In Charge This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

“Welcome to McDonald’s, home of the Ronald. How may I help you?”

“Yeah, can I have four double cheeseburgers? One with just leaf lettuce and mayo, one with only ketchup, one with no onions, and one with barbeque sauce,” the intercom screeches.

Almost mechanically, I punch in the order perfectly. I can only hope the grill will put the burgers together correctly and the presenter will get the bags out with the right order. “That will be $4.20. Please pull around to the first window, and thank you!”

I turn to face the Happy Meals I have to assemble before my break. I tip up my visor and grab a bag and a blow-up toy sword. Just before the car arrives at my window, Jim, the manager, jumps in and takes the money from the customer. Then he turns to me urgently and says, “I need you to be in charge for a while. There’s been a big misunderstanding and the other manager can’t come in today. I need to leave because my wife is at the hospital and my kids are home by themselves. I’m going to drop them off at their grandmother’s and will be back later. I’m counting on you.” Then he hands me the clipboard, and leaves.

Brad, a fellow employee, goes to the first booth where I had been taking orders. I look at the sheet detailing everyone’s jobs and realize I am now up front. My first thought is, Stay calm and focused. I go the front and explain the situation to everyone. I can handle this, I tell myself. I am prepared because I have been working here for almost a year and know what to do.

I make sure everything is organized and everyone is working in unison. We are short on employees, so I do two tasks, putting food in bags at the second window and handing the bags to customers. I stay relaxed during stressful orders. I delegate jobs to everyone, including myself. When it isn’t busy, we clean the store and make it spotless. Everyone works together to keep the place running smoothly. When Jim returns, he says he was right to trust me. I can keep things under control.

My first job at McDonald’s taught me commitment, teamwork, and responsibility. That day was rewarding, knowing that I could take charge and lead the crew. That experience helped me be more patient with people, especially when the unexpected happens. It prepared me for other jobs and was a building block for better things to come.

This job also gave me confidence in my ability to balance work, school, and sports. Now, even though I no longer work at McDonald’s, when I hear that drive-thru intercom request my order, I know how crazy it can get inside. I understand the hard work it takes to get the food out to customers. All I can think is, Thank you, and have a nice day!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 8 comments. Post your own now!

LiesAreLeadingMeAstray said...
May 21, 2011 at 11:01 am
Very well written!
spency said...
Apr. 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm
5/5 great job...lov it
Yaya123 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Ok i guessssss 


WiNnEr1o1 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 11:08 am
mickie d's is the worst first job and is very fattining so i think the hole bisnuess should be shut DOWN
Kraker joey replied...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 11:19 am
Mcdonalds is a delicous bisuness
Kallaway5268 said...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 11:08 am
lovely. nicely writen
kto1800 said...
Aug. 3, 2009 at 1:24 am
Nice article! I work at Mc Donalds right now. Although i take some cr*p for it and it is looked down upon as a less favorable job, it does teach me how to balance school, sports, and work, and i am gaining great experience and honestly it is not that bad.
McDonaldsSucks102 replied...
Sept. 21, 2010 at 11:07 am
kto1800 is a noob   fail
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