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I work in one of the most loved, yet most hated industries in the world. Criticism comes from all angles in the fast food business – whether the guests’ food is not prepared to their liking, their table isn’t as clean as they would like it to be, or their server did not give them a remarkable experience. Basically, I’ve heard it all, and I’m surely glad that I have. Although the fast food industry has a bad reputation – both in the media and in casual conversation – I love working at my local Chick-fil-A. Through many strenuous days, months, and now two and a half years of fulfilling orders, I have learned the lessons that have catapulted me into adulthood.
Awkward conversations used to ruin my day. Sure, once in a while I will meet a new person and still have a stilted exchange, but now I can just about talk to anyone that I meet. Before I started at Chick-fil-A, I was very awkward, but as I got more experience talking to new customers I became more confident in myself. I’ve learned what to say to make an impression, how to say it quickly and decisively, and, most importantly, how to make anyone feel special, regardless of where I am. I can hold conversations with authority figures I used to be scared to talk to, talk to people I don’t necessarily like but still have to interact with, and be a leader who brings people together in any way necessary, all because of my day-to-day experiences at Chick-fil-A.
And let’s face it, customers can be annoying. Often, they complain about the freshness of food that is fresh out of the fryer, complain about the wait times to get their food (which only takes so long because it is being made fresh), and complain about problems that we employees simply cannot control. Sure, everyone makes mistakes and those mistakes are often easily fixable, but the right person has to fix them. That is where I come into play. Because I have dealt with so many upset customers, I have developed problem-solving techniques that allow me to resolve real life issues in seconds. When customers come up to the counter and say, “We didn’t get the right salad!” I am able to get the correct salad in an instant, for free, and not fret over their frustration. I have dealt with customers calling me vulgar names and yelling at me for someone else’s mistakes; I have learned to always stay positive and work the situation out openly and honestly.
Holding a steady job has prepared me for my future. Ever since I started working at Chick-fil-A, I’ve become more independent. Instead of putting a financial burden on my parents for my clothing, car insurance, and gas, I pay for most of these necessities with my own money. And once those essentials are paid, I can do what I want with the rest of the money that I work hard to make – a few luxuries, and a lot of saving for a prosperous adulthood. Every day, I work hard to be a leader and a role model in my community. I would never be at the place where I am without starting at Chick-fil-A.
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