By Kevin Baxter, ’10, Contributor
This past summer I worked at my local McDonald’s. Actually, it was my second summer working there. I ended up there again this summer because my parents said I needed a job, I already knew the ropes, and I was too lazy to find anything else.
A major reason that I chose to go back to McD’s this summer was because my coworkers and the managers were nice and almost all of them had a sense of humor. I figured I was pretty lucky to find such a relaxed atmosphere working at a minimum wage occupation.
In my three-month job this past summer, I had many duties. Since I was one of the more experienced employees (the turnover rate at McD’s is high), one of my jobs was to help train the new hires. Other responsibilities included taking orders, preparing the food, and cleaning.
Another plus was that I was able to practice my Spanish on an almost daily basis. About a third of the employees were Mexican, so there were plenty of opportunities. I probably knew the most Spanish out of the non-Mexicans, so needless to say, I became the unofficial translator.
On average, I worked about 30 hours per week from the first week of June up to the week before school started (except for the week my family went to South Carolina). My shifts would range anywhere from 11 a.m. to midnight. Usually, I had an eight-hour shift somewhere in that time frame. Sometimes, I was lucky enough to pull a 5- or 6-hour shift, but that did not happen often.
I have more than a few interesting stories to share from this summer. For instance, I noticed an alarmingly large number of customers ordering things like frosties, blizzards, baked potatoes, and various other items available elsewhere but not at McD’s. I once got yelled at by a drive-through customer for not giving him his coffee without a lid on it. I think he enjoys painful burns. Oh, and I managed to accept a counterfeit $10 bill on one occasion. I must have been asleep or something, because when one of the managers showed it to me later, it looked nothing like a $10 bill. We just laughed about it, and I gave him 10 bucks from my wallet. I did not even know there were counterfeit bills in Loveland, Ohio, but whatever. At least it was not a $100 bill.
Bottom line, although I know it is not the most attractive occupation or summer experience, I think working at a place like McDonald’s is worthwhile—it’s a good first job because you get the work experience, and it is not a big deal if you screw up.