If Clowns Ruled the World

Posted: May 10, 2012 in Government, humor, Life, Politics, Pop Culture, storytelling
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Honors from Ronald - circa 1983

Yes, my mom DID save everything. So she could give it to us as Christmas presents when we became adults and de-clutter her house…

“Hey, any McDonald’s employees in the house tonight?”

Our table at the Riviera Comedy Club was so close to the stage we could have tripped the comedian on his way to the mic. He couldn’t help but notice my hand in the air; it was the only one in the room raised.

“Oh my God, you actually ADMIT it?”

Yes. Yes, I do. My declaration of McDonald’s loyalty provided about three minutes of comic fodder along with enough embarrassment for my husband that I’m no longer allowed to raise my hand at comedy shows (I have to keep my hands at my sides for auctions, too, but that’s another story). I’m sure there were more of us in the Vegas crowd that night. There had to be. Roughly 1 in 10 workers in the United States have been employed at McDonald’s at some point in their lives. And their website currently touts 761,000 employees in their U.S. restaurants alone. That’s a lot of Hamburglars.

I worked on two different McDonald’s crews, several years and hundreds of miles apart. The lessons I learned as a grill jockey became an important part of my work ethic and while working at McDonald’s may not be anyone’s dream job, there are a lot of people who could benefit from being part of the crew.

In this election year, what if we required every candidate for public office, regardless of the level, to work at McDonald’s for one week? Here’s what they’d learn:

Basic Economics: The simple rules of supply and demand. Estimating quantities to avoid excessive waste. Handling money responsibly. And learning to make change because sometimes things should cost LESS than people expect.

Teamwork: McDonald’s employees work stations during their shifts: drive-thru, counter, grill, fries. When one person doesn’t man their station, it throws everybody off. Do YOUR job and encourage those you work with to do THEIRS. One person can’t, and shouldn’t, do it all.

Flexibility: Work a McDonald’s counter on a Friday night when two busloads of high school kids pull in right after the grill is cleaned and the floor‘s mopped, and you learn to roll with the punches. Put a smile on your face, say “How can I help you?”, listen to what they want and give it to them if you can.

Respect: For yourself, your co-workers and the public you’re serving. You get what you give; give respect and 85% of the time, you’ll get it back. Don’t expect 100% because it‘ll never happen. There will always be that customer for whom the fries are too salty and the coffee‘s too hot.

One week, working for Ronald McDonald, can make you a better leader. It worked for Mayor McCheese. And if you don’t get elected, at least you’ve got some marketable skills for life after politics.

What lesson do you think political candidates should learn before they run for office?

  1. Rob says:

    How to tell the truth or, at least, how to recognise it. The truth and what people want to hear are NOT necessarily the same thing.

    • “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” The version we get these days is seldom the whole truth so being able to recognize it when we hear it would be helpful for everyone, politician or not. And you’re right that people would sometimes rather hear a half-truth they can feel comfortable with than a whole truth that scares them. Thanks for commenting!

  2. So true. I’ve always thought it looked like a way harder job than I’d ever want to tackle.

    • Some days it was harder than others but if you worked with the right people, it could be a lot of fun, too. It was definitely harder the second time around; I was a little older and had a full-time day job and it was my full-time night job. Always good to hear from you!

  3. kvalleryy says:

    Loved it–and SOOOOOOO agree! Responsibility for one’s actions (or lack thereof) and common courtesy are so important in government–and life. The lack thereof is deplorable!

    • Miss Kay! Welcome back. Common courtesy – thumbs up to you on that one. You don’t even see it in some families when they relate to each other, let alone among strangers. Even such simple things as “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me”. I’m glad I was raised the way I was raised.

  4. Renee Weatherbee says:

    I think politicians should learn how to cooperate with each other. It’s okay to disagree, but not okay to hold up business.

    • Amen to that, sister. If disagreement leads to discussion which results in better solutions, that’s one thing. If it derails progress, that’s another thing entirely. On another note, enjoyed your post about the Lazy JD campground. I need to get our camper ready for this season – first campout is set for Memorial Day weekend. Thanks as always for stopping by.

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