The Real Smell of McDonald’s

March 7, 2019

Dear reader, while I understand that your time is precious, I hope that you could spare some time to read through an experience of mine that made me appreciate how the things that truly matter can all be found within.

Have you ever been looked down on by others because of what you worked as or even how you dressed? I’m sure we’ve all been there before, right? Speaking from experience, there is no surefire way of shutting down those haters because, to this day, people would still judge me for whatever reason; but it doesn’t bother me one bit. I know my true value because I was blessed with the chance to be tested on it in my younger days; and in order for you to understand what I’m saying, I need to take you back…

Back to when I was working in McDonald’s.

Now, if you’ve ever worked in the food and beverage industry before, I think you’d know what I mean when I say that I always carried a part of work with me wherever I went; and that part was the smell. That sick symphony of sweat, cooking oil and kitchen grease would envelop us all throughout our shifts so much so that we had no choice but to adapt, but it was still downright nasty; and, worst of all, the smell wouldn’t come off even after taking a bath!

The stench wasn’t the only issue the team and I faced, though. Problems would always seem to shoot up like mushrooms after a rainy day: if it wasn’t a shortage of inventory, it would be a lack of manning or one of the important equipment suddenly malfunctioning. The whole time I was there, there wasn’t one day that passed without some issue popping out somewhere. In spite of all that, though, we would always somehow manage to pull through each day.

I’d like to say it was largely due to the impeccable team who ran the show that lead to our quality service, but in retrospect, I realized that it was the work culture that we lived by that helped to keep us all in line. You see, in McDonald’s, it didn’t matter what position anyone held, if it was rush hour, it meant all hands on deck and even the managers on duty would step out to help keep the service running smoothly. It took me a while to understand this style of leadership, but it soon dawned on me that even though we were capable enough to handle the flow of guests, we were always bound to make mistakes and that was where the more experienced leaders could take charge. Needless to say, the experience I gained with McDonald’s was priceless but not everyone would agree with me on this.

My friends, for example, would call me names each time I’d join them for a hangout session after work. They’d also point out how they could tell that I was about to arrive by the strong smell of burgers that proceeded me. It was all in good fun, though, because I knew they only meant it as a joke, but the real disparagement came from my interactions with others outside our circle.

I think the lowest point for me was when my buddies and I were out at a bar, one night, and we went around to mingle. While the guys were able to hit it off with whomever they spoke to, I couldn’t hold a conversation with anyone past the topic of what I did for a living. It was obvious by the look on their faces that they thought very little of me and all because they saw me as just a fry cook from McDonald’s.

It’s sad to say, but that night wasn’t the only time it happened to me. For as long as I worked with McDonald’s, I had to endure people treating me like I was less than; and I would’ve believed them too if it weren’t for the fact that I had my heart set on something greater than improving my social status. I’ve made many mistakes in the past but I’m glad to say that my decision to focus on refining myself wasn’t one of them.

In due time, I eventually moved on from my station in McDonald’s to pursue my passion in property which led me to establish IDeas Makeover. It was rough at first, but through that McDonald’s culture which I adopted into the ideals for my team, we managed to grow over the years; proving the fact that none of us is as good as all of us. So, even though I no longer smell like McDonald’s, I still carry its essence in the hopes of passing it along as it taught me the true value of humbleness and how it goes hand in hand with self-confidence which I believe is an essential part of success…

And to my fellow dreamers out there, no matter where you are in life at the moment: take pride in who you are! The reason why you are the way you are today is because of the trials you’ve been through in the past; so don’t let the things that people say define your worth because only you would know what you’ve got inside.


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