A Happy Meal for the Mind
When I was a little girl I always thought it was a treat to visit McDonalds. This magical
place had a giant play-place, ice cream, French fries and of course that special surprise toy
contained inside the happy meal. What else could I have wanted? This world lost all of its
glamour however, when I became a teen who experienced the inner workings of this land
from the side of employment. I will never forget the place that was to be my first
experience of the working world.
My Fifteenth birthday had just passed and this meant I was finally old enough to enter
the work force. So I went to the only place in the area ...view middle of the document...
This question was barely necessary
because my spotless uniform and timid demeanor gave me away. I nodded in response.
"Okay, follow me then." She hurriedly directed through the kitchen, to the back where the
employee break room was located. I looked around the tiny room that consisted of two
small tables and chairs and a storage space for employee belongings. Flies were buzzing
around the room and seeing the floors I wondered, “Is there no place untouched by grease
in this place?”
The manager motioned to the cubed cabinet against the wall " You can put your things
in there." I set my purse in my designated space, and followed the manager to what would
be my first assignment, learning to use the trash compactor. “Great” I thought, knowing my
sensitivity to bad smells. She opened the giant metal bin and I was definitely not prepared
for the foul smelling odor that hit me full force. I couldn’t help but to let out a gag. My
stomach was churning, I was glad I hadn’t eaten breakfast or it would have certainly been
on the floor. Being rather small, I struggled to hoist the giant trash bag into the compactor.
Just as I did, something unidentifiable and slimy oozed out of the bag and onto my shoulder.
“Perfect”, I thought, “I guess this is a sign of how things will be here”. I just wanted to finish
this task as quickly as possible so I could trap the odor behind the metal door and breathe
I found the next few months riddled with memorably unpleasant experiences as I learned
the ins and outs of the fast-food industry. I am pretty sure I managed to make every
mistake humanly possible. Giant ketchup bag explosions, fryer burns, coffee spills, you
name it, I probably did it. I worked very hard but it never seemed to be enough. I left every
day an exhausted sweaty mess, smelling like greasy old french-fries complete with hat hair.
And Let's just say the grease wasn't doing much for my complexion either.
I began feeling overwhelmed trying to juggle a full-time job along with my schoolwork
and various life commitments. I barely even slept four hours a night and I became me more
and more miserable as the months passed by. One mishap after another just took me lower
and lower. Trying to deal with crazy customers, demanding managers and uncaring
coworkers certainly didn't help.
One day I finally came to the breaking point of utter stress and exhaustion. I was
stationed at the drive-through window and my feet were aching as always. I had been
standing in the same spot for over five hours because of the continuous line of cars
coming through. I tried to hold back the tears that began welling up in my eyes but I
couldn't hold in my misery any longer. "I have never felt so depressed and exhausted in my
entire life!" I realized. Something needed to change, but what could I do? I needed this job