I am a self-proclaimed expert in this area, so you can take this for what it is worth. But allow me to enlighten you on the intricacies of the fast-food restaurant model. I have worked at 2 such restaurants in my life, and I quickly noticed patterns that emerged at both. Every single one of these restaurants, whether they serve burgers, burritos, tacos, or chicken, has the same 5 types of workers. Now, you may not encounter all these workers on any given day when you go in to get your “heart attack in a bowl” but if you have the great fortune (or ill-fortune?) to work for one of these great establishments you are bound to run into them. In both restaurants that I worked in (I will not reveal these fine dining places for fear of retribution, but you can get burgers at one and pizzas at another, did I give away too much? I hope not, but Herman Cain was never my boss, so there is another little nugget of a hint to help you key in on the answer and thankfully I was allowed to have things my way at the other, shit, that might have actually been too good of a hint, but regardless, you should probably go back and read what was written before the beginning of the parentheses as you may have forgotten my lead in to this epic sentence, as I already have!) I worked with all types of characters and thankfully I encountered all 5 workers during my tenure at both.
Now, I see this as a glorious occurrence in my life. I have since worked with countless other workers and I can tell you that these 5 types keep reappearing in many different industries. But since my first job was in the fast-food industry, I would like to think that the attributes of the workers originated here. You may have been one of those lucky few silver-spoon-in-the-mouth-upon-birth babies, but I believe that most of my target audience has worked in some sort of a fast paced restaurant environment.
The five that I am going to discuss are not the only 5 types of employees that you will work beside or encounter running the cash register, but most employees I believe can fit into any of these molds. Honestly, I did have one planned for the original 5 but I felt that it may have been way to offensive. Now, for the following 5, I did not treat anyone special and each person could be equally offended if they fall into one of these categories, but that is not my problem. I like to think of myself as one of the top rate journalists out there (watch out Connie Chung, the young guns are making their move) so I will attempt to stick to the pure facts of the case (please note, I never majored in journalism and have actually struggled to write good crap in graduate school, honestly, I am not sure how I actually got accepted in the first place, I would like to think that my Catholic background had something to do with it). I am only going to report on what I have witnessed. So, obviously, there may be more to add to this list but I like the title and it worked well for another book, so ipso facto ergo yada yada yada I present to you:
The Five People You Meet in a Fast-Food Restaurant
1. The Content
This is a worker that has no intentions of moving up or down in the world. They are completely content on staying in their position until they retire. Sure, they may have the skill to move up to middle-management, upper management, or even ownership, but why? The motivation is spent elsewhere and they are fine with the money they make. I have respect for these people, because more often than not, they are very happy in life. I wish others could find this type of solace and peace in their life. I know of a few CEOs/Presidents/Managers that would have done well never going after the promotion (ahh, personal memories). Some people just suck at work after they get a promotion, so I applaud these people that understand there is more to life than succeeding in business.
2. The Intent
Alright, I was pretty nice with that first worker, but now it may get a little ugly. Remember that CEO/President/Manager that I referenced earlier? Yeah, these are the Intents. They think they are going to rule the world someday and for now, they are just biding their time until the opportunity arises. However, these idiots are barely qualified for their current job, and some deserve to be demoted or fired right now. I cannot stand these types of workers. All they ever talk about is how they are going to go back to school, get more training, take a class, or they just read some new self-help book and now they think they are qualified to discuss economics. But the fact is that they are not qualified to move up in the world; they deserve to stay right where they are at and let other people elevate. Often a quote from one of them will go something like this, “Yeah, I plan on opening my own store in the next couple of years, but with this down economy and the stock market crash of forever ago, I may have to wait a few more years” or “Yeah, the reason I am still working here is because…” Usually, you don’t have to wait for them to finish the sentence because it is likely a stupid reason.
These idiots are the first to blame their bad luck on everything but themselves. Is it unfortunate that their plans did not work out? Yeah, but if they could just be content with life, then maybe things will go smoother in the future.
3. The Passer-By
Now this is the person that will go places in life. They are not going to stay in this role for long so you better get to know them quick. In my experience, these have always been the people that are working part time and devoting the other half of their life to school, or another career. These people will do something with their lives and strive to move up in the world. They have both the motivation and the skill to do it. The Intents should look to these people for a model plan of how to succeed (however, I think they would just chalk the success up to luck). The Passer-Bys are gung-ho about trying new things and learning from others. In a few short months they will be onto some other adventure or new career. In this category, I would also place all the “starving artists” of the world (musicians, actors/actresses, etc.) because even though not all are going to succeed in their hopeful life path, at least they are giving it their all.
Also, these individuals understand that luck is rare but opportunities are constant. Even if they fail 99 times they will try again. I have had the opportunity to meet some of these individuals throughout my short life and I am glad to have had that opportunity. They piss excellence in the morning and drink success at night. These individuals are usually the first to fail and the first to rise back up. Hopefully, all of you out there reading this fall into the Passer-By category.
4. The Peaker
This one might get a little offensive as well for some people. The Peakers have hit the highest rung as far as the personal accomplishment ladder is concerned. Now, hopefully all the people that do peak are at the highest actual level of the business as possible (CEO, President, owner) but this is likely not the case. I met a guy that had peaked at the pizza restaurant I worked at, and even that job may have been a little too much for him. But the nice thing about these individuals is that they understand that they have peaked. They do not go for challenging promotions or volunteer their time for more than they can handle. I love working with these type of people, because you are either striving to top them or do not have to compete with them.
5. The Promoter
Last but not least, I present to you the Promoter. This individual (I have worked with 2 in my life) love the crap out of the business or restaurant they work for. A Promoter cook at McDonald’s will bash the shit out of Burger King. A Promoter cashier at Target would never be caught buying groceries at Wal-Mart. These individuals live and die for their respective company and nothing you can say or do will ever change that. Even if the CEO/President/Manager is running the organization into the ground, they will be there to back them 100%. In some cases, a Promoter is a good type of worker. If you own your own business you better be a promoter or if you are in line to take over then you should be as well. However, if you are so far down the totem pole that you when you Google your name and the business logo doesn’t appear on the first page of image results, then you should not be a Promoter! These individuals have a grossly twisted thought process about their status in the company and I encourage all the readers out there (hopefully someone is reading this, as it is already 5 pages on Microsoft Word and I still have some to write, and that may not seem long to someone like George R. R. Martin but it is to me) to never be a promoter (again, unless of course you own or are about to run the company)!
Now, I have given you the 5 people you will meet in a fast food restaurant, but remember that these 5 types of workers appear in every office around the world. You will never escape them and hopefully you are comfortable in your actual role in the business world. Can you guess which role I fall into?