Fast Food: The Team

At all the restaurants where I worked, most of the time we really did function like a team. Sometimes it was a team of miscreants if we didn’t get along with management or had to deal with difficult customers, but still…when it came to moving customers through the line and filling orders, everyone did their part.

Aside from the shared goal of “Get the customer in, fed, and back out the door,” there was an unspoken agreement I quickly picked up from my restaurant peers. In a nutshell, it was “Do your job, don’t interfere with anyone else’s job, and MYOB.”

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Fast Food

I just went through eight hours of management training (which wasn’t so bad, surprisingly), and some of the activities required me to go tripping down memory lane to jobs I’ve had in the past.

All through my undergraduate years, I worked in fast food. I probably shouldn’t name the names of the places for fear of being sued, but one of them was THE fast food place, then there was one of the big-time pizza places, and finally there was one of the big-time ice cream places.

While some of my coworkers were high school or college students, some were career fast foodies. There are some really interesting characters in fast food. Some of the managers were awesome, and some were asshats. It’s about like anywhere else I guess, but then again, in some ways it’s not.

The customers are one way it’s not. While working in an office gets boring sometimes, I will say I am thankful for one major feature of office work: The door. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, can walk into a fast food place.

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Demon Spawn

I mentioned earlier that I have two kids: a seven-year-old daughter (Isa) and a son who will be two in the fall (Rory).

Isa is our unicorn child. Although her babyhood was tough (she got all her teeth early and at once; literally ten were coming in at the same time), toddlerhood and early childhood haven’t been that difficult on us as parents. She’s a conscientious kid. Empathetic, sensitive, mostly well-behaved, smart for her age…yes I’m bragging, but I’m also trying to set the tone for a comparison.

Rory is a handful as a toddler. His babyhood wasn’t as hard as hers, but now that he is mobile it seems like he feels a magnetic pull toward anything and everything he isn’t supposed to have. Electrical outlets, light switches, lamps, dangerous toys, chemicals, sharp things, high things… A large part of raising Rory is following him around, removing him from the latest dangerous situation, and then comforting him when he screams his baby-rage to the heavens because you’ve thwarted him from killing himself for the 8th time that day. He also likes to throw adorable tantrums: picking up toys and throwing them, shoving things over, and stomping through the house on his chubby little legs.

He’s adorable and snuggly, too, so that helps a lot. But I’m guessing that his childhood will be tougher than his sister’s. I can already see him at preschool drinking the paint and deftly shoving craft materials into outlets.

Some people chalk this up to boys versus girls, but I don’t buy that. I have it on very good authority that female children can also be challenging. Neither of my kids can compare to their mother when it comes to behavior. Yes, moi. You know that age-old joke (or wish) where your parents say “I hope you have one just like you”? That happened to my mother, and I just hope Rory never reaches my level.

I thought I’d share some stories about my childhood antics since they are pretty amusing. I don’t even remember being the subject of some of them, but I do remember bits and pieces, and the rest I know from my mom telling them. I’ll start with some of the more innocuous ones.

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Wild Wonderful

I grew up on a family plot of land in West Virginia. To get to our house from the one main road that went up Armstrong Creek Hollow (pron. holler), you took a left at the hump and went down a dirt road over a creek. The road ran along the creek and then turned left again. Fields and gardens stretched out to the left, ending abruptly in a mountainside. There was a plot with a trailer on it that my grandpa rented to another family, then there were the four houses that made up our little family community.

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