Do you remember your first job?
Of course you do, and if you're like me, you remember it with great clarity. The details are fuzzy on jobs two through five, at least, but that first one was special, even if it wasn't glamorous or all that lucrative.
For me, my first job was at McDonald's. I was 15, and I worked after school and on weekends, somewhere between five and 15 hours per week. I flipped burgers, fried fries and took orders. I wasn't very good at assembling Big Macs, really, but I tried hard. I made minimum wage when I started -- $4 an hour. Eventually, I got a 10 cent raise. I left that job a year later in 1990 making $4.25, when the minimum wage rate was raised.
I wore a name tag and a goofy uniform. This was as McDonald's was making the transition from short-sleeve pinstriped shirts and clip-on ties to maroon polos and black polyester pants. I mopped floors and cleaned bathrooms. I came home smelling like Chicken McNuggets every night. And yes, I ate there all the time, cooking my own food.
I continued to eat at McDonald's after I left, too, just not as much.
I look back at the experience fondly, and it taught me early lessons about customer service, teamwork, dedication and the value of money.
I don't know if I'd call the job especially romantic, but it was my very first source of disposable income. I took my first $300 I earned and bought myself a remote control car. The money I earned during my summer vacation allowed me to go to movies and play pool and do all the other stuff that I did as a teenager that I've long since forgotten.
I don't remember the names of the coworkers anymore, either, but I remember their personalities. Some were other students, while others were moms or seniors, and some were management bound. For me, it was early enforcement that I would go to college and work somewhere, someday, where I didn't wear a name tag and a polyester uniform.
Which isn't to say there's anything wrong with that -- McDonald's was hard, honest work, and to this day, I treat fast-food employees with a ton of respect. I walked a mile in their shoes, and it wasn't always easy.
To that end, McDonald's has partnered with OnMilwaukee.com to highlight McDonald's National Hiring Day. On April 19, the company will hire 500 crew and management positions in southeastern Wisconsin, and up to 50,000 new employees nationwide. In this economy, that's a big deal.
And we'd like to hear your success stories about a time in your life when you worked at McDonald's, and how you used the skills you acquired in your career.
Please take a moment to submit a reader's blog. All participants will receive a free small McCafe beverage, and the most inspiring blogs will be shared in McDonald's restaurants this fall. We're excited to hear your stories.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published May 13, 2015
Yesterday, Packers fans were delighted to watch Aaron Rodgers dominate on "Celebrity Jeopardy." Indeed, it feels nice to have a smart guy calling signals under center (in your face, Jay Cutler). But Wisconsin sports have been full of intelligent players through the years. Here are six.
Published April 30, 2015
Just a few years ago, all Katie Daly knew about candles is that they smelled nice, and she liked having them around the house. Her boyfriend, Cody Weiss, didn't disagree. But Daly, always a self-admitted "type-A antsy person" found herself bored and browsing Pinterest one day, when she saw a how-to guide to making soy candles in Mason jars. The corporate trainer melted some wax on the stove, adding some lavender oil - and found herself surprised when the candle actually burned.
Published April 6, 2015
Something weird happened to me around the beginning August last year: I started wanting the Brewers season to be over.
Published April 3, 2015
Here are seven recent Brewers pitchers that I would love to get back. Even if these weren't necessarily the best players, they each brought something special to the crew.
Published April 2, 2015
In a time when Zappos and Amazon and brick-and-mortar sporting good chains have cemented their spot as go-to places for running shoes and apparel, you might not think that starting a local running store would be a sound business idea. Don't tell that to Jessica and Trae Hoepner, the owners of Performance Running Outfitters, a business that started with one humble store and expanded to three, with a fourth in the works.
Published March 19, 2015
My 18th annual Brewers Spring Training trip is now complete, and I'm back in chilly Milwaukee, which actually feels a little better after a few days under the beating hot sun of the desert. This trip was a good one. A really good one. New experiences, old friends and lots and lots of baseball. But you probably know about all that if you read my blog entries this week.
Published March 18, 2015
When I left off yesterday, I was feeling tan, rested and ready for baseball, and we made the 30-minute drive from Talking Stick Resort to Peoria Stadium a little before noon. Brewers fans were out in force for the game against the Padres. St. Patty's Day revelry was in full effect.
Published March 17, 2015
I've said this before, but sometimes Spring Training feels a lot like the movie "Groundhog Day." Events, games and trips tend to run together, because with only a few variations, you're basically doing the same thing every day (and of course, that's a very good thing). But yesterday, we did something that we've only done one other time in 18 years: we didn't go to a Brewers game.
Published March 16, 2015
When you've been awake for 24 consecutive hours, due to an early flight, a time change and the excitement of an 18th consecutive Spring Training trip to Arizona, it's understandable to make a few bad decisions. Fortunately, the only one I regret is that humungous carne asada burrito from Filiberto's at 2 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, before collapsing into a few hours of sleep at the Talking Stick Resort here in Scottsdale.
Published March 10, 2015
Every year - since 1998 - I've made the trip to Arizona to watch the Brewers get ready for a long, long season of baseball. It's my favorite work/fun trip (edging out even Las Vegas) that I get to take, but with all the fun and sun in the desert, it's surprisingly easy to forget to pay attention to the baseball on the field.