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Ever work at McDonald's?


therese
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Then I took a job, which I had throughout my junior spring, that summer, and my senior fall, at Friendly's, an ice cream and luncheonette chain here in New England

Yum, Friendly's. We actually have one here in Toledo, though it is filthy.

Friendly's was always a special treat for us. I went to sleepaway camp, and us lifers (the kids that were there for eight weeks) got a lifer's night out at the end of the summer. Dinner in the parking lot of Friendly's and a movie. The year I remember most fondly was the one that featured E.T. :biggrin:

I seem to recall a funny name for the shakes at Friendly's. What are they called??

FRIBBLE

I worked at The local BK for over a year we used to deep fry anything that didnt move it was during the salad bar time so we had a lot to deep fry :blink:

I think the Fav snack ended up being an onion ring, pickle slice 1/4 slice of cheese run through the broiler.

One of the rather large guys put a small female employee on top of a stack of boxes in the freezer once, then we got a rush and he forgot her up there :sad:

manager used to do the bump and grind to all the girls then get us beer after work and let us play quarters in the dining room....he is a Detective in town now

oh well it was 20 yrs ago

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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My first real job (started on my 16th birthday) was night shift in a Gino's in Newark, Delaware in 1976. Fast food burgers and fries plus Kentucky Fried Chicken. Paid the princely sum of $2.05/hour. Meals were provided (burger, fries, drink or 2 pieces chicken, fries, drink). KFC seasoning mix came in premeasured bags that you mixed with 25 pounds of flour. No ingredient lists of the Colonel's secret recipe!

Cooking the KFC was demanding, hard, greasy work and brutally hot in the summer since we used old timey pressure cookers. You had to wear these polyester shirts (red with blue zippered "V" at the neck) and they accentuated the heat. Cleanliness was important, the chicken room was scrubbed down nightly as it was the greasiest spot. Behind the counter in the burgers and fries area was a lot less hot and greasy, scrubbed down every other day.

The grease rotation was interesting. 50 pound blocks of shortening (animal/vegetable combination in those days) were started in the french fry vats. The oil was run through a filter once a day. When it got too dark to cook fries, it went to the crispy chicken vats, open vats where the extra crispy (twice dunked and breaded) chicken was cooked. When it got too dark for crispy chicken it went to the vats that held the oil for original KFC, which is cooked under pressure and served much darker brown. We were the last KFC cooking outlet in Delaware to use actual pressure cookers on a gas range instead of free standing vats with hinged lids. Each pot held 18 pieces, or 2 whole chickens (KFC cut their breasts in to 3 pieces instead of two)

It was a fun job, the night shift was almost all high school kids with a manager who was usually early to mid 20s. Things got pretty crazy after closing with hot water high pressure hose attacks and such. You haven't lived until you've had a KFC fight in the parking lot at 1 AM (a fried chicken thigh makes a very satisfying splat on a car window). Hey they're gonna throw it away anyway. Burgers were cooked to order late at night, but the chicken room closed a couple hours early for cleaning, so the manger had to guess how much extra chicken to cook, had leftovers a lot.

We also had special sauce attacks. They had just introduced the heroburger, a rectangular thing that had a Russian dressing type sauce on it. We had sauce guns that dispesed the proper amount. With a hard squeeze, the proper amount could be hurled quite a distance.

The other popular trick was pulled on a worker serving his or her first shift at the french fry vats. When they weren't looking, someone would sneak a handful of drink ice in to the vat which causes a fairly violent bubbling reaction. Everyone else would come running in yelling "What did you DO!!!" "Get the fire extinguisher!!!" "Geez, we can't leave you alone for a minute!" Ah youth.

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Dunkin Donuts for me--I still can't stand donuts or the color pink.  :blink:

I never developed an aversion to McDonald's food, but I have no trouble whatsoever resisting popcorn at the cinema: foul, foul food in every respect. It came in enormous trashbags that we dumped into the warmer before opening for the first show. Butter came in a large plastic jug. God, did I ever hate cleaning out the butter dispenser---fiddly bits that could end up down the drain, and the smell of the butter and the soap...bleah.

I was, fortunately, spared the task of actually popping the corn myself.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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My very first job, aside from random babysitting nights, was at Del Taco, a local California chain. I still remember having to memorize all the prices for the menu, as this was long before computerized cash registers. Food was half price, but any order not claimed within 5 minutes was either tossed or free - so we'd try to give the burrito makers some really strange order that no one would ever want right before break time. They actually made the beans each day, the taco meat as well. Pretty decent stuff for fast food, actually. I still like the occasional bean burrito with red sauce there.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Didn't do fast food, but my first job was in a Wil Wright's ice cream parlor that switched over to selling Bud's ice cream (from San Francisco) shortly after I started, the summer after my junior year of high school. I'd filch nuggets of frozen cookie dough - we baked up Otis Spunkmeyer cookies fairly regularly in addition to the ice cream. I burned my fingers making waffle cones too many times to count. I worked there all through senior year of high school, often doing my homework in the back, just out of the customer's view, frequently alone the whole night, even closing alone. A big night was being able to run next door to the Mongolian BBQ place and spend $5 on a full dinner instead of just rice and egg rolls. Not too many hijinks, since I so often worked alone, and the owner/manager always kind of creeped me out.

But after freshman year of college, I went to work at a busy Häagen-Dazs store in a touristy area. That was where we really got creative and had much more fun. Late at night, we'd occasionally dip a chef's knife in the cassis sorbet and freak each other out - "I cut myself!" or make triple dipped ice cream bars (which we were hand-dipping at the time). I don't think we officially got any discount, though you could go in and one of your friends would scoop you a "single" and fill up a pint cup. My last night there, we had a whipped cream fight after closing, before we started cleaning.

Aaaah, memories... :smile:

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

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H Salt Fish and Chips for me (I was 15, and was hired with a friend of mine). We had to wear double knit polyester sailor outfits (and sailor hats). My dad always wanted me to bring home the leftover fried shrimp. We were right next door to a KFC- they often wanted to trade food with us (I have never liked fried chicken).

During college- I worked in a frozen yogurt shop (and concessions at the football games- you learned to add and make change really fast!). The yogurt shop made me very popular in the dorm...

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One of my first jobs was as a car hop at an A & W. Short skirt, white go-go boots but no roller skates. Great tips but carrying those trays of heavy glass mugs filled with root beer deserved them. God this makes me feel old when I remember hanging those trays on the window. Long before drive thru's. Papa, Mama & Baby burgers. Used to make my own Baby burgers with pickles, bacon, cheese & lettuce. Quart sized root beer floats.

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Oh my, I think I have trumped EVERYBODY. I was the FIRST "Burger Chef" hostess (that I know of). The man who owned all the Burger Chef franchises in town--El Paso, Texas--lived on our street and when we had a Memorial Day block party, I asked him for a job. I had just graduated from High School (class of 1969, if you must know). He put me to work right away and why not? The job paid $1 an hour. You read that right--one lousy dollar. AND I had to work a split shift. I worked the lunch rush and the dinner rush--SEVEN DAYS A WEEK with no overtime and, God knows, no benefits. I was called a "Daisy Girl" and had a special smock which was a gold colored cotton with daisy appliques around the hem. He thought there would be a lot of publicity for this. Eventually, there actually was national promotion for their "hostesses," but that came later before the entire company disappeared under circumstances I never cared to investigate. After three months, I got a raise to a whole $1.10 an hour, because I actually got the purpose of the position, but I started college and wasn't interested. Imagine that!

Needless to say, I couldn't eat hamburgers at all for YEARS after that experience. McDonalds was just coming into the market and everybody thought they were so much better. :wacko: I still think fast food sucks really bad (except for Popeyes fried chicken--I am the middle-aged lady who gets a single spicy chicken breast to go when I walk home with my purchases from the Safeway. This is an inner-city neighborhood with an extremely "diverse" population. I stand out like a sore thumb and the Korean proprietor always looks at me with amazement). :laugh::laugh::laugh:

I'm just happy I don't have to work there.

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I worked in a McDonald's in my hometown, Nyack NY, for all of two weeks one summer--I think it was between my junior and senior years of high school, which would make it 1974. It was a little dinky McD's directly across the street from a New York State Thruway entrance--the very same entrance, by the way, where in 1981 a bunch of heavily armed robbers who had just knocked off a Brink's armored car would have a bloody shootout with local cops that would make the national news.

I witnessed no shootouts during my two weeks of wearing an icky polyester uniform and working the counter at this McD's--but I did have the dubious pleasure of being on duty when a schoolbusload of kids returning from a field trip rolled right off the Thruway and up to my register. Damn, every single one of those kids had to place their own order, and then the chaperones were going to pay for the whole lot at the end--thankfully, even though I knew for-sure that my count went off somewhere in there, nobody called me on it.

There was zero cameraderie at this joint, and a generally stingy distrustful attitude on the part of management--minimum wage, and yeah you got a free meal if you worked a sufficiently-long shift, but they actually put restrictions on what meals you could get free (i.e. none of the pricier burger things). When a better job I had been hoping for came through, I happily turned in my little plastic blue sailor-suity-looking outfit and ran away.

Now, the summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college, that was a whole different story--got a job washing dishes in a for-real restaurant with, like, an actual French chef and everything--but that's a tale for a different topic. :smile:

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McDonald's was my first full time job out of college. Nope, I wasn't a Liberal Arts grad majoring in English literature.

I worked new products for McDonald's. Black sheep of the Cornell Hotel School. First grad to go into the fast food industry.

Was in on the most successful fast food new product ever introduced, the Big Mac. Came up it's packaging that kept it from being crushed in the bag and was in charge of scheduling its national introduction. Also helped develop McDonald's frozen hamburger patties and proved McDonald's couldn't sell roast beef sandwiches of fried chicken. Worked on the original McNuggets though they hadn't been named at that time. Ours were not the "pre-chewed" version McDonald's came out with - but chuncks of chicken breast battered and fried. Ray Kroc would never have permitted the McNuggets as introduced by McD's.

As I've said elsewhere on eGullet, I love the McDonald's of the 60's and 70's and hate the McDonald's of today. Back then some franchisees would only hire teens with A averages. The position of respect was the grill man who cooked runs of 12 patties at a time - the great grill men flipping patties four at a time, a spatula in each hand. Quality, service and cleanliness meant something. And the menu was sufficiently limited that everything was fresh and when the place was hopping, pretty much cooked to order - nothing older than a few minutes if that.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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"Cheese on four Quarters?"

"Cheese on four Quarters is two, please."

"Cheese two Quarters. Thank you."

Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday, though actually it was . . . eek! 25 years ago. I worked at McDonald's in Boise, Idaho during my last two years of high school. That happened to be the time when McNuggets were first being introduced, and they were all the rage. I ate more than my share of them using my half-price employee discount--I don't think they offer the honey mustard dipping sauce anymore, but that was my favorite.

Happy Meals were also relatively new, as I recall. We had one promotion where the HM's came in a plastic spaceship, rather than a cardboard box, but the top and bottom of the spaceship would not snap together once the food was inside, and my boss insisted that we could not just put the food on a tray and hand the kid a spaceship. "That's not Mickey Style," he said.

The store where I worked was very clean, and I often had to do lobby cleanup (almost always a girl's job, because the guys had to do grill cleanup after closing.) Trust me, there is no worse smell on earth than a trashbag full of McDonald's food that's been ripening for half an hour or more. And then those bags had to be transported out back, to the dumpster, where other bags had been ripening in the sun all day . . .

Not an experience I'd want to repeat, and I'll encourage my own kids to find other kinds of jobs, but I did learn some good lessons there. And when I got a job as a cashier at the university bookstore during grad school, my boss was in awe of my ability to keep a cool head during the hectic periods at the beginning and end of a semester. That was nothing compared to a lunch hour at McD's.

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One of my first jobs was as a car hop at an A & W.  Short skirt, white go-go boots but no roller skates.  Great tips but carrying those trays of heavy glass mugs filled with root beer deserved them.  God this makes me feel old when I remember hanging those trays on the window.  Long before drive thru's.  Papa, Mama & Baby burgers.  Used to make my own Baby burgers with pickles, bacon, cheese & lettuce.  Quart sized root beer floats.

Great memories of eating at A&W. We lived in Keokuk, Iowa at the time, and the A&W was somewhere that required a bit of a drive (though I've no idea how far this really was, as I was pretty young). I always got a chili dog, but then was confronted with a very difficult decision: a regular size root beer or a little tiny root beer? The advantage of the little tiny root beer was that I got to keep the darling little A&W mug, the advantage of the regular size root beer was that I was unlikely to die of either choking or dehydration.

I hated eating in the car, as a chili dog is not a tidy thing to consume, and to this day will eat in a car, moving or not, under only the most extreme conditions.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I've never worked in a fast food place, but my first job was running the snack bar at our town's little amusement park, 48-52 hours per week one summer. The minimum wage at that time was $3.35, but the amusement park owner got away with paying us $2.00 because it was a seasonal job. I always came home smelling like waffle cones, hot dogs, and cotton candy. Mostly cotton candy, because the sugar would stick to my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows. My older sister worked at Taco John's at that time, she always came home smelling like tacos and potato ole's (flat tater tots). Our parents said that the way we smelled made them hungry.

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Hey, watch it. I'm a liberal arts grad and had a double major in English Lit (late 19th century British specifically) and theater. And I haven't found it necessary to work in fast food after graduation.

Publishing firms, advertising agencies, and Capitol Hill non-profits, but not fast food.

Yet.

McDonald's was my first full time job out of college.  Nope, I wasn't a Liberal Arts grad majoring in English literature.

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I did it. I worked at a McDonald's when I was home for the summer during high school. Worked every single job there was in the place, including the *manly* grill during lunch. :wink:

There was a group of us who would close nearly every night, and we became something of a gang. We would hang out after work til 4 or 6 in the morning, do stuff together if we weren't working. One summer we decided to see how fast we could finish the closing duties, and our record time was 12:04. That is, the store closed at 12 midnight and we were finished 4 minutes later. Granted, it was a slowish night and we got a lot done before 12, and we were literally running thru the store, but no one else ever came close to our record.

One of the worst jobs was when the fry vats got empied out and cleaned--that's one thing you don't want to spill, a huge bucket of dirty oil. But! What fun it was to take the huge cube of shortning, or lard, or whatever combination it was, and smoosh it down into the empty vat. Great for soothing dry skin. :biggrin:

A

"I'm not looking at the panties, I'm looking at the vegetables!" --RJZ
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Yum, Friendly's. We actually have one here in Toledo, though it is filthy.

HA! I used to go to that Friendly's all the time when I was in college! My uncle used to MANAGE that Friendly's when HE was in college. From what I gathered from his stories (told from the vantage point of 20 years later and through the generally hazy memories of the late 70s) it didn't sound like it was much better then.

editted to add: Oh. On topic. Never worked fast food, but I did work at Chili's for 2 years when it first opened out at the mall in Toledo. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot (surprisingly) but man did my clothes reek of cigarettes (I didn't smoke) and frying oil.

Edited by jglazer75 (log)
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Yep, 3 summers (and winter breaks) in high school. It was the closest place to home. I usually worked opening 5-1:30. Lots of mellow senior citizens the first few hours and after lunch rush it was almost time to go home. I mostly worked drive thru although a little bit of everything. The only breakfast item I can't stand is the sausages. Just the smell and how much more white than meat they were-- I didn't eat red meat for almost 10 years after working there.

My favorite job was putting together the milkshake/soft serve machine in the mornings. The blades, the O-ring... I wonder if they're still cleaned everyday? That surprised me. Our site was scrupulously clean most of the time. Once I dropped a whole tray of salad dressing packets on the floor and was ordered to throw all 30 or so away. I felt really guilty!

We got free meals- I would never have paid half price. :smile:

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Angela, I closed a handful of times and once had to dump in the huge block- Back then it was half lard and half veg oil. I almost hurled from the smell. I can still remember it. Shortly after that they switched to all veg oil (late 80's). After that I was allowed help the few times the oil needed changing on my shift. :biggrin:

One of the worst jobs was when the fry vats got empied out and cleaned--that's one thing you don't want to spill, a huge bucket of dirty oil.  But!  What fun it was to take the huge cube of shortning, or lard, or whatever combination it was, and smoosh it down into the empty vat.  Great for soothing dry skin.  :biggrin:

A

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Oh my, I think I have trumped EVERYBODY. I was the FIRST "Burger Chef" hostess (that I know of)

I LOVED Burger Chef!!! I can still see the 3 layers of bread and sesame top, best burger EVER!

What did happen to them? I knew the guy who owned the one's here and he made millions on about 5 resturants!

However, I worked for a rival...anyone remember Corky's? Back when Walgreens had grills and counter service they named them Corkys and put them off to one side instead of inside the store like they used to. Good burgers, made them over open flame like Burger King. That's where I learned to core lettuce and do %'s in my head.

I just don't like Mickey D's for some reason. I think I got burned out on them when my oldest was a baby, my youngest has (to my knowledge) never set foot in one!

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My first job was at a family-owned local fried chicken shack in Tulsa; I was there for about four months. I had to ring up orders, wash dishes, clean the dining area and restrooms, refill all the ketchup and honey bottles, and do whatever else the other, older employees were too busy to do. We got meals free and the food was actually pretty good, but one night I slipped and wrenched my knee pretty badly and couldn't work for a few days. I was then let go for supposedly being late, but I suspect they were just afraid I'd try to file workers' comp. (Being 16 and naive, I had no clue about such things, anyway.) They also billed their onion rings as "homemade," but the rings came frozen from a box.

I did think all this was...um, not very nice of them, especially considering that the owners were frequent churchgoers and made sure everybody knew it :hmmm:

For years I couldn't even stand the sight of the place, but after a decade or so had gone by, I drove through and picked up some of their chicken and it tasted the same -- really good, but not necessarily worth the exhorbitantly high prices they were then charging. I have no idea if they're still in business now.

So, given the fact that we're all on eGullet, what do you make of your spending some formative years slingin' burgers and killin' roaches at these places?

Well, I am pickier about fried chicken now :biggrin:

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. -- George Bernard Shaw
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So, given the fact that we're all on eGullet, what do you make of your spending some formative years slingin' burgers and killin' roaches at these places?

I worked at KFC and worked in a fancy French bakery, and believe it or not KFC was much cleaner. :blink:

It was a good experience overall. And I was surprised how much of KFC's product was made in store - biscuits with actual buttermilk, chopping cabbage carrots and onions for the cole slaw, etc. No doubt that's changed since they merged with other stores.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Late one college summer, out of sympathy with a friend who was was looking for company, I got a job at Howard Johnson's. (This was back when the earth's crust was warm.) We both worked the fountain/counter. I'd previously worked as a waitress in a restaurant with white tablecloth pretentions, so it was a hoot to wear a hairnet, wipe down counters and build monstrous ice cream cones and sundaes for friends who happened in. I loved making ice cream sodas, trying to get the foam on the top just right, and then adding a scoop of ice cream with the right amount of "lip" on the edge to stick on the top of the glass.

The management was a joke, and the working atmosphere was pretty dreadful. Helen, a hardboiled old career waitress, was alleged to be involved in an affair with the manager, and so got preferential treatment in terms of shifts and lorded it over the rest of us. There was a perennial and inexplicable shortage of silverware. Billy, one of the cooks, would periodically have a tantrum attack and go into the walk-in, open up a case of canned whipped cream, and snort the nitrous off. When we needed more whipped cream, we'd have to test each can in the walk-in to make sure it had propellent in it - some nights he'd go through an entire case. The delivery truck would slide piles of frozen food through a chute into the freezer. I was amazed to learn that all the food on the menu was frozen. If the kitchen was short-staffed, the food would just sit there in the freezer in a huge heap - we'd have to walk on top of packages of those blueberry muffin things or breaded cutlets to get more ice cream. I can't remember the meal policy, but aside from the ice cream, there wasn't much you'd want to eat after that.

I had a soft spot in my heart for the old folks. One dignified old man would come in and just order a dish of strawberry ice cream. One woman would come in once in a while and order a cup of clam chowder. I always tried to give them the best service, because they were alone and this seemed to be a special treat for them.

I learned one reason why they had pictures of the food on the menu when a carnival set up in a nearby parking lot. The midway workers would come in after they closed down for the night and one guy would order by pointing to the pictures. Before that, I'd never run across an adult who couldn't read.

My friend and I went back to school in the fall. The next year, the place was closed and then morphed into a Friendly's. I never checked to see if Helen was still working there.

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