CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAR. 29, 2014
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Would You Like a Paycheck with That? 5 Tips for Working in Fast Food as an Adult

Years ago, it used to be that working in fast food was mostly for teenagers and college kids, looking to make some extra money.  But due to the economy and the shortage of office jobs, many adults find themselves having to swallow their pride and get a job at their local fast food restaurant. 

Having been in this dilemma myself about 8 years ago, I have a few bits of wisdom for those who may need to take this step.

Get a comfortable pair of shoes

You are going to be spending a lot of time on your feet.  You will need a good pair of shoes to wear for work.  When you are hired, make sure that you find out what color shoes you will need and then find a pair that meets the specifications.  But even though you have a comfortable pair of shoes, know that you’re going to go home each day with your back and feet hurting.  Unfortunately, it goes with the territory.

Be prepared to take a lot of showers and do lots of washing

No matter what you are doing, you are going to likely go home smelling like grease, fries, hamburgers, and whatever else the restaurant serves.  Even if you aren’t cooking and you are a cashier, the grease will find its way into your hair and skin. 

That same grease that literally feels like it’s caked on your skin and in your hair? Guess where else it goes? Oh yeah, your wonderful, designer work-mandated uniform.  You know that drought that happened 8 years ago? I personally caused it with all the showers I took and washing I did!

Be prepared to be treated like crap

No matter how well you do at your job, no matter how perfect the order was, there’s always going to be someone who’s not happy.  You may have 50 happy customers and you think your day is going along great and then, Bam! Mr. Smith comes in and says that he ordered a hamburger, not a cheeseburger.  It happens. Remember, the customer’s always right. Fix the order and move on. 

Keep a perpetual smile on your face

Yes, you’re tired. Yes, you’re upset about the aforementioned Mr. Smith who gave you crap. But smiling goes along with the job.  Go to your happy place in your mind and think about whatever keeps that smile on your face.   Doesn’t matter what it is.  You could be thinking about going home and drinking a glass of wine.  As long as you’re smiling, your boss and your customers don’t know and don’t care why.

Be prepared to be bossed around by people younger than you

Remember those people who worked in fast food when they were teenagers? Guess what? They’re now managers and they’re telling you what to do.  This is another fact of life when you’re working in fast food as an adult.  Yes, it stinks but hey, at least you have a job.

So, do you want a paycheck with that burger? Chances are you never expected to work in fast food as an adult.  But you may not have a choice now.  So, repeat after me – “Would you like fries with that?”

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