Every job I've ever had: part 2.
I suppose I should warn you that I’ve had a lot of jobs. Like a lot, a lot so when I say every, I mean it. For the sake of brevity (and my memory), I’ll lump a few together wherever I can and spare you all the gory details. At this point, we’re early on in my journey, like finally old enough to get on the books but still needs working papers sort of early. Here we go:
Job #2/3 - Foodservice!
Age at time of employment: 15-ish
Qualifications: friends in high places
Employer: host at a local cafe, crew at McDonald’s
Application process: Cafe, none. McDonald’s, paper forms.
Onboarding: Cafe, I’ll explain. McDonald’s, sad VHS tapes in the break room.
Training: Cafe, job shadowing. McDonald’s, trial by fryer.
Pay rate: $5 cash vs. $5.15 minimum wage
Realizing I had little to no interest in babysitting, I shifted my focus to restaurants almost immediately. I like food, food tastes good. Also, my dad briefly owned a restaurant when I was a kid that I enjoyed hanging out at — you know, standard teenage logic. So when my friend, Felicia, told me that the cafe she worked at was looking for another host, I jumped at the opportunity. I worked one day, for seven hours, and never got paid the $35 I earned. The owner sucked and spent most of his time screaming at the staff (hence the immediate need). Hard pass on him, but I did enjoy the hustle and being on my feet - and luckily, my birthday was just around the corner.
Shortly after hitting the big 1-5, another friend, Malinda, went to get a job at McDonald’s. Despite going to different high schools, we shared the same golden arches so right after she started, I followed suit. At the time, 99 percent of the staff was under 25 and just looking for a paycheck, so mostly we goofed off, ate fries and pickles by the handful and concocted disgusting things to drink at the soda fountain. We also had to hustle, keep up with demand and not fuck anything up too badly. I vaguely remember that drive-thru orders were supposed to be completed within 90 seconds — baby’s first KPIs.
Ultimately, those days were short-lived too, primarily because the pay sucked and I had trouble finding rides after school. My neighbor usually took me, and once her daughter turned 15, I opted to leave fast food and follow her into retail (shudder), so we could carpool. More on that next time.
Image from NJ.com (note: not where I worked).