Things I Learned Working At McDonalds
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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.
- 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.
- 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!
- Getting up at 3 am never hurt anyone. It sucks BAD, but it teaches discipline. Plus, you get to see the sunrise.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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! :)