Working in the fast food industry is not easy. So I applaud those that do because you are the real heroes in my eyes. First of all there is dignity in all work, so if the title offends you continue to read to get a full understanding of my post. I worked in the fast food industry for years and the reason I lasted so long is because I am humble. And the reason I don’t work in that industry and haven’t for years is because I am humble.
Huh? Keep reading and I will explain why working in fast food is not for me. But I have the utmost respect for those that do. I have been there and I will say again, there is dignity in working for a living. So I am not putting anyone down because this is an industry where people actually work hard. Here are the reasons those jobs are no longer an option for me.
The Pay Sucks
Yes, there are those rare companies that pay a decent wage but finding an employer that is willing to pay you what you are worth in the fast food industry is rare. You more than likely going to get minimum wages for maximum work and that is evident when you read your job description. When you read “and duties as assigned to you by your manager” that means you will be working the register, cooking the food, cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the tables etc. Basically you will be expected to do it all.
They need you to be versatile which is a nice way of saying if someone calls off they expect you to be able to cover a shift. That’s a lot of work to only be getting the minimum wage allowed by law. You will go home like you just did a full body workout and when you see your paycheck you will wonder is all the aches and pains worth it.
There used to be a time when you mainly saw teens and the elderly working for extra money and they still do. But as times have progressed more and more of the people that work in this industry have families to support. And that’s one of the reasons it’s not for me. The money that it takes to raise a family you will not get working in this industry and I couldn’t stand being physically worn out at the end of the day and the money not reflecting my hard work.
So you work your butt off and make it to be a lead or a manager just to be stressed out by all of the responsibility the title comes with and to work just as hard covering the duties your subordinates don’t do. No thanks I will pass.
The Customers Are Entitled and Disrespectful
Have you see all the YouTube videos that are taken by people witnessing fast food workers being disrespected? Tell me what other industry can you get treated badly on a constant basis by people who act like they have a right to do so. You see customers cursing workers out for getting their order’s wrong. They don’t ask you to accommodate them, they demand it. And how many times does an entitled customer say, “The customer is always right”. Which is code for, “I’m going to act a fool and you got to take it”, right? And that is so wrong because mistreating people is not right.
Show me a fast food employee who hasn’t dealt with rude, ignorant and nasty customers and I would say that it must be their first day. No other profession has the stigma that fast food has. People tend to look down on people in the industry despite them being the hardest working among us. Fast food workers are the targets of bullies who can’t wait to scream. “The customer is always right” and if you try to stick up for yourself, “She should be fired!” And in most cases defending yourself in anyway will lead to you being terminated.
I try to be humble which is a philosophy that works well when you are constantly disrespected and are expected to just roll over and take it. But overtime it wore me down and I can admit it made me a different person for awhile. Working jobs under those conditions led me to react to disrespect outside of the job stronger because the abuse I encountered at work.
Not all fast food jobs have this level of disrespect all the time but you will encounter it eventually and in my mind that kind of toxicity is not healthy, especially for a humble person. People mistake humble people for being weak but the hardest thing is to remain humble and that makes you stronger. So I chose to enter professions where rarely do people feel entitled to treat me badly.
The Managers Are Sometimes Just As Bad
The objective in fast food is to get the food to the customers fast. When things get busy you will find them putting more demands on the workers who work the best. Basically they don’t bother with the employees who slack off, and punish your hard work with; you guessed it, more hard work. You will find yourself becoming burnt out and stressed out.
When other workers call off you can expect a call to cover shifts and if you need money because your pay is low you will be tempted to work on your much needed and well deserved days off. You will resent some employees who are not fired for being late, incompetent and inefficient. Because you will be expected to pick up their slack while you both are paid the same wage. Unfair right?
Well expect to be treated unfairly by management and in my opinion it factors in to some workers who chose to stop doing so much when being inept seems to be rewarded by management.
It’s a bad spot for managers who do not mean to burn you out or demand so much but have to act quickly when they notice things need to be done. And it can be hard to keep employees so usually they will keep employees longer than they should leaving employees resentful and rightfully so.
So these are my three reasons for not continuing to work in fast food. There are better entry level jobs out there. Working those jobs made me appreciate fast food workers and their struggle. I would advise learning a skill or going to school and improving your chances of getting in a better field. Or, using your skills in the food industry and transitioning to restaurants or even better, banquet halls because the duties are more often consistent and you can make tips.
So what if you work in fast currently? Hopefully you have supportive management or do not encounter hostile customers often. I want to repeat there is dignity in being a working person and do not let ANYONE make you feel bad for being that special person who serves others for a living. I for one respect your hustle and hard work.
Feel free to share your experiences in the Fast Food industry and comment on this post….
But what do I know? I’m just a bootleg sociologist who nobody will listen to so I started a blog……….
What are your thoughts?
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