Odds N Ends and a Wrap-Up (The McDonald’s Story – Part 5)

– Once I had enough experience under my plastic, McDonald’s-issue belt, the managers had me train new recruits. That was kind of fun. I’d take them to the break room and show them the same cheesy video that taught me when I first started. Then I’d show them the laminated keyboard and then take them upstairs to start exposing them to the public, and let the public expose themselves to the newbies..That sounds so wrong.

– The newbies would soon morph into more experienced workers, and one day while we were all scrambling around during a lunch rush, I rushed up to the fry bin to fix my fry order only to find one of my trainees had already set aside my fry order for me. “Thank you!” I said all impressed and grateful. The young guy just smiled, shrugged and said, “You taught me well!” I got chills, I tell ya. I was so proud, like I had raised him myself only without the intense labor pains.

– We were praised for having perfect register drawers, which meant when the managers counted all the drawers at the end of each day and your drawer was the perfect amount, you got a star on a chart. Once you earned enough stars and credits you could get a reward. Slightly childish, but it helped motivate us to be careful when giving back change. I can’t remember all the prizes that were offered, I know I saved up to buy Ronald McDonald earrings. We’d get pins, though, for our shirts. Pins up the wazoo. I still have them, found them late last year! Can’t give those up.

– One of my first nights I must’ve given someone a ten dollar bill back instead of a dollar. Whoever it was didn’t call me on it. The managers called me into the office and told me my drawer was off ten dollars. Being the sensitive flower that I was at the time, I cried because I thought I’d be fired or something. My manager C said everyone has had an imperfect drawer at one time or another while working there. The next time they counted my drawer, the same manager came up to me, put her arm around my neck and said, “Guess what? Perfect drawer. See?” I can’t remember an incident like that happening again after that.

– I said “I love you” to a customer once. Didn’t know his name, he didn’t know mine and he actually started it. A young guy with a car full of his friends pulled up to the drive-thru window to get their meal. It was probably a late, Friday night and everyone was in a good mood. I gave them their order and he said “Thanks Tara (he read my name tag)! I love you!” I waved him off casually and said, “I love you too.” They laughed and drove off.

– One time a car drove through and ordered six Big Macs at around 11:30 at night when we were getting ready to close. We prepared them all only to find out it was a prank and the people drove off laughing without paying.

I could really go on and on about all sorts of things that went on, but frankly I should wrap this up. Eventually after feeling weird that I was the new owner of a college diploma and was still working at a fast food joint, I felt compelled to look for another job. I found one in an office in Downtown Cleveland. When I told my manager at McDonald’s that I was giving my notice, she closed her eyes in not a “Oh I’m so happy for her” but rather like “Who’s gonna work Friday nights now?” expression. She told me eventually that McDonald’s was like a revolving door and that I could always come back. On my last day my coworkers bought me balloons and a farewell card. I was not really sad to leave, it was kind of my time to move on. But once I started the uncomfortable and cold job as a receptionist for a Cleveland CPA, I wished I was right back at the place where “everybody knows your name”. Thankfully I didn’t stay in the CPA office for long and found a job as an office assistant in a much more cheerful place and worked there for about three and a half years before they layed me off. But that is a whole other story.

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9 thoughts on “Odds N Ends and a Wrap-Up (The McDonald’s Story – Part 5)

  1. CyberPete: Some are for perfect drawer, some are related to restaurant promotions and others are miscellaneous things they wanted us to have. I forgot where I put those pins, but I’ll see if I can scan them in somehow!

  2. I once had a guy accidentally pay for a dollar ice cream cone with a hundred dollar bill. I realized it, and didn’t want to embarrass him in front of his friends, so I pulled him aside and let him know what happened and gave him his change. He was so floored that I didn’t just keep the money that he gave me a 10 dollar tip. Pretty nice for a dollar cone.

  3. What a great wrap up!

    To everything
    (Turn, turn, turn)
    There is a season
    (Turn, turn, turn)
    And a time to every purpose
    Under Heaven

    Life’s like that. You grow up, and you move on. It’s natural and scary but necessary. I can totally relate to starting off new and leaving behind all the familiar friends. It’s amazing the things we’ve done when we look back and wonder, how did I do that? And then realize just how amazing we truly are!

    You told your tales quite splendidly! What a great series!

  4. Churlita: It’s always a nice surprise to be rewarded for honesty.

    K_sra: (sniff) It was a nice trip down McDonald’s lane. Now do some exercises and stretches to burn off that cholesterol-infested enrichment. :)

    Laura B.: Aw thanks! :) We definitely met some characters in that place.

    Eroswings: I love that song. I have run into a few people from when I worked there. The “little miss attitude” guy now works at the place my dad used to work! I met him while meeting with an HR rep for MY job! Small, small world.

    And thank you so much for reading my flashbacks! :)

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