I got my first job in fast food so that I could afford my first car. Three years and one promotion later and I’m still here. While some days are pretty trying I am glad for the experience and skills I’ve learned that are not only valued in the fast food industry, but in everyday life too. Often times fast food jobs have a negative and undervalued reputation but that’s really not the whole story.
Yes, the job is not that hard when you boil it down, but it can get hectic and incredibly stressful for managers and their crew. There are so many things that can go wrong, and sometimes they do. There are days that start off with a no call no show followed by a fryer not working or running out of product; while other days go off without a hitch. As a manager I learned an entirely new definition of stress, which was overwhelming at first.
By working through it I learned how to choose which things were worth stressing over. By eliminating the stuff that wasn’t as important, I was able to then handle each stressor on an individual basis.. I also learned that sometimes stress never truly goes away, but it helps to remember all of the stress that you’ve already overcome. My biggest takeaway was treating stress as a challenge to be overcome.
2. Problem Solving
That stress we were talking about earlier comes from the various problems that arise throughout the work shift. As a manager I have learned that even the things that shouldn’t go wrong do and will and it is my responsibility to figure out the best course of action moving forward. Even the smallest hiccups can have a big impact for the rest of the employees as well as the shift. I learned what it feels like to be the one that people come to for answers and I also learned what it feels like to exhaust every possible solution and still come up short.
Sometimes there are situations where things are completely out of our control. Although, when we do have the control and we are able to fix the problem, there is no greater feeling than finding the solution. allows you to find success. . at the problem from different angles I’ve learned that asking for help from the people around you and being able to look
At the start of my fast food experience I had the tendency to be easily overwhelmed, well basically for my whole life. And from my experience there is a moment when you choose to let yourself continue to be overwhelmed or you can but things into place. Quitting or walking out was never an option for me so when that moment came I had to figure out how to stop this feeling from persisting and eventually from occurring so frequently.
The best way that I found was to identify the most prudent task and complete them first. The concept seems simple enough but can get to be difficult at times especially when you only have a moment to figure things out and make things happen. After enough practice it becomes second nature and you start handling everything in life that way.
4. Team Work
In middle and high school I tried my best to avoid group projects for all of the reasons you can imagine. Working fast food is based completely on team work. There is no way that one person can do everything by themselves, trust me I’ve tried. It does take a little getting used to.
Having to share some of the responsibility and placing trust in another person to make sure that their part is done all the way all the time is a little jarring at first, but it is really nice once the trust is built and it doesn’t feel like you have to do everything all by yourself.
5. Customer Service
The customer service portion of my job is what I think has taught me the most. The constant customer interaction helped me grow a lot in the way I communicate with everyone in my life because each person at the register is just that, a person like myself. This job has helped me monitor my outward expression toward other people, and I can feel the high school girl that preferred to work alone slowly shrink as I embrace meeting new people every day.
It is not always a picnic and there are some days when it does get hard and it feels like nothing is going my way. Just as these thoughts begin to consume me, there is always one customer that is so appreciative and thankful that he/she changes my entire day.