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Instructions on Your First Day at Work

by Abbie Harlow

Are you listening? No, you’re not. I’ll say it again, but for heaven’s sake, pay attention this time. I said, by no means should you ever accept fifty or one-hundred dollar bills from customers. There isn’t a slot for them in the cash register and it’s against company policy anyway. Molly took a fifty from a woman once because that was the only bill she had, and she’d ordered forty-seven dollars and sixteen cents worth of McGriddles anyway. Things didn’t go over so well for Molly. Who’s Molly? Don’t worry about her. She doesn’t work here anymore. Actually, it’s her job you’re taking. Why do you look so surprised? If there’s a job opening, someone has to lose their job first, right?

You see that man working the drive-thru window? The one with the handlebar mustache and the potbelly? Yeah, him. That’s Mark. Stay away from him. He’s after my job as Head Fry Cook. Actually, he’s after everybody’s job because he’d rather be anywhere besides the drive-thru. Soon enough, he’ll be after your job too. Actually, come to think of it, he applied for it but got rejected early on. In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t talk to him at all.

Now, see that kid to the right of Mark? Yeah, the young one with the freckles. That’s George. He regularly steals food from the fryer. His average haul is one medium-sized container of French fries and one Big Mac or two hash browns and an Egg McMuffin per day, depending on which part of the day his shift is. Everybody knows he steals food, but nobody tells on him ’cause he’s the only one who knows how to fix the McFlurry machine. Don’t laugh. That thing breaks a lot. You should be nice to George. He’s alright. He might even give you some food, if you’re nice to him. Like me—he gives me five French fries a day. He doesn’t give Mark anything at all. Stay away from Mark.

Who’s the cashier at the front counter? That’s Rachel. She’s been here for a year already. Don’t let her perky smile fool you—that’s only for the customers. Really, she hates everybody’s guts. Even yours. Especially yours. She hates newbies. It’s best to avoid her. Unless, of course, Mark wants to talk to you. Then you should strike up a conversation with Rachel as quick as you can. She’ll glare at you, probably swear at you, and most likely yell a little, but that’s a whole lot better than having to cope with the repercussions of talking to Mark. Molly talked to Mark once. As you’ll remember, she doesn’t work here anymore. This is her job you’re taking. For heaven’s sake, don’t be like Molly.