May 9, 2012 - May 18, 2014
R.I.P. MY WORK SHOES
|My shoes that I wore at work for two years! Slip-resistant was a great choice.|
On my first day of working at McDonald's, I was a nervous and anxiety-ridden lump of confusion. Prior to this day, I had been told to watch four hours worth of videos - my orientation. If they expected all of this knowledge gained through the videos to come to full fruition immediately my first day, they would be sorely disappointed. I had never worked with the operating system for taking orders before, and customers were sometimes impatient with me. I accidentally put in an order for a McDouble when a man had actually ordered a Daily Double. I was clueless.
The worst part of that first day came in the form of a manager, whom I will call Mister L. So Mister L made sure to let me know just how stupid I should feel for not understanding how everything worked in the restaurant immediately. He talked to me like how an impatient parent would regard a toddler who is trying to learn something new. Over the next few weeks I came to learn that he regards most of the crew like this, and so I tried to minimize interacting with him as much as possible. He ended up transferring to a different McDonald's, but I will never forget how much more alone and lost I felt that day because of the way he treated me.
Over time, I got used to my job. The managers quickly noticed that I was really good at working the first window in the drive-thru. I was able to take orders and money at the same time with great speed, so they decided to keep me there. I was never trained to do anything else after that point, and I quickly became bored with the repetitive tasks.
However, there was something quite amazing about working at the window. I had a great view of some trees and the sky, and every person that came through was another chance to overcome my social anxiety. It got to the point that I wasn't so scared of people anymore, even with the occasional person being rude to me. When it comes to working on "people skills", working at a fast food restaurant can be a startling yet significant help.
Over the two year span of being a McDonald's employee, a lot of days kind of merged together. Especially when so much of what I do involves repetition. A few things stand out in my mind, however.
I got hit on so many times my first summer working there. If you're young and even remotely cute, this somehow makes you prime territory for the men who think it's suave to ask for your number while you're on the clock. One guy even asked if I was wearing a bra. It turned out that there was a slit that my chest was visible through, of which I did not know about. From that point on I always wore an undershirt.
I'll never forget the time when this older woman drove up to my window in the drive-thru to pay for her meal, and then handed me a $100 bill separately. She told me, "Use this to pay for the next $100 worth of meals." So I did. Every time I told someone that their meal had been paid for, I received a variety of responses. Some were instantly grateful and pleasantly surprised. Others were suspicious and thought it was a joke. Either way, they got their meal paid for.
Though it wasn't all fun, I will fondly remember working at McDonald's. I was good at my job, and I tried to be the best employee I could be. I liked the diversity of the crew, and I also had exposure to cultures different from my own. I left on good terms - my boss told me that I always have a place there if I ever want to come back.
I've been at my new job now for a week! It's so different from working at McDonald's that I can't even begin to count the ways. That's for another post and another time.