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The sweet heart diamond
Primary training in “McDonalds” takes two working shifts. Experienced workers, who have a status of instructors, hold it. In two days, after my admission to work, I had to become a full-fledged member of the restaurant stuff. Instructors are responsible for the result of the training in front of the manager. At the end of the training a newcomer must pass the exam to the manager. If the exam is failed, the training is prolonged. If the examination isn`t passed, they let you go. But it happens quite seldom – I was told.
For two days Natalya was telling and showing in practice how to fry potatoes, pour ice-cream into waffle cups, and clean the floor with special swab, which is called “mop” in “McDonald's”. There was a lot of information. I was informed about everything orally. Natalya had to teach me according to the special schedule. Certain time was allotted to every section. From time to time Natalya conducted theoretical classes in a small rest-room, where restaurant stuff and managers dined.
This is me in the rest-room.
The room was about 3 m by 3 m in area. There always were several people, eating burgers and potatoes. A computer with the Internet access was there, too. During the time of my work I didn`t see anyone, looking through sites, apart from vkontakte. Even the deputy directors actively «chatted» in the social network. The man in front of the computer was sitting with his back turning to the workers, that were having a rest. An enormous monitor was right in front of the dining table. Of course, everyone was looking at it with curiosity.
Theoretical classes were held accordingly to one and the same scenario. I was given a handout with standards. I had to read it in presence of my tutoress and dining people. After it I was asked: “Have you read everything? Have you read it attentively?” Then the document was taken out of my hands. I tried to remember as much as possible. It was very difficult because I had no opportunity to concentrate and there was a lot of information. To tell the truth, in “McDonalds” taking home any tutorial materials was forbidden. You could take information which was only in your head. Probably, that was done to protect commercial data.
I tried to photograph everything mentally: the size of glasses, dishes, standards, and rules. For me it`s easy for me to memorize. Evidently, my visual memory is the most developed one. In the evening, at home, I recorded all the received information in a special black notebook. At the end of the training it seemed to me I had to impress the manager with my knowledge at the exam. My instructor was very pleased. But, unfortunately, I nearly failed.
My black notebook. The big version.
My time has come. The exam was in the rest-room. I, my tutors, and the examiner made themselves comfortable in the passage because all the seats at the table were already occupied. Spectators were ready. I hadn`t had any exams for 10 years already. And now I don`t know why but I began worrying. I didn`t experience such a feeling even during the most important negotiations. And suddenly I was behaving like a freshman at the exam. I could do nothing with it.
The deputy director of the restaurant, a rude woman with a steel sight, who was in her thirties, in the skin-tight uniform which didn`t fit her was examining me. It seemed to me she was looking at me like at the inferior race person. In the evening I wrote in my black notebook: “I was cleaning the floor with my head up high but I felt humiliation, while passing the exam.”
The deputy director in a strict teacher`s tone began asking me questions on the standards. I was answering cheerfully. And at that moment she decided to ask me about ice-cream.
So. Here we go! My favourite question. Tell me, the diamond of my soul (c), what sorts of “McFlury” and “McFlury Deluxe” are there?
So, that was a struck. I wasn`t informed about ice-cream at all. Probably, they have forgotten. I couldn`t even imagine what “McFlury” meant. Wordly erudition didn`t help me, as a customer I have been to “McDonalds”, probably, no more than 10 times for the last 10 years.
- Sorry, that`s a pity but I don`t know.
- But think for a while. Think your head.
- Sorry, unfortunately, I can`t think because I don`t know. I am ready to learn this section within the shortest possible period of time. Allow me…
- No, I don`t allow you. Think your head. McFlury can beee..?
She looked at me as if I had to finish her phrase. The pause hang in the air. My instructor tried to whisper in my ear but it was so loud that everyone heard it. I felt like an idiot and didn`t understand at all what to do. Someone was prompting from behind the table: “three… three sorts… three”. Everyone was waiting for the answer.
- I don`t know.
Around me I heard sighs of disappointment.
- What don`t you know? Everything is very easy. You are told: “Three!”. Is that so difficult?
- Yes, I have heard what I was told. It isn`t difficult at all. But it`s all the same, I don`t know. I just must learn this section. Unfortunately, they forgot to tell me about ice-cream.
- Forgot to tell?
Saying these words, my instructor jumped up nervously. An assistant director raised her voice.
- I think, you just don't want to know it. What have you been doing for two days? Will you retake the exams every day? But you didn't greet the customer at the cash desk. So, think with your head. "McFlury" consists of... It was becoming intolerable. Somebody began to prompt: "of ice-cream"... Of course, I knew that ice-cream consists of ice-cream, and said:
- Well, of ice-cream...
- Oh, at last! Exactly, it consists of ice-cream. And what else...?
It was an anguish. I didn't know what to do.
- Excuse me, I don't know.
The assistant director flapped her knee with her hands. At this moment I understood that I was infuriating her. She began speaking very loudly. It was on principe for her, because there were a lot of spectators around.
People around began to hiss: "Chchchchocolate chchchchips"
- Well..? And..?
- Sorry, I can't say because I don't know.
That's it, it was the end.
- No, you don't understand me at all! Or you don't understand me and I'm making a conclusion, that you don't understand anything at all. Or you don't want to understand me, and I'm making a conclusion that we will never understand each other. And at this point your work in "McDonalds" will end. You see, your work will end at this point!!! Have you understood me? I`m asking you last time, "McFlury" consists of ice-cream and..?
At this moment I wanted to stand up and say to this woman with sadistic propensity: "My precious! The diamond of my soul! Go to hell!" And then to go from the private room, leaving spectators with open mouths and unfinished hamburgers.
But I needed this work... I have worked in McDonalds for two days, but I needed more. I clinched fists. The show didn't take place.
- Excuse me, I really want to work here. I was alarmed a bit. If you give me 5 minutes to pull myself together, I will remember everything and tell you about "McFlury".
The assistant director left the rest-room. My spectators in eager rivalry began to teach me. In a blue funk I tried to remember everything. When my tormentress came, certainly, I confused everything. There were five sorts of ice-cream with different combination of ingredients. Now she was looking at me like at hopeless idiot. Then prompting began. I didn't resist. One thought was in my mind – I wanted this anguish to stop faster.
In this way, I passed the exam.
To be continued...
- Why does "McDonald’s" have so many customers?
- How did I quit "McDonald’s"?
After the story about McDonald’s I'll tell you about "Sbarro" and "Teremok".
This entry is a part of a story about my excelsior in food service business. In November - December 2010 I worked in few fast-foods in Saint-Petersburg. I wanted to study business processes and technologies from the inside, because I'm planning to be busy with fast-food business. For the time being I start up business in this field in Syktyvkar. What will come out of it - read in this blog.
Fast-food working experience stories in chronological order (November-December 2010):
Part 1. Excelsior
Part 7. Standards
Part 8. A member of the restaurant stuff
Part 9. Faster! Much faster!
Part 10. Smile
And here are my thoughts online.