Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Over the years, McDonald's has become a symbol for America.

The good and the bad of America, some might snort.

There's a McDonald's wherever you travel, which provides a certain oasis for the uncertain.

A little too often, however, some Americans arrive in distant lands and insist the nearest McDonald's is the only place they'll eat.

I know one or two professional golfers who are exactly like that.

Yet McDonald's does try and cater to local tastes, as well as to those from its homeland.

Still, wherever you are, you think you know what the Golden Arches will offer. 

Until now, that is.

For the chain has just entered into an agreement with a business partner you'd never expect.

The U.S. State Department.

Indeed, a Facebook announcement from the U.S. Embassy in Vienna says any American in distress can simply waft or stagger to their nearest McDonald's in order to secure consular services.

You've lost your passport, your travel plans have gone awry, you want to watch the World Series, all these difficult eventualities will be eased by going to the home of the Big Mac.

Well, perhaps I made up the World Series emergency.

It seems, though, that any of the 194 McDonald's in Austria will be equipped to make contact with the right consular personnel to ease citizens' path.

Some, naturally, offered rueful comment on Facebook.

A few worried that this was the government siding with one particular corporation. One wanted a Burger King embassy so that he could have consular services his own way.

One wanted the Embassy to promise that Vienna would never have a Wendy's. The Embassy replied: 

Not sure how Wendy's would feel about that.

Yes, it added a laughing Emoji.

Some wondered whether it could it really be that Americans don't know how to contact their embassy directly. (Yes, I suppose it could be.)

One curmudgeonly soul even asked whether this new arrangement meant the Embassy would be letting go of its own staff.  

Personally, I prefer to laud this step by McDonald's into a more exalted form of customer service.

The chain has been trying very hard to enter a more modern phase of its existence. Why, it's even put fresh beef into its Quarter Pounders.

Why not, then, extend a hand, just when people need help most?

Perhaps McDonald's could even offer a discounted burger to those in need of help.

It could call the combination of burger and consular help its Make Americans Happy Again Meal.

Published on: May 18, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.