An Open Apology from a Former McDonald’s Crew Member

I worked at McDonald’s on South Sixth Street in Springfield, Illinois from June 1998 until September 1999.


I worked primarily evening shifts and usually closed the store with a team of two other crew members and a manager.  I had plenty of bad times, a few good times, but what this is really about today is that I’ve openly admitted that I was kind of a little punk when I worked there.  I guess it’s because I hated working there, I hated that it was so generic to have a job at McDonalds of all places, so therefore I hated the people that came in and ate the food and made me work for my paycheck.  I didn’t really understand how things like businesses worked back then.  So in light of that . . .

I would like to address all of the people that were my customers during those fifteen months and issue an apology . . .

I’m sorry to all the people who ordered “extra” anything when I was on grill.  Especially those of you who ordered extra dehydrated onions on your cheeseburgers.  I apologize for the two full fists of onions I put on there, rather than a reasonable “couple extra pinches.”  Also especially those who ordered extra ketchup or mustard, too.  I apologize for the quantities that would sometimes approach more than a half-cup of the sauce in question that no doubt got all over your fingers as you opened the wrapper.  I can only hope that the fact that none of you ever returned to complain was because you were all pleased in spite of my attempt to spite you, though I understand that the more likely scenario is that you did what I now do in a similar situation at McDonalds–get mad and not do anything about it.

I’m sorry to all the people who came in after a lull in business on any given day and asked for chicken mcnuggets.  The chances were greater than nothing that our nuggets had been sitting in the heating bin for hours on end, and I just didn’t feel like starting a new batch in the fryer . . . so I gave them to you.  I want to punctuate my apology to those who unknowingly were victims of me dropping one of the six mcnuggets I had left on the dirty floor . . . and me still not feeling like making a new batch.  I hope it was dusted off enough to still be enjoyable.  I’m certain no illness befell you.

In connection with that, I’m also sorry to the people who ordered burgers when I hadn’t made any in a while, and was just too lazy to spend the 90 seconds it took to cook new patties, and therefore put dry patties on your burgers.  I never would have done that if I were making my lunch, so it was not right to do that to yours.  Please rest assured that I never dropped a patty and used it, though, nor did I ever perform the infamous fast food act of “spitting in a burger.”  Two out of three ain’t bad.

I’m sorry to everyone who ever ordered food when I was on grill for almost never wearing gloves.  I’ve worked at a few restaurants since then and it’s always secretly fascinated me how other restaurants really pushed and enforced the “must wear gloves” rule.  In my defense, they didn’t push that rule at the time.  Plus the gloves we had were really poor quality and impossible to work in.  In the end, those are not full excuses for not doing what I should have done, but they are at least valid reasons.  Also I never used the meat tongs because I just didn’t like them.  I’m sorry about that, too.

I’m sorry to the people for whom I rang in orders at the counter that tried to use coupons.  I would find any way I could to make the coupon useless or less effective to your total cost simply because I didn’t like the fact that you were there.  I considered it defeat when a coupon would be used to your benefit, and that was wrong.  I have since learned that putting the customer first and running a coupon that’s one day expired is a good thing to do, and I fully accept that any and every time someone does that for me, it is not because I’ve earned the right.

I’m sorry to the people who came through the drive through when I was on the front window.  I don’t know why I despised putting napkins in the bags so much.  I’ll never really be sure why I resented people that liked lots of ice, so I’d try to put less in.  I like not much ice, but that’s me and not you; I understand that now.  I should have given napkins without them being demanded.  I should have been generous with the ice.  I’m sorry for making your lunch experience that time in the late 90’s more frustrating than it should have been.

I’m sorry to that one lady who thought my English accent was real.  I was not doing it to make you feel foolish; I was doing it because it helped my day go by easier.  I hope that in this last decade you have learned to not fall for guys who talk different than us based on that alone, and if so, I hope that I contributed positively to that.

Lastly, I’m sorry for mopping and sweeping under tables while some of you were still sitting at them.  I’m also sorry for demanding that those of you almost finished with your late dinner leave at exactly 11:01 p.m.  Okay, 10:56.  I should have learned patience and waited.  I could have been nice to you and given you space while you indulged in your Quarter Pounder, but I didn’t.  And I’m sorry.

Thank you for hearing me out.  My conscience feels lighter, and I can rest easy tonight knowing that Ronald is happy with me.

Pick it up! Pick it up!



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