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Things I Learned Working At McDonalds

Updated on August 24, 2012
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If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.
Mark Twain

Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
Martin Luther King, Jr.


It is not the hours we put in on the job, it is what we put into the hours that counts.
Sydney Madwed

For 6 years, I was gainfully employed at the largest fast food restaurant in the universe. I won't tell you when, exactly. Let's just say minimum wage was at $3.65/hr. Yes, that long ago! Through all the fry grease, long nights, early mornings, and crazy customers (one being hugely famous) I actually learned a lot about life in the real world.

  1. Quality and cleanliness is the key to success. Believe it or not, you could probably eat off the floor at McDonald's. Their food is questionable nutrition, and they don't support humane animal husbandry or organic food harvesting, but they are definitely clean and try to cook and prepare the food so it's hot and tasty. They constantly preach and enforce high standards, so I know it's one of the few places I know I won't get food poisoning.
  2. Sparkling coffee pots: Take a few ice cubes, a spray of lemon juice, and salt, swirl it around in a dirty coffee pot for about 15 seconds, and then wash and rinse. Works like a charm!
  3. Getting up at 3 am never hurt anyone. It sucks BAD, but it teaches discipline. Plus, you get to see the sunrise.
  4. School isn't the only love pool to fish from. I was labeled a dork at my school, which seriously cramped my dating life. However, I found 3 boyfriends at McDonald's. No, not all at the same time. And they were all nice guys. Ok, ONE of them was a nice guy.
  5. Wow, I have money. Earning a paycheck at a young age teaches you how to budget, how to make good financial decisions, and learn from bad financial decisions. Hopefully.
  6. It takes all kinds. A wide variety of people visit your local Micky D's. Like the the two farmer dudes in the drive-thru who said I had a nice voice. Or the hoarding plastic cup lady who always orders a large iced tea (then throws the empty cup in the back seat). Or the grumpy guy who flips out if you accidentally give him a pickle on his burger. You don't interact with these type of people in your little bubble of school, family, and friends. I definitely honed my people skills at McDonald's.
  7. Not all jobs are glamorous, but all jobs are important. You may think your job is the pits, but don't count out the significance of your effort. That "Happy Meal" you put together for little Suzie probably just made her day. That smile you gave with a steaming cup of coffee helped Mr. Smith feel less cranky. Maybe he passed that good feeling on to someone else, and so on. You have the power to make someone's day better, don't blow it.
  8. College is totally worth the time and effort: I don't want to knock anyone who chooses to make a career out of McDonald's. Some people actually do well and can make some money...if they become a store manager or owner. Depending on your ambition and manager skills, you may be stuck at a low level and (low paying) position for years. And for most of us, working at McDonald's is not our life's goal. Work McDonald's for a few years, and you'll definitely appreciate the perks of a college education.

In conclusion, after 300 times of asking, "Would you like an apple pie with that?" it wasn't all that bad. It helped me grow as a person and taught me real world lessons. I even won a $300 scholarship toward college from McDonald's.

Well, reader, I hope you learned something too. Maybe you learned not to dismiss any job as worthless. If we approach life with the right attitude, we can find gold nuggets in the mud. Thanks for reading, and have a nice day! :)



Comments

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    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 

      6 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I was just at McDonald's having some hash browns the other day and I was reading their place-mat that comes with their trays. It said that they were hiring and that they offer scholarships for college - or something along that lines. All I clearly remember was being impressed with what they offered younger kids, and thinking that THEY were the place to work if you wanted to have a future.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks for your comments, Billybuc and Cris Sp. Hard work is good for the soul, kids should learn that at a young age IMO. Starbucks has saved my life too, but in a "I need caffeine BAD" sort of way. :)

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great attitude!

      I like your last two valid points: 7. Not all jobs are glamorous, but all jobs are important and 8. College is totally worth the time and effort.

      You also reminded me of the book, "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill. --a true story in which, a rich and privilege young man learned to live like everyone else. It was a great, wake up call and inspiring book just like your hub.

      I'm pretty sure, McDonalds' have UPSIZE your life one way or the other.

      Cheers!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My favorite part of this...."not all jobs are glamorous but all jobs are important." I have always believed that. I have probably had 25 jobs over the years and I learned from each one of them. Nice job on this; I just had to read it when I saw it.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      I think it's a good experience for anyone. Thanks for stopping by!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      7 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      It sounds like you learned more in just a few years while a youth than many learn in a lifetime. Would that we could all do the same.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      A.A. Zavala: LOL. Seems like you learned a lot of good stuff! I think people underestimate the value of a job in the food service industry. It really is a "real world" eye opener, IMO. Thanks for sharing you BK experiences :)

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      Mcslut?! HAHAAHA!

      I went to high school in Germany, and worked at a Burger King on the military base. I learned several lessons also:

      1) Sexual harrassment: being the only athletic guy working on the morning shift can be very interesting.

      2) It is possible to eat a 4o piece chickent tender meal while working.

      3) All chinese managers have the last name of NG.

      4)All Korean managers have the last name Park.

      AND you do learn valuable life lessons. Like you never add water to a grease fire. Thank you for sharing.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks, Jenb0128! Glad you liked my hub!

    • jenb0128 profile image

      Jennifer Bridges 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      As somebody who doesn't like pickles, I can related to the grumpy pickle guy. That pickle taste invades everything the pickle touches, so an accidental pickle ruins an entire burger. ;)

      I also worked in the fast food business (Taco Bell) back in the day. Great hub that brought back some memories. :)

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks Aviannovice, I'm glad you think so :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      7 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, there is gold at the end of the rainbow, it just depends on what you do with the empty pot. All kids should read this piece.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Craig: Agreed. Thanks for commenting and reading!

    • Craig Hartranft profile image

      Craig Hartranft 

      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Considering all my youthful employment opportunities, working in the food service industry was one of the better ones. Above many things, you learn to interact with your fellow citizens. There's much to say about learning common courtesy and friendliness, especially in this uncivil society. Nice hub.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks one2get2no! :)

    • one2get2no profile image

      Philip Cooper 

      7 years ago from Olney

      Great hub and very funny....thank you.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Your cousins: Free fries with every date. LOL

      SoaresJCSL: Thanks so much!

    • SoaresJCSL profile image

      SoaresJCSL 

      7 years ago

      Awesome hub!

      Good luck for your future!

      Thanks for sharing :)

      (voted up)

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      They need to advertise McDonald's for McDating. LOL.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Your cousins: LOL Yes, I had three McBoyfriends, all of them I met there. Oh, and then I had an ex-boyfriend work there 2 years after we broke up, and one other boyfriend that I met through someone who worked with me! Geez...I kind of sound like a huge McSlut, but it really wasn't like that. OH AND, the guy who took me to the prom (as a friend) was also an Micky D's employee. Er...so, forget Match.com, try McMatch instead! LOL. Thanks for reading!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Grumpiornot: Grandparents have a lot of wisdom, so this is a great compliment! Thanks! :)

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Yes Sherry, it's very hard work, and you never get any down time. I know where I worked, they didn't like anyone standing idle and will give you a cleaning job or other busy work. Thanks for commenting!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Ushnav, I appreciate the comments and reading my hub. Thanks!

    • Your Cousins profile image

      Your Cousins 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      This is a good hub that makes me appreciate the fine people who serve our McMuffins. (I do love McMuffins!) McDonald's can be pretty intense during rush hour and you have to keep your head on.

      Funny memory about the McBoyfriends -- did all three actually work at McDonald's?

    • grumpiornot profile image

      grumpiornot 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks, voted up and enjoyed the quotations in the sidebar of the hub. Your hub and instillation of values reminds me of sitting, listening to my grandfather - not that this is meant to be any comment or reflection on your or my age!

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 

      7 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      I spent a little time working at McDonalds myself, a long time ago. What most people don't seem to appreciate is that it's really hard work. I actually lost weight when I worked there, even though I ate ice cream every day. You run it all off, because every person who comes through the door is in a hurry. Thanks for a great hub. I hope people will remember to give a little respect to those hard-working people serving up their burgers.

    • Ushnav profile image

      Ushnav Shroff 

      7 years ago from INDIA

      This is a really well-written hub ! Enjoyed it thoroughly- it brought to my mind an aspect I hadn't considered before too- about people working not-so-glamorous jobs at glamorous places. Keep up the good work ! :)

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks Glimmer Twin Fan. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Jeannieinabottle: thank you for stopping by and reading!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      7 years ago

      This is an awesome hub and really makes you think about the folks who work at McDonald's. Really enjoyed this hub. Thanks. Voted up and shared.

    • Jeannieinabottle profile image

      Jeannie Marie 

      7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I worked at McDonald's back in the day! There really are some crazy characters that come through the door and the drive thru, but it really does have some fun moments. Thanks for the memories! Voted up and shared.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Ok, Radical Rog, how did you guess the Big Mac special sauce recipe? Well, it's almost correct, except for the baboon's blood. LOL.

      I've always wondered how working at Subway compares to McDonalds. Less grease, I suppose. I think I'd rather work at Subway because I enjoy their food more! Thanks for the Macbeth (for McDonald's)

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks, Lucybell21. Honestly, my parents sort of pushed me to get a job, to help out paying for college. But I don't regret it.

    • Radical Rog profile image

      Peter Rogers 

      7 years ago from Plymouth

      Considering your other interests, dare I suggest a MacDonald's Recipe?

      Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights has thirty-one
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot.

      Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

      Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

      Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

      Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,
Witches' mummy, maw and gulf
Of the ravin'd salt-sea shark,
Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
Liver of blaspheming Jew,
Gall of goat, and slips of yew
Silver'd in the moon's eclipse,
Nose of Turk and Tartar's lips.

      Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

      Cool it with a baboon's blood,
Then the charm is firm and good. 
By the pricking of my thumbs, 
Something wicked this way comes.

      ~ Macbeth

      Just joking. My son works at Subway

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 

      7 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      Great hub. Just the fact you wanted to have a job is wonderful. Most kids these days want everything handed to them. Voted up and useful.

    • hecate-horus profile imageAUTHOR

      hecate-horus 

      7 years ago from Rowland Woods

      Thanks for your comments, Parksie. That sounds like a great career choice! Best of luck to your son.

    • Parksie profile image

      Christy Parks 

      7 years ago from St. Peters, Missouri

      My son goes to college now but works at McDonalds when he comes home from different breaks! Your right, it isn't glamorous, and all jobs are important. I actually think it gives them a lot of responsibility and makes him work harder in college to do what he really wants to do in life and that is be a health and exercise science teacher.

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