My Time as a Team Member (The McDonald’s Story – Part 1)

I mentioned that my job at McDonald’s was another story, and…well here it is. But I’m thinking of sectioning it off into sequels and stuff, because the more I think about my time there, the more memories come back. Well we’ll just see how it goes!

While I was in college, I applied for a job at McDonald’s. Not my proudest moment, but I did it. I filled out an application and almost right away was set up for an interview. The interview was a blur except that I made a casual remark about something and it made my interviewer snicker. Not sure if that’s what really got me the job or maybe it was that she saw I was in college and was yearning for a job that prepared me for the beautiful, good, bad, desperate, ugly and downright bastardly sides of society. It was a potpouri!

Well  I got the job! Woot! I was trained most of the time by an awesomely patient woman who had been there too long. She said I’d be able to follow her around like a puppy dog for the first day, but then she’d supervise me while I was on my own. I credit her, of all the other managers, for training me to be the most effective worker I could be. I saw her last year at a festival and we recognized each other almost right away. Once we did, we hugged. She rocks.

Anyway! Yeah, she trained me well. Stuff like:

  • When I don’t have a customer, fill the bins with nugget sauce and keep the straw bins supplied
  • Prepare all sizes of fry orders during a lunch or dinner rush to assist coworkers and yourself
  • Help a coworker by gathering food the customer ordered
  • Wipe off the counters with a clean cloth
  • Sanitize  hands for the bazillionth time

I remember being trained to close and open the restaurant (with help). I loved closing because I was a night owl. Opening was a different story. I think we had to open at either 5:30 or 6:0oam. Didn’t matter, those are not good times for me. Smells attack me differently at that time. I don’t want to smell anything remotely bad (like grease and fish) at 5:30 or 6am. But the good side was that, while the late shift was arriving, I was leaving. The bad side was that on my first day of morning shift, I was trained by someone different. Not the patient, tactful woman I had respected, but an older, bitter, smart assy woman who knew all the regulars. Not that knowing the regular customers was a bad thing. But the bitter part was. I remember her making snarky little comments when I’d forget stuff, and then while serving a customer her age I messed up. The guy, who looked intimidating because it looked like he had a perpetual frown,  asked my trainer, “Why are you here so early?” As if on cue, that’s when I messed up and my trainer pointed to me and said, “That’s why I’m working so early.” Never forgot that, obviously.

I got to know some really fun people while working there.  I met all sorts of age groups. From the minors who were prohibited by law to enter the walk-in freezer, prepare the fries or…drive.., to the senior citizens who weren’t quite sure how to operate the headset for drive-thru. Then there were a few college-age students like me; two assistant managers and a few coworkers. Once we got to know each other, it was even more fun. We went bowling one night after we closed the restaurant, and one of our open-minded managers showed me her pack of pornographic playing cards. Awesome.

More tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “My Time as a Team Member (The McDonald’s Story – Part 1)

  1. I luv your stories. Sounds like you had some fun and not so fun experiences. Still, you look back and laugh about it now. There’s always a mean, bitter, ugly coworker no matter where anyone works–I wonder if they teach human resources to hire at least one disgruntled, crabby worker.

    But that’s so great you had a great person orientate you the first day. Those were some great tips she taught you, and some are applicable to life. That’s so cool you met her again later.

    I can’t imagine working at McDonald’s; I’d be too busy eating Big Macs to do any work!

  2. I can’t wait to hear more about your McDonalds experiences. They are somewhat similar to my Del Taco ones :-) I remember that working the closing shift was often quite festive feeling once it got late enough.

  3. Eros: I’m thinking it’s like a reality show. They like to cause some friction within the show so they hire people who will stir things up. It’s just too bad we can’t vote someone “off the island”.

    Yeah, my trainer was great. She taught me well and then once I had more experience, I trained others the way she trained me.

    Oh and everyday around lunch I would tell myself that this time I would order a salad. Then I’d walk by the area where they were heating bacon and I’d wind up getting bacon cheeseburger.

    Churlita: Yes, the strange people were all over the place – customers, coworkers, managers. They were everywhere.

    Laura B.: You should write about your experience at Del Taco! Working the closing shift could be so much fun sometimes.

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