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(Mother Nature Network)   Five life lessons learned by working at McDonald's. Ignoring the mumbling homeless guy urinating in a corner not included   ( divider line
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7889 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Sep 2012 at 4:05 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-09-20 02:58:10 AM  
1 - 5, people suck. Have the least amount of communication possible and never make direct eye contact.
2012-09-20 03:52:45 AM  
6. If you're the person assigned to clean tables in the dining room, the best place to hang out is at the utility closet near the restrooms. The manager typically doesn't look back there, and you can go wipe the same two tables nearest to the restrooms over and over again, and then return to the utility closet to pretend to forage for supplies. Developing this "goofing off and avoiding work in plain sight" talent will help you get away with all kinds of stuff later in life.
2012-09-20 04:00:47 AM  
7. Social skills are very important. When there are lots of people standing in your cashier line, you can turn your back to them and just chat with your friends who are goofing off back in the kitchen. Developing this type of comradery with the people who really matter while ignoring those who are just going to ask you to do your job will help you balance out work and leisure later in life.
2012-09-20 04:03:27 AM  
8. It is important that you get used to being chewed out and belittled in front of the customers by your teen-aged swing manager. This will prepare you for being chewed out belittled by your bosses in your career of choice after graduating from college.
2012-09-20 04:09:07 AM  
Teets. That must have been a fun last name in junior high.
2012-09-20 04:10:33 AM  

2012-09-20 04:10:57 AM  
9. Self-control and discipline are very important. When a customer walks up to the counter, just stand there and don't say a thing until the customer has spoken to you first. If you can master this during lunch rush in the busiest McDonald's in your town, you will have the customer service skills necessary to work in almost any civil service job in the country.
2012-09-20 04:13:44 AM  
-if you throw chicken nuggets onto a clam-shell grill you get a tasty flat crunchy chicken treat

-any damn fool can cook that simplistic crap

-you can save food in the heat bin for the drive through and they are back on the interstate before they realize that their filet o'fish is three hours old

-most importantly, you want to get an education or suck off truckers instead of ever ever working at mcdonald's ever again

fark that clown and his freaky minions
2012-09-20 04:19:58 AM  
10. Cleanliness is important, and so is reducing waste in our landfills. Be sure to wear the same plastic gloves for your entire shift, no matter what kinds of side jobs you're asked to do in between helping out with food prep. Learning this kind of environmental stewardship early on will help you be a responsible citizen of the planet for the rest of your life.
2012-09-20 04:23:03 AM  
11. The Five Second Rule applies not only to fast food, but to a lot of life's little whoopsies.
2012-09-20 04:25:02 AM  

Fark Me To Tears: 10. Cleanliness is important, and so is reducing waste in our landfills. Be sure to wear the same plastic gloves for your entire shift, no matter what kinds of side jobs you're asked to do in between helping out with food prep. Learning this kind of environmental stewardship early on will help you be a responsible citizen of the planet for the rest of your life.

they made you wear plastic gloves? gross. i liked to fondle people's food with my bare hands. yes, yes I did.
2012-09-20 04:28:18 AM  
Long ago I read an article something about "Parents, keep your kids out of fast food" but I haven't been able to find it since.

/also Teets, or GTFO
2012-09-20 04:29:40 AM  
-the best place to fark around with the girl in the drive through is on top of the boxes of lettuce in the walk-in
2012-09-20 04:33:09 AM  
12. Proper off-hours cashier training is a waste of time, especially when your job requires you to interface with the public in a high-pressure work environment. Learn-by-doing is the way to go in your work life. So what if you don't know what you're doing? You can always stop and ask your co-worker or your supervisor questions and just fake your way through it. Mastering this skill will allow you to work as a manager in just about any IT shop in the civilized world.
2012-09-20 04:38:11 AM  
13. Pencil-whipping paperwork, like walk-in refrigerator inventories and restroom cleaning logs, is a skill that will carry you far in a lot of careers.
2012-09-20 04:39:37 AM  
14. Children can be bribed with Happy Meals. This is important to learn for your own turn at being a parent.
2012-09-20 04:46:53 AM  
15 (this is my final one -- I promise). Work only as hard as you need to keep from getting fired. If you're a cashier and you ring up twice as many sales as the other cashiers during lunch, all you're going to do is piss off your co-workers because you made them look bad. And for all that additional effort, you're not going to get paid one cent more. This is definitely a lesson that you can take into your professional life.
2012-09-20 05:03:07 AM

"Porch Monkey" MIGHT be a racist term.
2012-09-20 05:23:10 AM  
1. That fry smell will never come out of your clothing. Never. It will also haunt your nightmares from now until the end of time. Years from now, long after you've finished off paying your college loans and are relaxing in the silk-sheeted elegance of your 87-room mansion, you'll still find yourself waking up in cold sweats, the stench of Grade-Z Circus Animal grease wafting in your nostrils.

2. Become good at sports. If the boss has to let somebody go, it's not going to be the star of the restaurant softball team, no matter how much of a shiftless layabout he might be. He'll let one of the tubby kids go.

3. If you just joined the staff and are sent out into the dining room to water the plants, they're probably fake. The guffawing co-workers who sent you out there watercan in hand, will no doubt think this is the funniest joke ever, even funnier than anything Larry the Cable Guy has produced. If you find yourself laughing at this kind of humor, just do the world a favor and throw yourself into the deep fat fryer now.

4. Forget management. Managers might make a whole dollar fifty an hour more than you, but they also work twice as hard. If you do twice the work of the average employee and aren't getting twice the pay, you might want to redirect your career path into something less taxing.
2012-09-20 05:31:05 AM  
6. With skill you can turn a 10 minute job such as taking out the trash or flattening all the cardboard into Hour+ tasks, including multiple cigarette breaks.
7. Avoid emptying the grease trap at all costs.
8. Washing your clothes with dish soap will get all of the grease out, But:
9. You can pop open the office supply closet with a spatula and its pretty easy to steal a clean uniform before every shift.
10. Its a shiat job for shiat pay so don't stress over it.
11. Handing food out the drive thru is the easiest job, befriend/bribe the shift manager and get that position as often as possible.
2012-09-20 05:52:45 AM  
While in school I had a job in a tool & die assembling the same part 500 to 5000 times a day (depending on which part I was assigned that day). I learned to disassociate, go away, and still perform my job. Now that I'm serving a life sentence in corporate America this skill gets me through the day. Designing a weld fixture, sitting in a planning meeting, or writing a procedure I'm getting the job done all the while I'm in my happy place.

/don't ask about my happy place some might find it disturbing all will find it NSFW
2012-09-20 06:16:34 AM  
Interesting piece, although I suspect that the guy who grew up on a family ranch already had a pretty good work ethic.
2012-09-20 06:50:01 AM  
Worked at McD's full-time for two years in high school, so I'm getting a kick, etc. (always wanted to say that!) Mostly hard, thankless work.

Probably my best story is the time the milkshake machine broke -- it stopped working and a grey ooze started coming out of a joint in the metal. Closer inspection revealed it to be writhing maggots stuck together in filth. Whole machine was full of them; the guys who were supposed to be cleaning it hadn't in weeks. They were coming out of joints in the front panel and the spout, in front of a line of customers; we just kept rinsing them off the machine with hot water from the coffee machine and hoped no one noticed. The managers threatened to fire us if we told anyone.

\ Should have told people anyway, but I was young, go figure
\\ Never get the milkshakes
2012-09-20 07:04:33 AM  
"This is as far as some people are going in life."

Not kidding about that. I worked at McD's when I was in high school and, a few months after I started, the store manager took me aside to explain why he wasn't going to offer me a shift manager position. "We both know you're not going to make a career of this. But this is it for Tina."
2012-09-20 07:05:28 AM  
Glad I never had to work a fast food job, but working retail isn't much better. I fix robots now so I dont have to deal with people
2012-09-20 07:46:24 AM  
McDonald's Fun Facts: 1 in 8 Americans have been employed by McDonalds. They are the largest distributor of toys in the world. 88% of the world can recognize the arches symbolize the restaurant while only 54% recognize a cross as a christian symbol. Americans alone annually consume one billion pounds of beef at McDonald's. McDonald's sells more than 75 hamburgers every second. McDonald's feed 68 million people per day, about 1 percent of the world's population.
2012-09-20 07:59:12 AM

2012-09-20 08:16:28 AM  
I actually enjoyed my year working at McDonalds. I was treated well, given 5 raises and increasing responsibility. Sure, one of the managers was a complete A--hole. He was always looking for some oppurtunity to suck up to the owner, so when he would close, he insisted on doing a bunch of extra cleaning tasks like pulling out the grills and cleaning behind them, etc. That stuff is fine on a weeknight when it's not busy and you can get a head start. There were a couple of times that the monring crew came in to open and we were still there. Of course, he was also hyper paranoid about being robbed, which was funny. I would have continued to work there through college, but I decided to move closer to campus and I didn't own a car.
2012-09-20 08:47:06 AM  

gadian: 1 - 5, people suck. Have the least amount of communication possible and never make direct eye contact.

Yeh pretty much. This is all great if you're dedicated and a Buddhist trying to reach zen or something; but the average McDonalds employee is more like a union worker.
2012-09-20 10:35:22 AM  
Heh you can't get a fast food job in my area without being fluent in spanish. English appears to be optional though.

And every mcdonalds I ever went into appears to be run like a british navy ship. The wendy's however has employees who don't bother masking the fact that they hate you for walking in and making them think about something other than themselves.
2012-09-20 03:54:32 PM  
"If you've got time to lean, you've got time to clean." I went on to work many, many years in actual kitchens and I tormented many a minion with this gem. You can't argue with it. I also leaned how to sweep the right way. Menial? Yes. Valuable? Definitely.
2012-09-20 05:54:35 PM  
I went through a Bojangles drive through one time and the voice comes over the speaker and asks "What yo biscuit is?"
2012-09-20 08:35:23 PM  
I learned the Five-Second Rule working at McDonald's...
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