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Great fun - but don't expect an easy ride
Employment at McDonald's Restaurants
Member Name: bblgoose
Employment at McDonald's Restaurants
Date: 21/05/02, updated on 05/06/02 (7521 review reads)
Advantages: Great social life, friendly atmosphere, ideal for students
Disadvantages: low pay, hard work, low prestige
I spent my college days working at McD's. It was my first ever job, and I have to admit, after my first day there, I walked out thinking I could never go back. My legs wanted to collapse, my hands reeked of cleaning chemicals, and I'd had managers telling me to work faster all day.
But go back I did, and I will say right now for those who are reading this because they've only just been offered a job there - the first weeks are murder. Part of the training concept there is to push you as hard as possible during your training. This means you will do every job in the place, from cleaning the grease from under the grills to filtering dead fries out of the red hot oil vats, to cleaning tables. If you have any problem with hard work, quit now.
Once you've finished your basic training, things start to improve. When you can keep up with the seasoned staff, you actually start to enjoy it. Sure, the customers look down their noses at you, if you're on a 'close' you have no idea what time you'll arrive home, and there is a LOT of cleaning involved. These people keep the stores glistening. But once you've learnt the job well enough that it becomes a 'clock on=brain off' job, it's really quite fun. The working environment is young and lively - you can always have a laugh at work, and management aren't actually any worse than management in other jobs - if you ignore them they're fine.
Wages - yes, you start on minimum wage. What do you expect? It's the stereotypical unskilled labour. What you do get is pay reviews every six months, in which you're pretty much guaranteed a 2, 3, or 4% raise, depending on performance. Now 2% of minimum wage isn't anything like 2% of a real salary, but I've worked at my current job for over a year without even a sniff of a raise.
My preferred shift was the late one. This means I'd start somewhere between 3-5pm, and work until 'close&
#39;, which basically means until the place is clean after everyone's left. How early/late we got out depended entirely on how busy it was. Sometimes, it was quiet, and we'd be out by midnight (store closes at 11pm). One time I remember we were expecting the UK Vice President of McD's to visit the next day, so the place had to be totally and completely spotless. That night we left with the sun shining, and said hi to the breakfast guys as they arrived.
Now I'll be honest - as a full time job, this really isn't ideal unless you want to work in retail management - their management course is very easy to get on to, and you can work your way up pretty quickly if you try (no i didn't try - I am not and will never be management). For my purposes, as a student job, it's excellent. The hours are totally flexible, it's fun and friendly, and it pays about the same as any other student job. It's also the only company I've ever worked for that has a TV, radio and Playstation in the staff area. Outside work the McD team is still very close, and the best parties of my life were spent with Maccy's. Be warned - the 'area' parties (where the company hires a nightclub and has about 20 stores invited) require a strong stomach - a free bar combined with a stressful work life and the company of friends equals a LOT of drinking going on.
My testament to the job is summarised here - when I found myself jobless, and the job boards came up blank, I went and spoke to my old manager at McD's. I started back the next day, and stayed for 6 months until I found another job in my preferred industry (IT). Now, cash is tight, and I'm considering a second job. And yes, I may well go back and have another word with the old boss.
** UPDATE - 5/Jun/02 **
I have now spoken with my old boss, and am going back to work for Ronald. Only part time, 1-2 shifts a week to give a mid-month boost to my day job salary (Ma
ccys pay fortnightly). Watch this space, I'll let you know if my opinion changes once I'm working there again! Bear in mind, this is now the second time I've gone back there, and a lot of my old mates have been there since the place opened in 1997 (and some of those worked at other stores before that), which lets face it, for a minimum wage, low prestige job, says a lot about the working environment.