Tag Archives: mcdonalds

Shit Jobs: McDonald’s

27 Jan


Previous McDonald’s talk here and here.

I was sixteen and my mom made me get a job.  Again.  Learn the value of work.  She was right, it’s a lesson I retain decades later: the value of work is less than fucking zero, a negative eating away at your soul and your life.  So, thanks.  I applied at the McDonald’s in Kingston, Mass.

You had to buy your own McDonald’s shirt and special synthetic pocketless pants so you couldn’t walk out with a ninety nine cent hamburger warmed to ass temperature.  They took the money out of your first couple checks.   The checks came three weeks late; they’d docked sixty eight bucks for the uniforms they’d sold you, and taxes were taken out, something like a third of your check.  At that point you’d been working dozens of hours in the sweltering hissing clamoring kitchen, alarms constantly blaring, six hundred degree grills an inch away from the meat of your hands, swabbing the greasy tiles over and over with a filthy mop every time there was a two second lull in orders, getting yelled at– you got your check and it was fucking nothing.  You had known what taxes were in an abstract sense, the ten per cent federal tax bracket, but what you didn’t know was state tax, city tax, FICA, SDI… weird acronyms… your check came an ungodly amount of time later and there was nothing left.  The value of work.  Cleaning the toilet, a filthy log of shit breaching in piss yellow water with toilet paper snaked over the bowl and onto the floor about one out of every four times you went in there– the value of work. Continue reading

The McDonald’s Corporation of America Part 2

21 Jul

There were developmentally disabled kids working with us. We had two– one guy, Bob, who was very mildly retarded, just slow– he looked normal and came from kind of a white trash background, and was probably retarded because of his Mom’s prenatal drinking or some shit. The other, Brian, had Down’s, so he really looked full-bore retarded; him they put up front on the Filet-o’-Fish fryer so they could show him off.

Brian had it good. Running the Filet station was easy: you just drop the Filets out of a bag into the fry basket and then into the oil, and when the correct light and chime goes off you take them out and hang them up. The sandwiches are uncomplicated toppings-wise; the only really hard thing is that the Filet-o’-Fish buns have to be steamed, but it’s a moot point because nobody really orders Filet-o’-Fish. Brian would be up there smiling while his little chimes went off; when someone ordered his sandwich it was a big event and you could tell he felt excited and satisfied. Continue reading

The McDonald’s Corporation of America

4 Feb

It was my job to throw out the lard. Or whatever the fuck it was– 100% healthful canola oil or some shit– it was this huge tall bin of white, semi-congealed fat from the fryers with chunks of Filet o’ Fish and floor-dropped hamburger patties that had been stewing at just above room temperature for days. They had a special dumpster for it, this big black steel trap with a heavy lid that opened onto a thick grate, and inside was just months and months worth of this rancid meat fat. The black box would heat up in the sun during the day and all the fat would melt into soupy grease, then it would cool by night and recongeal into a thick gelatinous mass. It smelled like a corpse and there were clouds of flies.

One time I found a dead skunk in there. Someone had left the lid open and the creature had somehow wormed through the four-inch holes in the grate-top, driven mad by the smell of meat. It had dropped down into the grease, which must have been liquid at that point, and I guess it couldn’t get a grip on the slippery walls and probably exhausted itself trying to stay afloat. By the time I found it the grease had recongealed and it was like Han Solo encased in carbonite– its muzzle frozen in a snarl of fear and pain and its little claw forever reaching out, futilely, for the steel bars that were just out of reach.

It was a message– a symbol of some kind. God was trying to tell me something about the self-destructive nature of my dreams. But I couldn’t wrap my mind around it; I was beat, and I had to go mop down the kitchen and get back to making Quarter Pounders. So I dumped my bucket of warm fat over its face and went back inside.