First and foremost, I’m just a girl. I also happen to be a girl that is a fast food worker.
Believe it or not, I love my job. It might not be what you think is glamorous, but I deserve respect. Though the job isn’t as hard as my last job was, I work darn hard to be good at it. Respect me and respect my job; it’s an honest living in which I make a check. As much as I love said job, the check helps fund my interests outside of work.
Yes, I do have those. I have more interests, talents, and abilities than simply being able to say “and what drink would you like with that meal?” I have a whole backstory; try talking to me sometime. I know a lot more than you might think I do.
Please say hi to me when you come to the counter instead of just rattling off your order. I know you don’t want to forget it, but take the time to address me. Rattling off orders is for automated systems, not for people.
I live in a uniform with pulls in the shirt, and it’s completed with a “stylish” pair of nonslip shoes. Those shoes bear the stains of spilled shakes, sodas, and condiments; they are as much of a part of my uniform as the shoes themselves.
My hands are dried from continuous washing, and my hands and forearms get sticky from soft drinks or from the remnants of whipped cream or splattered milkshake. Yes, we mix those milkshakes by hand, not with a blender. That’s what makes them so awesome. I also bear battle scars, and don’t know how I got half of them. Fast food is a dangerous job some days, but I get through it all right.
I talk to people all day long, and sometimes see them for less than 3 minutes at a time on average. I have to remember drinks and struggle to hear peoples’ names above the hustle and bustle of the lunch rush. If you don’t think that’s hard, try it sometime. It’s not as hard as it could be, but it’s no cake walk either.
From the time you step to my register, you may think you’re judging me… but trust me, I already know what kind of customer you’ll be before you even breathe a word. I’ll be kind and sweet, and as forgiving and as patient as I can possibly be, while my back shouts that it aches, while I try to remember that I need to refill sweet tea and mix a shake, and while I try to ignore the grumblings of my stomach… and bite my tongue when you don’t feel the need to put your money in my hand.
Even when I worked in retail, this was one thing that annoyed me the most. I’m not behind glass, and it won’t hurt you to actually place your money in my hand, especially if you have the nerve to toss change at me. You might not think it’s rude, but how would you feel if I just tossed your change at you? I suppress this urge many times a day…. because like I said, I like my job, and I would like to keep that job.
When you work in a place with decent food, the wafting aromas are torture… and I’m a girl that’s constantly hungry. I have to silence the voices in my head that are seduced by the smell of the sugar in the drinks, or by the sound of fries going down into the fryer. Fries are my weakness. Thankfully, my pants stay loose. Prayerfully, they’ll stay that way.
I’m not a perfect woman, but I try my best every day. I’m proud to say that I work where I work. I work in fast food, and I live to tell the tale each and every day.
Yes, I do work in fast food, but I also work with people. I also happen to be a person, and hope that you’ll remember that when you speak to me.
Oh, and by the way… I have a name tag for a reason. Take advantage of that sometime.