I am here to announce my application for the position of line cook at this McDonald’s location. You don’t know me, so let me take a moment to introduce myself. There are a few things that set me apart from the other candidates hovering in the lobby and sipping complimentary fountain drinks.
First and foremost, I am a fast food outsider. I did not graduate from McDonald’s University. I have never set foot in one of these places, or any fast food restaurant for that matter. What that means is, I won’t just come in here and accept business-as-usual. I will ask questions. Why do we need to empty the grease trap? How does the cash register work? What is the maximum holding time for a pan of chicken patties?
What I bring to the table is a common-sense, home cook’s approach to making hamburgers. We don’t need some corporate manual and volumes of market research to tell us how to cook a Big Mac. All we need is a hot griddle and old-fashioned American know-how. Also, we will eventually need a bun and toppings, but you see where I’m going with this.
It’s important to remember where we came from. The hamburger has been a cornerstone of this great nation for generations. Our forefathers had a simple but powerful vision: A cooked beef patty served on a bun. We’ve lost sight of that.
Our grandparents didn’t need fancy timers and thermometers to tell them when their food was cooked. They didn’t worry about egghead concepts like maximum customer waiting time or salmonella. That was a simpler time, and I believe we can still go back to that simple time.
I am ready to roll up my sleeves, put on a hairnet and non-skid shoes, and get to work. I will stand up for my convictions and not be swayed by any crew leader or assistant manager.
Some of my opponents don’t see things the way I do. They’ve spent years in the fast food beltway, a revolving door from Burger King to Wendy’s, with brief stops in community college and/or prison. They call this “experience.” I call it just more of the same. Those are the people who got us to where we are now: At a small table between the ice machine and the cardboard boxes that need to be run out to the dumpster.
I have no intention of becoming one of these McDonald’s lifers. If you hire me, I will serve my time, but mark my words: When my shift ends, you won’t find me in the back room, hobnobbing with dishwashers and dining room staff. I will head back home to cook my own meals, or possibly, on occasion, stop by the Chipotle over by the new Target.
There’s so much to be done, and I’m ready to get to work. But I can’t do it without your support. That’s why I’m asking you to hire me as your new weekday line cook, except Thursdays when I’ve got this other thing and also I need next week off.
Ben Godar is a writer and filmmaker. When nobody will give him money to do that, he tries to be funny on Twitter.
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