Friday, May 27, 2011

I loved my job at McDonald’s

It offered free uniforms, on-the-job training, and a complimentary pop whenever I wandered in – beat that! They said in my first training session, I guess to help us keep our dignity, that 25% of the adult population had worked for McDonald’s at some point in their lives. Believe it or not, I could see why. Some days I’d like to go back.

During my year and a half at Mickey D’s, when I was outside the restaurant, I was an overachieving high school junior. My days were packed from dawn to dusk with Student Council, S.A.D.D., National Honor Society, Tennis, choir, College Prep classes, and even a social life; yes, it lasted only one year, but I had one in 11th grade. Going to McDonald’s for a three hour shift was better stress relief than stopping for yoga, because it paid. It was wonderful to have a few hours to myself, where I could put on the cruise control and be occupied with busywork.

Unlike outside life, McDonald’s provided clear, streamlined, efficiency. There were simple routines to follow for collecting the food items, making change, even stocking ketchup. There was nothing to second guess, no extra points for creativity. Everything I cooked had a beeper that alerted me when it had reached perfection and no one expected more of me than 30 seconds of my undivided attention to punch in their order accurately. Just by offering a smile or a friendly, clear tone of voice over the drive thru speaker, my shift would be cluttered with compliments from pleased customers.

Most of my life since McDonald’s has required a lot more of me. I have to interact with people who have ambiguous motivations. I have to juggle my personal life with ministry, which can often create very blurred lines. From establishing appropriate clothing each morning based on my kids’ hot or cold tolerances and the forecast, to answering the 10pm call from a nervous grandmother who needs reassurance that her grandchild will enjoy children’s church, life keeps me on my toes. Very rarely do I actually know what someone wants from me, can I give them exactly what they want, or will they commend me for just being kind to them during the exchange. Nor am I always as kind as I was in the drive-thru.

Let’s face it, McDonald’s is a wonderland that does not exist in real life. If only it didn’t make you fat.

We don't want anyone to find fault with our work, and so we try hard not to cause problems. 2 Corinthians 6:3

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