Since I was entering college my parents strongly encouraged me to get a job over the summer so I could have spending money while away from home. After about 30 job applications and many a tears about imagining myself as a broke college student, the lucky establishment that decided to hire me was a fast food chain that specializes in chicken strips and wings. You guessed right, it was Zaxby’s, everyone’s favorite place to get fried pickles and nibblers—but me.
The irony of the situation of having to eat at one of the fast food restaurants that you really don’t care for is grand, but being a young adult who needed money I took it and tried really hard to go into it with an oped mind.
I quickly sunk back into my chair of reality. I was tired, annoyed and anxious after the first week, but also feeling helpful and slightly richer.
Here are 10 highlight moments any fast food employee could relate to.
1. When coworkers steal food.
This might be an actual thing that every employee at a fast food restaurant does, but after my manager told me not to steal a chicken strip because it was not worth it, I got low-key offended for him to assume I would. To prove his judgment wrong I didn’t, but I watched countless coworkers eat cheesy bites and chicken strips.
2. Being better at the job than people who have been there longer than you.
How can a person make that much of a mess making a milkshake? They don’t think about putting on the dome top before they blend the shake…come on.
3. Drive-thru hell. ‘Nuff said.
Every human being should really experience this so they understand the struggle of all fast food employees. It’s a mini panic attack when you cant hear the costumer or when someone decides to order 20 meals at once and it causes a major backup. BE NICER PEOPLE, we have feelings too.
4. The last hour of the day is suppose to be peaceful right? NOPE.
Ten minutes before closing and ten people walk in–thanks so much. I used to be those people who would be like “Oh cool, they’re still open lets go.” NO DON’T GO. Fast food people dream of the day no one comes in an hour until closing but it never happens….sad face.
5. Customers with over-expectations are never right.
Why would we sell cheesecake? This is a chicken place! And, we certainly don’t know the definition of gluten free.
6. What time is it? Rush hour…ugh.
My feet turn into lightening and then hurt for the rest of my shift every night.
7. When you stink at math but you’re at the register.
It is your second week and you feel like you are getting the hang of things, but no. You hit the wrong button and the cash register opens and you have to do simple math to give correct change. You are what, 18? That means you haven’t done simple math in ten years what is that?! *cue hyperventilating and a long pause to try to give the aggravated person their correct change only to pull out your phone 3 minutes later to type it in the calculator app* Thanks AP Calc for the help…not.
8. Giving your two weeks.
TIP: research how to do this correctly, but oh goodness, you will read some real LOL stories of people dropping the mic while quitting their fast food jobs.
9. Taking the criticism from your managers and rolling with it. Then having them compliment you even when you are terrible at your job the next day.
10. When your dad asks you if you know what to do if your work gets robbed and then realizing you don’t know what to do if someone robs the place. #yolo
It was just my luck that Zaxby’s hired me at the end of the summer so I only worked 6 weeks then I had to put into my 2 weeks notice (a.k.a the best day of my life). So the main thing that I took away from the experience is the very strong and powerful motivation to get a better job or internship next summer (also highkey appreciation for every single fast food worker out there). But that is what I hope you Collegiettes will do as well!
Shoot for the stars in the job world! Yes, if you can’t find a single job because the world is just not on your side take what you can get so you can support yourself, even if it is fast food—you might actually like it. BUT work your rear end off to find a environment you can call work that makes you comfortable, helps you grow in the field you are passionate about, and that lets you make major bank because you deserve a rocking job, you young lady boss, you.
Happy working, Collegiettes!