1/9/08 - McDonald's Day 2

Last night was nothing like the night before. I came in and the asst. manager immediately told me to start making fries. Of course, I've never made fries, so he had one of the other workers show me how to do it. The problem was, she was too busy to really explain it. I was told to push the buttons and when it beeped push another button. When they were beeping, I was then told to either shake or pull the fries. While I'm doing this, I'm also filling the fry sleeves as orders came up and then started getting requests from the kitchen to make more chicken patties and nuggets and stuff like that. Once again, everyone just assumed that I knew what I was doing, so I just kind of stood around until I could get someone's attention and say "Hey, I don't know what to do". Of course, once I saw it done once, it was pretty easy to follow. I still don't know the different settings for chicken, but I can make fries and know the steps for chicken.

After doing that for a while when I first got there, it started to slow down a little bit. A bunch of the others just kind of wandered off and talked with each other, so I took it upon myself to put some of the orders together. Not a difficult task, as the orders pop up right in front of you. I had watched the others do it a time or two and I've ordered from McD's enough to know the "proper" (or at least most commom) method of putting an order together.

I think I was on fries for about 2 hours when it was decided I had mastered the art of the fryer and I got put back on sandwiches. This was the main reason I had signed up for McDonald's. I had finally made it. Although, I already have a greater respect for those people who do this. It took me a minute or two to remember what to put on each sandwich and still struggled with a few of them. I made sure to put each slice of cheese on a patty and each patty on the bun, but that was not the hardest part. I quickly found out that there is more to wrapping a sandwich than just folding over the corners. Many of my burgers were not wrapped tightly and not totally sealed. I'm afraid that many of them also shifted during this wrapping process so the work I was doing to put the sandwich together was wasted when I wrapped it. Another thing I found was the the larger burgers that come in the boxes (insead of being wrapped) are put together when the box is closed and then flipped over. This too is a large part in why I have to reassemble my burgers when I order at fast food places.

I didn't work the grill, but I did watch one of the other guys work it and it doesn't seem overly difficult. However, I can imagine that when it gets busy, trying to make sandwiches and cook the burgers and grilled chicken can get tough.

My last task of the day was to clean dishes. I didn't mind this job at all, although I got stuck with it because no one else wanted to do it. I'll save this information for another post, but what really amazed me is the number of pumps, valves and tubes that run through the place. You never have to squirt dish detergent because it is attached directly to the faucet and as the water comes out, the proper amount of detergent is dispensed with it. Anyways, back to washing dishes. I didn't realize that were that many items used during the course of just my shift that had to be cleaned. I spent anywhere from about 30 mintues to an hour washing dispensers, trays, spatulas and all sorts of other stuff. It wasn't difficult, but I managed to spray water all over the place, including myself and my hands are still mad at me from all the detergent, scalding water and sanitizer they had to go through.

Finally, I was done for the night and got to clock out just after midnight. Obviously, I was incorrect about when they closed (which is 11:00) and it took about an hour to finish up all the final chores after closing. I worked a 6 hour shift, and at times, the busiest times actually, it felt like about 12 hours. When making sandwiches, the time seemed to go by faster as well. Today, my feet and legs are aching because I don't remember the last time I stood on my feet for 6 hours straight (especially in a pair of cheap shoes with poor support). I don't work again until Friday night (6:00-1:00) and then again on Saturday (6:00 to close). I've got a ton more information, so I might have another update between now and then, but I'll have one for sure on Monday after my shifts over the weekend. I can only imagine it will be a little busier.

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