Monday, September 17, 2007

McDonald's - I'm Loving It

I am a McDonald’s addict – I confess. I would rather be eating a Big Mac (no pickle – extra cheese) than doing almost anything else in the world.

In fact, I love McDonald’s so much I worked there for over seven years. At the ripe old age of 16 I got my first job at one of the McDonald’s in my hometown of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I was (by most accounts), an excellent employee – and my rate of pay was quickly raised from $3.35 to $3.45 per hour – much to the chagrin of some of my coworkers who had been there longer. My lesbian manager Wendy LOVED me for some reason (I guess she recognized I was a Queen in Training) – as did most of the managers who followed. I must say I worked really hard, and took great pride in my job.

Later, when McDonald’s started serving buttermilk biscuits, I was the first one trained at my restaurant to make them. Yes, at the time we made those bitches from scratch (now they come pre-made), and you had to ARRIVE at 4:30 am to start making them. I can’t tell you how many times I was still drunk when I started throwing biscuit mix and buttermilk together in that big stainless steel bowl.

When I went to college at Penn State, one of the first things I did was walk across College Avenue and apply at the local Micky D’s. I needed spending money, and I didn’t feel like having to learn a new job. I was hired immediately (thanks Beth!) and I worked my way up from Crew Person, to Crew Trainer, to Crew Chief, to Swing Manager. For a couple of years I was the only male night manager on Saturday nights – and you can imagine what kind of condition a “college town” crowd is in when the bars close on a Saturday night. In fact, many times I had to act as bouncer – and I even beat the shit out of some drunk who had punched my friend Gerry (a fellow manager). To this day her brothers still speak highly of me for “protecting” their sister. I felt SO fucking butch!

I’m sure the fact that my first job was at McDonald’s is the reason why I still work in the restaurant industry to this day. It was an excellent way to prepare for life – I learned how to deal with people, the importance of being on time, about costs, and about hospitality in general. In fact, one of my managers said he thought EVERY kid should work at McDonald’s – and I totally agree.

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