely no McHappy meal.

Hi Courtney,

This morning around 10am, my wife, seven-year-old daughter and I entered the Centre car-park from the Musgrave Rd side near the cinemas. The purpose of our visit was to take our daughter to see the movie CARS 3.

In the process of parking our car an awkward and unnecessarily uncomfortable encounter occurred with what I was to later discover was one of the store employees who works at the Centre.

I chose to reverse park my car into the available space. Immediately, I activated my hazard lights to signal to cars behind me (of which, important to note, at this time, there were none) my intention. In the process of reversing, a car with a young female driver continued to approach and come forward, making it a very tight turning circle for me to enter this space. Once parked, my wife and I watched the driver of the car pass in front of us making every effort to cast her best unblinking hard stare in our direction for what seemed like an overly long time as she drove past.

Unfortunately, as we were to find out 30 seconds later, this driver then regrettably chose to park in a space approx 8 metres behind us (when there were numerous parks available further down). Upon exiting our vehicle, we were greeted with the sight of the young lady now standing next to her car and continuing to stare in our direction with what was, to our eyes, a look of hostility. This was unpleasant and I felt unnecessary (in layman’s terms – I believe she was spoiling for a fight). Bizarrely, as she walked ahead, going toward the sliding glass doors that open to the cinema, with us also pointed in the same direction, she continued to look around at us defiantly while all the time walking with her elbows noticeably cocked outwards from her sides like something from the Wild West. As I say, awkward!

After purchasing our tickets at the cinema, my wife and daughter then visited McDonalds in the foodcourt to buy a coffee. As luck (if you could call it that) would have it, who should we see behind the counter working as an assistant manager but the young lady we had just encountered in the carpark. My wife then spoke to the manager (Luke) who offered the idea that Megan (the young lady’s name) hadn’t meant any harm and was probably just in a hurry. While I understand Luke was seeking to calm the situation down, we were not content with this explanation as Megan’s actions were most certainly a display of deliberate impatience/bordering on aggressiveness from someone who should have shown a more responsible, peaceable attitude while wearing an identifiable company uniform.

My family and I had been looking forward to this day since the beginning of the current school holidays but to have the morning blighted in this way (when we did nothing wrong in the first place other than to inconvenience a person for at the most 10 seconds by our reverse park) by the unpleasantness of a worker who, one would think, should be acting as a role model to others in their interactions with the public, was disappointing and did to some extent take the shine off the morning.

I have no doubt Megan is a very nice girl under other circumstances but on this occasion, to us, she did not act in a remotely friendly way or one which I believe her employer would support. While there was no swearing, rude finger signs or horn beeping from her, she did everything else in her power, I believe to ‘punish’ us for our reverse parking action which impeded her travel so briefly.

If, based on what I have described, you see fit to speak with her at some future time, her manager or possibly both, I would very much appreciate being let known the outcome. I may be contacted either by phone or email.


Glen Donaldson

Forest Lake

Ph: 3372 3958


If I live to be a hundred, don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget the sight of feisty young Megan walking that last 30 metres across the car-park and then stomping into the shopping centre with elbows cocked like a gunslinger and a stride like she’d just stepped off a horse. If it wasn’t so bizarrely over the top it would undoubtably have qualified as a moment of bona-fide comedy gold.

My wife and I joked later that maybe that day it would have been more fitting had we seen the movie DESPICABLE ME(GAN). Was I too hard on the young girl, dobbing her into her bosses? (My wife also spoke face to face with her and her in-store manager while being served at Maccas).

I don’t think so. A person who chooses to get all huffy like she did while dressed in a company uniform and direct their frustrations (and hate) at a guiltless family, including a seven-year old girl, needs, I believe, to be corrected by someone outside of her immediate colleague serving alongside her in the same store.

It all goes to prove my theory that try as one might to avoid conflict in this world, there’s no getting around the fact conflict sometimes comes searching to find us. Really, there are times when I think the only reason I go out some days is to get me a fresh appetite for being at home. That, and to see with my own eyes how truly strange some people can be.


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13 thoughts on “Death stares in the carpark at 20 paces

  1. Can a death-stare ever be classed as a kind of ‘psychological assault’, I guess is the question at the heart of this incident. It certainly felt that day like we’d been, in some manner of speaking, accosted in the carpark even though no blows or words were exchanged.

    Interestingly, I am still in communication with both McDonalds head office(Sydney) and the Shopping Centre Management team, both of whose investigations are still ongoing.

    As I say, trying to convert what essentially amounted to merely someone ‘looking at you funny’ into a credible complaint that would be taken seriously, required some serious attempts at penetrating wordery on my part to try to capture the sour and colder-than-a-mother-in-laws-kiss nuances that were on display that morning from a person wearing one of the world’s most identifiable company uniforms.

    In fact I reckon composing just such a letter would make the perfect challenge for up and coming word-slingers in creative writing classes worldwide! (Or at the very least the 119 out of a possible 196 countries in the world that host Maccas).


  2. Well, customer service really is dead now! You just don’t expect it accompanied by a death stare in the car park. Despicable Megan definitely!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is indeed all about Me..gan.

    Think this huffy next-gen might have some explaining to do sometime next week.
    Maccas Sydney head office told me yesterday afternoon that they’d requested the franchise owner to contact me and since that hasn’t happened it’s now going up the line to the area manager.

    Seems like something that started as a small snowball could be gathering some type of weird momentum.


  4. Should we be talking reparations Glen?
    I believe Seinfeld’s Jackie Jackson may be available.
    Possibly complimentary Big Mac meals for a year?

    Cholesterolly Yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. They can save the Big Mac vouchers and offer my family and I a security escort next time we park in their carpark when roid-rage Megan is lurking.

    This story, until I hear back officially from McDonalds and also Indooroopilly Shopping Centre (who’ve already indicated an employee of the centre shouldn’t have been parking in that area anyway) is definitely, I repeat definitely not over.


  6. I’m trying to cast this back to a former generation and consider how different things might have been back then. Megan is possibly a petulant little spoiled brat with Millennial tendencies? The days of deferring to the boss are long gone. The feelings of Megan may be all that matters in today’s world?

    If she throws a tantrum, McDonalds needs to corporately look at itself and determine how the company itself is to blame for this poor showing on Megan’s part. The offense directed towards the customer is regrettable, but needs to be seen in the positive light of showing once more how Megan is corporately oppressed, so she can be pampered with stress leave and workplace rehabilitation, after a company paid vacation to the Maldives for respite.

    The whole world of repressed Millennial non-workers will look back on this carpark incident as a defining moment in the cultural Marxist march toward emancipation of the slaved masses.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Deathstares – The Aftermath | Scenic Writer's Shack

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