Sunday, March 2, 2014


Today, while my daughters practice their Irish step dancing in preparation for the St. Patrick's day performances, I find myself making use of the WiFi at McDonald's. It's not the first time I've done this. Starbucks is often too crowded or hipster for me, plus the coffee is cheaper here. This is, however, the first time I've done this at the McDonald's on Nordahl in San Marcos. This is only significant because this is the location of my first official job. And, no, I do not feel nostalgic. In fact, McDonald's occasionally features in my nightmares. If it wasn't for the coffee, good price on drinks, and cheap cones I would probably never patronize a McDonald's again. Seriously, I've seen the how they make nuggets (shudder).

It was a great first job for me. I got to learn to follow rules and focus on people other than myself. I was sixteen and cute, so I worked the counter. We got swamped one night after a movie got out. My shift ended at nine, but there I was at nine thirty frantically taking orders and making fries while my dad's impatience burned hot (I didn't drive -- he was picking me up from work). I told one of the manger-type-guys there that my shift ended, at that point, almost an hour ago and I had to leave. I clocked out and left. The next day a higher manager on the totem pole pulled me aside and gave me a talking to about responsibility and the McDonald's family. She told me that McDonald's counted on me and, since I had true McDonald's potential, I should take my responsibilities seriously. I told her I was sixteen and my shift had ended almost an hour previously and I wasn't sure whether it was illegal or not to work a minor over a certain number of hours. A month later I got a role in the school play and quit.

I don't mean to trash working at McDonald's. For me it was a great start out job. Some people turn it into a career and that's great. I knew when I took the job that it was only serving to add something to my resume. I knew I was going to go to college. I knew my McDonald's potential would translate into a lot of fields that required a smile while you did something unpleasant. Since then I've worked in retail, insurance sales and service, and education. Eventually I look forward to adding 'published author' to that list.

So here I am, more than twenty years later, blogging whilst I sit in a McDonald's that in no way resembled my job sit of yore. My daughters are working on their hop two threes while I work on my fifth novel. The pretty girl behind the counter politely took my order and smiled while she pretended to be interested in the fact that I used to stand in the same place. I wonder where time will take her, what will her McDonald's potential translate into?

Just for fun, in honor of fast food employees, view this drive through prank video:


Erin Kane Spock said...

I did not mean to imply education or writing was unpleasant. That is all.

Erin Kane Spock said... Thank you Jorge S.

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