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 April 17, 2014
For some inexplicable reason, I've never visited a Dogg Haus location until today. Well, I've learned my lesson.
Published April 10, 2014
Whether you support the e-cigarette industry or not, one thing is indisputable: it's a phenomenon that's growing rapidly. And while the companies that produce cigarette alternatives are based all over the world, one exists right in Milwaukee's own backyard. Hartland's Johnson Creek Enterprises, which makes Johnson Creek Smoke Juice, has quietly grown to an $8 million business and is expanding rapidly.
Published April 8, 2014
It's hard to believe that the classic baseball comedy, "Major League," is 25 years old. Filmed largely in Milwaukee, everyone here of a "certain age" seems to have a story to tell about the making of the movie.
Published April 7, 2014
Jason Gorman, the chef most Milwaukeeans know from his time at Dream Dance and Iron Horse Hotel, is returning to Wisconsin to Kenosha's newly remodeled Mangia Wine Bar.
Published April 5, 2014
I wanted to see the hubbub first-hand, so I joined the throngs of crowds checking out the brand new Mayfair Collection today. The parking lot was packed, but the two stores I visited weren't too chaotic. And once things settle down a bit, I'm sure I'll be back.
Published March 31, 2014
Opening Day has always been a special day for me. It was 16 years ago, on April 7, 1998 that I celebrated my first day of self employment (and the birth of OnMilwaukee.com) at County Stadium. I haven't missed many since then.
Published March 24, 2014
In an industry where positioning a brand as retro vintage is suddenly new and trendy, Milwaukee's Lucky Tiger doesn't even need to even try. Trademarked in Kansas City in 1935, the iconic men's brand actually stretches back to a barber shop from the 1920s, when it was a very large line of tonics and hair products.
Published March 18, 2014
And just like that, the trip is over. The one that I spend 360 days a year daydreaming about. The one that almost didn't happen. On one hand, it feels like we just got here. On the other hand, when I look at myself in the mirror right now, it feels like I've been here for a month.
Published March 17, 2014
When I last left off, it was Saturday night in the desert and we were starving. After a little pool time at the Camelback Inn, we headed to Old Town Scottsdale to see what awaited us.
Published March 15, 2014
When I left off last night, we were heading out to dinner, our first actual meal of this year's spring training trip. It's really been a great 24 hours in the Valley of the Sun, and we're all now in full-on Cactus League mode.