Who here has worked in fast food? What memories do you have from your days behind a deep fryer?
In high school I worked at a Long John Silver’s for about a year. I can’t say it was a glamour job, but hey it gave me some gas money as well as a few fond memories.
Among them, on slow nights we’d experiment with various foods in the deep fryer - throw in fish covered in hush puppy batter, corn-on-the-cob in fish batter, even a whole wrap dipped in batter. One of my favorites was when tried frying a baseball-sized hush puppy. The outside became burnt while the inside was still gooey.
Also, there was the night a manager came in drunk after hours, went into the bathroom and started making out with a girl he’d had a crush on.
Who here has worked in fast food? What memories do you have from your days behind a deep fryer?
I worked at McDonalds for a fairly long time. My favorite was when I had my break during breakfast I would get an order of Hotcakes + Sausage and cook it myself. What you do is pour the hotcake batter, put a piece of the cooked (flat) breakfast sausage on top then add a little bit more batter. Flip it and pull when done. Voila, hotcakes w/sausage (INSIDE!!!) Yum.
I worked at a Schlotzsky’s in high school. We had these big ten gallon buckets filled with grated cheese. Absentmindedly, I set one on top of the sandwich oven while doing something else. It melted and caught fire; I had to put it out with a fire extinguisher. We had to use the pizza oven as a sandwich toaster (a real pain in the ass) for two days while a pro came in and cleaned the oven. The owner was pretty cool about it though.
A week after I graduated high school I was promoted to assistant manager. The day after my first close I came in to find the cops there. Someone had cleaned out the safe the night before, and naturally I was the prime suspect. Turns out the other assistant manager did it. She didn’t work that night and had waited in her car across the street until I locked up and left. Then she came in and did the theiving. She was caught because, unbeknownst to us, the owner assigned different alarm codes to each manager/assistant. She ended up confessing when confronted with that info.
Battered and deep-fried corn on the cob is pretty common around these parts. I’m trying to imagine it in LJS batter. Delicious.
I worked at McDonald’s a long time too, and may never be completely able to block those memories…
I remember many deep-fryer experiments. Nearly every Happy Meal toy that came down the pike got into the hot oil. I also found a crispy little lizard corpse in the bottom of the fryer one day.
One of my favorite memories: We had a very entertaining employee who worked as a maintenance person. (I often think he would have made a fine Doper).
One day during lunch rush, he was working up on the roof, and apparently did something which caused all the clamshell grills to spring open. Thus, all the grill workers were suddenly startled by
(the sound of the grills opening) BOOM
(sound of exposed meat sizzling)* hisssssssssss *
(sound of lunatic Voice from Above) “This is God speaking! Stop cooking my cows!”
Man, I laughed for days.
Mashing a tub of freshly cooked re-fried beans every day.
Someone pooped in the sink in the men’s room once.
I worked at a little independent joint right across the street from a McDonald’s. And a Naugles. We offered, you guessed it, hamburgers and Mexican. Barry’s Better Burgers wasn’t quite a roach motel, but they were close. The only redeeming thing about the whole experience was that we made our own meals at end-of-shift. Teenagers can be very creative that way.
The most vivd memories I have of the place are the night a grillman slipped and slid his left hand across the grill, removing his fingerprints forever, and the night an angry customer dived in through the pick-up window because we forgot the sour cream on his mega-burrito. We had to beat him with the bean-masher before he would leave.
I worked at McDonald’s in high school.
Off the top of my head: I chased a coworker through the restaurant with my paintball gun (yes there were customers present). We threw many weird things in the deep frier. I got thrown out of the drive threw window by a manager. While cleaning the freezer I threw a rotten lemon over a tree line and hit a guy on a go-cart square in the face (this was purely by accident but resulted in my friend getting smacked in the face along with a breach of peace charge.) And to top it off, I was offered a manager job on a couple occasions (which probably speaks to the competence of my fellow coworkers.)
Oddly, we never did anything bad to anyone’s food. My favorite snack were grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches made using the old bun toaster.
Not sure if this counts as “fast food,” but I worked at Subway for about six months in college. It was the busiest location in the state (Har Mar, for you Minnesotans), and every one of us knew it. The rules regarding prep and cleaning, etc., were written under the assumption that we would have downtime in which to do these things. Whoever had written them clearly had not been to our location, because we almost never had time to do these things. We were often prepping things as they ran out, rather than well beforehand, like we were supposed to, because often there’d be two of us and a line out the door. I could always tell it’d been especially busy when I’d come in and the garbages would be overflowing, with dishes piled high in the kitchen. We were also constantly running out of stuff, too. It got to the point where no one in other locations was allowed to borrow food from us, because we kept running out. We were allowed to borrow from them, though.
On the rare days where there WAS downtime, we’d be spending it prepping and cleaning, rather than fooling around. Though there was one day when there was a massive snowstorm and the place was dead for a few hours. I got some homework done. That was pretty awesome.
I also remember having a coworker who (again, rarely) would make a really good taco salad with a bag of doritos, salad fixings, and the chipotle southwest sauce. She was a bit of a ditz otherwise, but I always looked forward to that taco salad.
The one on Platt and victory ???
Nope. This one was out in Redlands.
Well, I suppose that’s better than going in the refried beans. :eek:
Does working the concession stand at a local movie theatre count? If so, here are a couple of stories from my high school days (late '80s):
Food privileges for staff included free popcorn and drinks, but we had to supply our own cups since the regular drink cups were counted in inventory. Well, at times, when we hungered for something we couldn’t get for free like a hot dog or pretzel, we would do our version of “playing with the numbers.” It was gross, but hey, we were teenagers.
A hot dog cost about $2.50, but a large drink was $3.00. Customer asked for a large drink, we charged them for a hot dog, which was 50 cents cheaper. The customer got their drink with no complaining for paying LESS. So according to inventory, we’d have one extra hot dog, but one missing cup. So, later in our shift, we’d take the hot dog and eat it (sight unseen). Then, we’d go into one of the emptied-out theaters, get a used cup, rinse it out, and put it back in the concession stand.
Second story, much shorter. A co-worker was in a back room mixing jalapeno juice into a large vat of processed nacho cheese. As he was mixing, the big plastic spatula he was using broke. There was a large piece inside the cheese. So he stuck his hand elbow-deep inside to retrieve it. Another co-worker walked in and saw him continuing to mix. They ended up serving that cheese to customers later in the day.
Between the spatula and forearm in the cheese, the rinsed out cups, and the lizard carcass in the fryer, this thread is probably gonna ruin fast food for me.
Heh. Somebody should do an expose on what goes on in the back lines of fast food joints sometime. I saw many a burger get dropped on the floor and scooped right back up onto the bun, among many other things. What the customers don’t know won’t hurt them, we used to say.
I worked at Mickey D’s, Hardees and Roy Rogers way back in the day, before I started moving up to real restaurants. My memories are similar – deep fryer experimentation, smoking pot in the garbage corral, snarfing free food. I did anything to a customer even when they deserved it. but I heard stories (that may have been apocryphal) about other people doing it.
My best story involved an asshole assistant manager. In addition to being a power tripping dickwad (the fact that he was tripping on the power of being an assistant manager at McDonald’s shows how pathetic he really was), he was also constantly coming onto and harrassing both female employees and customers.
At some point during my tenure there (which lasted all about one summer), the store hired a kid named Roger to work the lobby station. Why I remember his name, I have no idea. The only other name I remember from that place was a kid named Linus, who got homicidal if you asked him where his blanket was (if you ever meet anyone named Linus, they’ve heard that one before). I don’t remember the asshole assistant manager’s name. I’ll just call him AAM for short.
Anyway this kid, Roger, basically looked like Erkel. Black kid, coke bottle glasses, kind of gangly. He was also very quiet, and passive, and gave the impression (which might have been false) of being a little slow. The impression that he was slow was the reason he was given lobby duty. For those who don’t know, working the lobby station is the shit job given to newbies, and (sometimes literally) to mentally challenged people. It basically involves just cleaning the tables and the floor, emptying the garbage, and loading the condiment station. They can take a lot of abuse from drunks, and asswipe teenagers. They also have to clean the bathrooms.
So Roger was given this job, and quietly did it without complaint even when he was given shit by customers. AAM was brutal with the kid, ordering him around, being hyper-critical of his work, being incredibly condescending,a nd basically just really enjoying being able to boss this kid around and give him shit, because the kid was always so passive, and deferential and just took this asshole’s bullshit, no matter what.
One day, the AAM was out in the lobby hitting on a couple of high school girls in a booth, and trying to impress them with his big time, assistant manager job. Roger had just finished his shift, had punched out and was about to walk out the door when some lady puked all over the floor at another table. I don’t remember is she was sick, or drunk or whatever, but she blew chunks. AAM (trying to impress these high school chicks with his awesome power, I guess) started barking at Roger to get a mop and clean it up. Roger was done with his shift, and was punched out. AAM was the one who was actually supposed to covering the lobby at that point (it was during the down time after lunch), but Roger took off his jacket, went back into the kitchen, got a mop bucket and came back to clean up the puke off the clock. The whole time he was doing it, AAM was watching him, and pointing out spots on the floor, and badgering him about the job he was doing, just in general being a gigantic douche, I guess because he thought chicks dug that. He was also smoking a cigarette. This was the mid 80’s, when smoking was still allowed in fast food joints, and they still had the little foil ashtrays on the tables.
So Roger finished cleaning up the puke, and AAM tells him to go dump out the bucket, and to make sure he rinsed out the mop really good before he left. Roger rooled the mop bucket over to where AAM was standing by the booth, still trying to mack on these teeny boppers. AAM asked him what he was doing. Roger picked up the bucket and dumped it over AAM’s head. Roger then said, “I quit,” grabbed his jacket and walked out the door. AAM was standing there gobsmacked, literally sputtering, with this pukey mopwater dripping from his eyebrows, and a wet, snuffed cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The high school girls were laughing their asses off, and all of us in the kitchen were giving Roger a huge ovation as he walked out the door.
I quit myself not too long after that, but I later heard that the AAM eventually got fired for sexually harrassing too many underaged girls who worked there.
A few of us wanted to find Roger later, and buy him some beers (mybe even get him laid), but nobody knew anything about him, or how to find him. Here’s to you, Roger, wherever you are.
I’ve been to that Subway many times. Maybe you’ve been my sandwich artist. I was the super good looking guy who always ordered a seafood on wheat.
You’re right about that place always being busy. There’s always been a line every time I’ve been there, and they’ve got a really weird lobby too. There’s a few tables up front, and then there’s a long skinny hallway thing that goes back to the rest of the mall. Also really tiny tables. I hate that dining room.
Roger is my new personal hero. It really does take balls to do something like that, especially for someone seemingly so meek. I bet he was dreaming about it in bed at home for weeks before he actually mustered up the courage. Either way: good man, Roger. Good man.
It’s possible. I was the awkward skinny one with geeky glasses and brown hair, either in a long thick ponytail or shorter pigtails. (And oh man, having long hair in that place? NOT a good idea. It was hot and heavy and uncomfortable, and I was sooooo glad when I finally got it chopped off). I probably thought you were super good-looking, too…but alas, I do not remember.
Yeah, we’d get lines just about anytime, even at like 3 PM. These were always baffling…just where in the heck did these people come from, anyway?
And trust me, I didn’t like that dining room either. Then you can’t see what folks are doing in the back to the right of the serving counter, and you can’t hear them come in. I prefer the ones that are big and open.
Our manager had a real thing for cleanliness so anything that fell on the floor where I worked went immediately into the trash. And I never saw any sabotage - except once.
This lady had ordered a corn on the cob with her meal, but she said it wasn’t warm enough and kept sending it back while being a real bitch about it. So the worker who was tending to her brought the corn into the back, dropped it into the dishwater and then literally drowned the thing in butter and nuked the hell out of it.
She didn’t send it back again.
I worked in a semi-fast food Mexican place when I was in college. One of those locally owned places, it was run by an Iranian guy. His brother owned the Dairy Queen right across the parking lot.
The most fun I ever had at that job was when I went into work drunk one night! That shift was awesome! I even had fun mopping the floors.
One time on July 4th we decided it was just too slow and we wanted to go to see the fireworks, so we just closed up the place and left! Since we had keys, after the fireworks were over we went back in and clocked out so the owner wouldn’t know we all left early. He never did say anything about it. No security systems or cameras in those days.
My friend who worked at the DQ said when it was slow they used to put the ice cream machine on the coldest setting and make giant DQ cones then have Cone Swordfights!