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Forgive the shoddy picture quality. It's a picture of a picture in a scrapbook. This was my favorite uniform shirt to wear on Friday nights.
Forgive the shoddy picture quality. It’s a picture of a picture in a scrapbook. This was my favorite uniform shirt to wear on Friday nights.

Those were words that I started speaking at 6am many mornings when I was in high school. At least during the summer and weekends! I’ve had many jobs in my life and besides being a babysitter and a reporter, I’d have to say that working at a McDonald’s was the most fun I’ve ever had on the clock. The customers were mostly great and my coworkers were interesting too. I loved helping people from all walks of life!

All this reminiscing is thanks to a news story interview I did with two brothers who own 34 McDonald’s in the area (will update this blog with the link once it publishes).

I learned a lot at that job and found something I was really good at doing. That McDonald’s back then was trying out a new style of ordering where you order at the first window and pay, then you get your food at the second window. That was my job, I was the face-to-face drive thru person. I was quick, accurate and friendly (but not so much that I held the line up).

Ordering from a person instead of into one of those scratchy little boxes gave more personable service and quite frankly, made it easier to get the order correct because you could hear better and learn to read lips. I’m also amazed at the number of people who would gesture with their fingers what value meal number they wanted!

Most people look down on fast food restaurant jobs but I don’t fully understand why. I get that it’s not executive work, but considering how much people rely on the workers to be accurate, friendly and quick, you would think people would appreciate the employees a little more. I remember when customers would pull my manager aside and make sure he or she knew that I was doing a great job. I remember how much that meant so to this day I try to do the same when I get good service.

I have all kinds of stories I could tell from great customers to scary customers to weird food combinations we tried.

Here’s a few highlights:

  • I always wore a specific shirt on Friday nights because the design on one side made it to where I was allowed to wear my name tag on the side that was away from customers. If I had a creepy customer who tried to flirt with me I could easily hide my name but most customers I would let see my name tag. 
  • Let’s just say that the sundae fudge sauce is freaking fantastic on the cinnamon rolls. Not instead of the white icing. On top of. 
  • There was a customer who lived 20 minutes away but insisted on getting her food at our restaurant. She would special order like 4 happy meals and three adult meals and then come back screaming if one french fry or one sandwich was wrong. Once she threw a double cheeseburger at my head. We never could figure out why she didn’t get the food closer to her house or gee, why not check the order before driving home! 
  • I’m so not a morning person but still loved working the 6 am to 2 pm shift because it gave me a chance to brighten people’s day before they went for work. 
  • I’m 35 years old and worked at a McDonald’s yet I’ve never eaten a Big Mac. At the time I worked there they came out with Junior Big Macs and those were good. They were single patties, single bun with cheese, lettuce and the sauce. 
  • Back then Dr. Pepper wasn’t available at that location. We sold Mr. Pibb. 
  • I volunteered a few times to work the fry machine just so I could shake the baskets. I’m really that easy to amuse.

So what was your favorite job as a teenager? Leave a comment and share!

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I think my favorite job was working at the local public library back in Massachusetts. Originally, I had started out as a volunteer during the summer as part of a program they had for high school students. Later, I was hired to work as an assistant in the Interlibrary Loan office. I really missed that job when the state funding for it was cut. 🙁

  2. My first job was at a McDonalds. I enjoyed it. I see a lot of older people at my nearby McDonalds and I think its great they are working there. I wish the negativity of working in fast food would disappear.

  3. I realize this blog was months ago but I’ve just read it for the first time today. I was being nosy, as well as using it to procrastinate some work I need to finish.
    My first job was at Tastee Freeze, it was somewhat similar to how you described working at McDonalds. You can’t imagine the hardship it was to try the endless combinations of mixing ice cream and candy we had to endure. LOL
    Oh, Greg worked at McDonalds for several years. He was the early morning biscuit maker 🙂

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