Whether you opened up your weekend working the McDonald's breakfast shift or headed over to Wendy's every day after school to work until it got dark, a job in fast food is everything but ordinary. Most people who work in fast food experience the same struggles and are able to relate to each other's stories pretty well. Hey, you can't really relate to having the entire contents of a taco thrown at you if you've only ever worked retail, right? Here's 12 lessons I learned working in fast food.
1. A fast food job is nothing like you expected.
As a kid or even an adult, it can look like fast food employees don't do much work and have a lot of time to goof off. Wrong. Fast food is a super demanding job, there's almost no down-time and even if the restaurant isn't busy, there's always something that needs to be done.
2. Your coworkers become your second family.
You're going to spend a lot of time talking about your life and listening to stories about the lives of your coworkers. You'll grow close with them like you would a family member, and they'll see you on your good days and your bad days.
3. Don't mistake sexual harassment for someone 'just being nice'.
If that weird dude you work with is coming on a little bit too strong, don't let him get away with it. Creeps come in all shapes and sizes, and yeah, you might get lucky enough to work with one at Burger King. If you ever felt or feel like someone is sexually harassing you in the workplace, you need to take it to your manager.
4. You will gradually start to hate the food from your store, even if it was once your favorite fast food location.
I absolutely loved Taco Bell, until I worked there and got a 50% discount on food for about 5 months. After 2 years, I would only eat things that I hadn't really tried and they seemed to always taste like everything else. Pro tip: work at a fast food restaurant that you hate.
5. People are so *rude*.
I never realized how little people think of fast food employees until I was one. I had people throw things at me, scream at me, and call me stupid to my face. The disrespect I endured at my job was unreal. Even friends of my parents would come through the drive thru, not recognize me in my uniform, and treat me like I was trash.
6. Fast food jobs are not easy money.
I thought I would have an easy time making money at Taco Bell. Boy, was I wrong. I had to prove that I was worthy of having more than a few hours, and work my butt off to keep them.
7. Everyone has a different story.
So many of the people that I worked with came from a ton of different places in their lives. I helped a lot of my coworkers go through some very tough times. It just proved to me that you truly never know what someone may be going through, so always be as polite as possible to everyone you encounter.
8. Learning an entire menu is actually a lot easier than it sounds.
I know that a menu might seem overwhelming at first, but by the second week of my job, I could remember pretty much everything. It only took going through a few days of the lunch rush to get me there.
9. Even if you've found another job, you can probably still tell someone what comes with any combo meal.
I can't tell you the number of times I've accompanied my friends to Taco Bell and recited the menu to them.
10. People who come through the drive thru with $50+ orders are a special kind of evil.
The drive thru was made for quick and easy orders, people! Take your tomato-hating selves inside!
11. Drive thru in general=super hectic. All of the time.
Not only are there cars on cars on cars, you also have a service time to meet.
12. You can't please everyone.
Not every manager is going to like you no matter how hard you might work, not every customer is going to give you a good survey no matter how nice you are. That's life. Honestly, working in fast food taught me more about life and the way things work than high school did.