I started working at McDonald’s two weeks ago and things haven’t gone swimmingly. The first couple of shifts were an absolute disaster and I felt like dropping out. However in this post I wanted to talk about some of the highs I have had so far and some of the lows. The crazy thing is I am now not a new member of staff and there are people who are newer than me. Which is just bizarre as I totally view myself as new. I have had no official training what so ever and can only work one station which is BDAP. Essentially BDAP is drinks and I believe it stands for “Beverages Drinks as Production”. So I can basically make all the coffees, hot chocolates, soft drinks, iced drinks, ice cream and milkshakes. Apart from that I am clueless. I can’t do “running” which is where you put the order together and call out the customer, I haven’t been trained in the kitchen either so I can’t flip burgers. I haven’t even been trained on the till so I am unable to serve customers myself. I don’t even know how to operate the washing up equipment in what they call “DIVE”. Don’t ask me what DIVE stands for because I have no idea, it is something to do with washing and cleaning. I feel a bit useless when I am there as I literally can’t do any of the other stations.
Starting with the highs is that I have made a few friends there. Two guys I work with are very friendly and considerate. They both work on the till but when there is nobody ordering they always help me out with the drink orders. They are both friendly and always willing to help out where ever they can, whether that is collecting a few fruit shoots from the fridge or making one of those lattes for me. Over the few shifts I worked with them we became friendly and we can chat without it being awkward. Both of them are great and are at university so are only there for the Summer. I also became friendly with one of the girls there especially on one of my shifts where we both got put in BDAP together. We ended up having lunch together and I sat with her in the staff room. She seems a nice individual but does like to tell me how it is done. She likes to make a point of showing me how to disperse the sauce etc.
I do like some of my managers and shift managers as well. One of my shift managers is this super relaxed Romanian guy who is very chilled. It’s so nice to work with him as he doesn’t stress you out or have ago at you. He is also very approachable and I could easily ask him for my break if I wanted to, unlike a lot of the others there. One of the managers is also very nice, he can take a joke and seems a genuine guy. He does like to assert his authority every so often, but he is the only person who properly greets me on arrival and says goodbye at the end.
Making the drinks can be quite fun especially when the orders are dead simple, like a medium coke or a black coffee. The soft drinks machine is literally the worlds most easy machine to operate and clean. The coffee machine is also quite simple but does require a little more maintenance in regards to cleaning and restocking. Making a toffee sundae is easy and quite enjoyable. I also don’t mind restocking and making sure we have enough cups and lids etc. If someone else is working with me in BDAP I can go off out the back to do some restocking. I enjoy going into the fridge which is a small room and being nosy. I have no idea where things are kept so it takes me a while and gives me an excuse to look through all the boxes. The dry store room is like a treasure mind, there is all sorts stored in there. From cups to teabags to bread rolls to sauces. Once again I am a total novice and it takes me a good length of time to find anything.
The McDonald’s I work at is a part of a motor service station so I can adventure around the service station on my break. I also get a staff discount of up to £6 for a free employee meal. I have had all sorts on my first shift I got a McDonald’s veggie burger meal and a McFlurry. On other occasions I have gone to the little cafe in the station and bought fresh prepared fruit, yogurt and nuts. I then sit in the staff room and eat on my 30 minute break.
Now lets talk about the lows and the bad times at McDonald’s. Obviously I could go on and rant about my first few shifts and the catastrophe it was, but I like to think that I have moved on from that.
I am going to start my lows with my managers and shift managers. Now don’t get me wrong not all the authority people there are fun and relaxed. Lets start with actual managers, who on the whole do not seem to be too bad. I had one manager criticise me for not using a shovel for the ice, as I used a cup instead (it is quicker to use a cup). Apart from that the managers have not been too bad. The shift managers however is a totally different story, essentially a shift manager is like a supervisor they are of a lower rank. There are two shift managers who I despise. One of which is a very tanned lady who had a go at me for only being trained in one station. I started work and went straight to drinks as I obviously only know how to do drinks. About an hour later she came round and had a go at me saying I was supposed to be on the running station and assembling orders and not drinks. I didn’t know what she meant as this was literally my third shift, she ranted about how I was suppose to check the floor plan to see where I was. In the end she went away and I just carried on with drinks, she did not return back again.
The second shift manager I had a bigger issue with. She is very short and slightly older probably in her 40s. She is the sort of person who pulls faces all the time and I really dislike that in people, she rolls her eyes and tuts all the time. First up the person on the shift before me took the door to the cream off its hinges. One of the guys came around to fix it and she said “The thick people who work here don’t know how to assemble a door”. Considering the fact I was the only person there it looked as if she said it about me, I made a point to look at her and she quickly said “Not my lot of course, the lot before” as if she realised I had taken slight offence. I was trying to make a frappe drink and the machine ran out of mixture, I told someone about it and they said they would sort it after their break. Well I couldn’t make the order and this shift manager got angry. She went to get the frappe mix herself and quite aggressively through it on the counter. I went to open the door for her so she could put the frappe mix in and she spat out “Move out the way, I’ve got food going cold now!”. She then changed the mix over and pulled out the old one and said there is still mix left!I felt as if I was being blamed and I explained that I had tried to make one and then showed her the result of a half filled cup. I then got in trouble again when I made the mcflurry because I put in one shot of toppings and not two, she replied “Look it clearly says two on the pot!”. In my defence on all the other pots it is one shot and on this one topping it was supposed to be two. Then to hit the final nail in the coffin she went all sarcastic on me for not mopping the floor to her standard. Grrr.
The shifts can get boring especially when I am left alone on the drinks for 4/5 hours straight. I have nobody to talk to and nobody to keep me sane. I can’t leave the station unattended and go off and have a look around the store room either. Sometimes you will go through a dry spell where you will have one order in 10 minutes or so. During those times it can be boring as you have to do cleaning and you feel as if you have cleaned the same spot 100 times already. Yet at the other end of the scale a whole host of orders come flooding in at once. You could have 10 or 12 orders to do and the runners are waiting and the customers watching, it can get quite stressful.
The worst is when things start to run out and when things break. When the ice runs out that is a real pain as you have to put on a silly pair of gloves and shovel more ice. It is time consuming, cold and heavy to lift. When the milkshake machine runs out of shake mix you have to get someone to refill it for you. It is an absolute nightmare as nobody ever wants to collect shake mix and yet if it doesn’t get done the machine goes onto freeze lock and breaks. The worst is when the cups fall out and suddenly you have milkshake exploded on the floor. When the soft drinks run out you have to get someone to change the supply. It is that part I hate, asking other people to do things. You have to shout down the kitchen and hope someone listens to your plea for shake mix or ice or sundae mix or coffee beans etc. The annoying thing is when it does run out it suddenly becomes your fault even though you asked for some help and it never arrived. I also feel as if I am being a pain and pestering the other workers.
At the end of the day everything is your fault, no matter what. If a machine breaks,it is your fault. If we run out of shake mix, it is your fault. If the latte goes cold, it is your fault. If the customer thinks the hot chocolate is too watery, it is your fault!
That is my views and opinions of working at McDonald’s so far and if you work at McDonald’s or are thinking of working there I hope you find this article interesting.