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The World of Fast Food

Updated on December 11, 2011

Trapped in Lard

The great world of fast food. As consumers, we take the opportunity to drive up to a cold speaker and speak to it as our grumbling stomachs push us to make slippery decisions. Eventually during the "transaction" we see a live person as we hand over our minimal amount of cash in exchange for culinary deprivity.

Keep in mind this is the side many of us see as we drive off trying to coordinate the greasy fixin's along with the steering wheel, the shifter, radio, and of course texting too. However, there is another side which I have been associated with for some time. The inside of the fast food kingdom. I am the guy behind that cold box asking you what you would like. I am the guy behind those smiling faces as your bag of food is handed out the window. I am the guy behind those minimum-wage fry cooks and burger-flippers. I am the Fast Food General Manager.

Insanity. Laughs. Quitters. Happy moments. Terminations. Closing time. No common sense. Diamonds in the rough. See the pattern here? Bad, good, bad, good....you get it now. And, this is happening daily! How do I make it? How do I continue along? The pay is only decent at best. Bonus's are not easy to come by (unless your location is in the middle of a crazy good traffic and shopping pattern). I come in to my establishment mostly 6-days a week, working long brutal hours. Sometimes I do not see my kids (ages 10 and 11) for days depending on what shifts I work. My poor wife handles her job and the house too. On top of this we are a one-car family! This is the glamorous life of the fast-food General Manager.

Some might say to "quit it if you are not happy" or to "be happy you have a job" or some other gem. I am very happy to have a job and I do put 110% into it daily. This is what I do. Notice I did not say this was my calling in life. However, no sour grapes. At least not on my fast food menu. I learn to put up with the constant call offs, the ever-changing crew lineup, the new menu changes, the demands from Corporate "upper management." I am a glass "half full" kinda guy. I look at the bright side of most things, and this is definitely one of them.

So, as I peer out the window at 4:50am, wondering if any other late-night eaters will appear, I look toward my home not too far away below the full moon and the twinkling stars, and blow three kisses. One each for my kids, and one for my soul-mate, my loving wife who puts up with this crazy lifestyle.

So, next time you are a little upset about the 3-minute wait in the fast food drive-up line, think of the "other side"....


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    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Fast food is the hardest work there is! I've worked for the railroad, which pays BIG, and it's hardly difficult; but fast food worked my buns off--and paid me peanuts! I appreciate any person working fast food. And let's talk about what a "real job" is: It's the one that pays the bills, whether in a high-rise or a storefront. Kudos to you and thanks for this insightful read.

    • Shadesbreath profile image

      Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

      A very humanizing story, and one that points out what many people don't stop to think about (especially teens)... the actual people working at the restaurants, and in retail in general (I spent 8 or so years in retail--I know where you are coming from). Good start to your Hub writing enterprise. Welcome to HP.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 5 years ago from Southern Spain

      I like your hub, saw you in the forums ! I work in Coles & people often don't think of the worker as a person .One day you will use your experience to be in a position that will suit you and your wife more.