When I was 16, I worked at McDonalds, as any loyal 3 Things About Cheryl video fan would know.
It wasn’t the most exciting job, but I was able to work around my college schedule, I got to sit on a stool and talk for a living (“Can I take your order?”) and I worked with mostly nice people. Although once, the police came in during my morning shift to arrest a coworker who had robbed a store the evening prior. But that’s another story.
One Friday evening I was at a party with a group of friends from across the pond. And by pond, I mean the Ohio River. A friend of theirs whom I had never met was home from Iraq for a week, so we were celebrating his short leave and safe return. Around 10pm I regrettably declared that I had to head home, as I was scheduled to be at work at a grueling 5am-that’s right, once upon a time, I woke up at 4:30am on a regular basis. Ugh.
Well, the friend from Iraq, who I will call Bob, not because his name is Bob nor because I’m trying to protect his identity, but rather because I have no idea what the hell is name is, had noted that his friends were enjoying my company, and asked me not to go. If I hadn’t been broke, I would have just called off, but I told him really needed the money.
That’s when he offered me $100 to quit.
Bob didn’t just want me to continue to party, he also had decided I should quit and start my own business, which at the time I had absolutely no inclination to do, nor did I have any type of “business” in mind. However, I had been planning to apply at a telemarketing company with significantly better pay, so I figured I’d just take the $100, which was more than three full days worth of work at McDonalds at a pathetic $5.15 an hour, and go apply for the other gig on Monday.
Bob and I drove to the ATM, and at this point I heavily doubted that a complete stranger was going to pay me $100 to continue playing flip cup, but what the hell. He withdrew $100, handed me the cash and asked for my cell phone. One of my favorite managers answered:
“McDonalds, how can I help you?”
“Cheryl Harrison won’t be coming into work tomorrow, or ever again. She has found a more lucrative business opportunity.”
“Have a nice evening.”
I went back to the party, $100 tax-free richer, and didn’t think much of it. (see also: alcohol).
That same manager called me later the next day.
“So, I just got a call from corporate. Apparently, you won some scholarship for $5,000 that they give to one person in each state and you have to work here to get it, but, uh, you had some guy quit for you last night, so we’ve taken you off the schedule.”
I had applied a few months prior for the McDonald’s Employee of The Year scholarship. They select one winner from each state. You have to still be employed at McDonald’s at the time the winners are selected to be eligible.
This is what we call a “god damnit” moment.
That manager hadn’t informed the store’s General Manager about the scholarship yet, so when I showed up the next day with the best fake tears I could muster declaring that some douchebag had stolen my phone the night before and I was so embarassed that he had called and quit my job that I didn’t show up, he gladly accepted back his best drive-thru diva.
A few days later, the letter about my scholarship came.
I quit two weeks later.
McDonalds Employee of The Year for the State of Ohio, 2006.