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Hello McDonald’s, goodbye dignity

Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.

I’ve tried everything to find employment, but nothing has worked. Not even the shaving cream trick.

I learned the theory of this trick from my dad. When I was a kid, he used to do “The cigarette trick” in restaurants, where if our food was taking a while to arrive, he’d light up a new cigarette and Murphy’s Law would cause the server to bring the food 10 seconds later. He’d have to stub out a perfectly good cig, but it was worth it if he was hungry.

I’m currently unemployed and waiting for job offers, and since there’s no worse time for the phone to ring than when your face is covered in shaving cream, I’ve made sure to shave every single day, and take an extra long time doing it. If Murphy’s Law holds true, the shaving cream trick should make my phone ring.

But it hasn’t. I would happily bury my cellphone in a swimming pool full of shaving cream if it meant getting a steady paycheck, but tricks based on depilatory cream are no match for our current dismal economy. So here I stand, a moron staring longingly at his phone as shaving cream melts off his face. I need to find a trick that makes me look like less of an idiot.

I have been unemployed for exactly one month, and my lack of funds has brought me to a tough decision. If I don’t find a job by the end of July, I will apply at McDonald’s.

Gahhh! Moofff! Grrrhahhhh! Sorry, that’s the sound a middle-class person makes when every last shred of dignity leaves their body at once. After being laid off, I’ve found it nearly impossible to find work. Every morning I post my resume on Craigslist and reply to at least a dozen want ads, and every day my phone rings twice: One call is from someone offering a pyramid scheme, and the other is someone making farting sounds and laughing.

People like to prank call you when you post your resume and phone number on a public classified ad website.

The sad part is I’m not even sure if McDonald’s would be willing to hire me. I’m not fluent in Spanish, and from my various visits to their establishments over the years – even in the deep woods of northern Minnesota – I’ve found Espanol to be an essential part of the McDonald’s experience. A polite “Thanks, but no thanks” (or perhaps “Gracias, pero ningunas gracias”?) would not be unexpected from them. This economy is so bad that it’s tough to get a job pushing a broom unless you can prove you’ve been doing it for 10 years.

Ironically, I have been pushing a broom for 10 years, but apparently being too poor to afford a vacuum cleaner for my apartment doesn’t count as janitorial experience.

Whether Ronald McDonald, Grimace, The Hamburglar, and that fat bird with braided hair want me on their McDonald’s team or not, I still plan to apply if I’m not employed elsewhere by August 1.

I have the job interview mapped out in my head. I’ll have my former bosses each write a letter of recommendation explaining why I’m in no way overqualified to work at a fast food restaurant, and then I’ll tell a humorous joke about how I’ve worked for clowns at every job I’ve held, and with this one it will just be more literal. Once they hire me, I’ll work as slowly as possible all day and spend each week’s paycheck at Wendy’s, just like the rest of the their employees.

The only flaw in my plan is if the manager of McDonald’s searches for my name on Google and finds the roughly 40 columns in which I’ve insulted their restaurant. In a mere five minutes of searching my own blog, I’ve already found at least a dozen insults directed toward them. In one post, I accused McDonald’s of using real Asians in their Asian salads. In another, I described their burgers as looking like “the spoils from a lint trap.” In yet another post, I called Mayor McCheese an asshole. It seemed funny when I wasn’t planning to be employed there.

Other quotable jems from my columnist past include “McDonald’s gourmet coffee sucks balls,” “the food tastes like dead rats,” and “the staff is slightly depressing to look at.” I also referred to their Happy Meal toys as “bullshit little figurines.” Oh, and I repeatedly posted illegal free song download codes from their Monopoly game.

Wish me well, dear reader. As usual, my success depends on both an unhealthy amount of blind luck and the incompetence of the person interviewing me. If I’m fortunate, they’ll hire me to work the register. I wouldn’t feel comfortable being the worker who creates frozen beef patties by pooping in the freezer.

 7 Responses to “Hello McDonald’s, goodbye dignity”

  1. farsi says:

    Eww! The food business!

  2. Paul says:

    I wouldn’t call it food, exactly.

  3. Dennis says:

    It’s where the Poors and Bitters eat.

  4. Tony says:

    Better not wait till the end of the month. There is someone in Mexico right now fording across the Rio Grande to man the fry machine.

  5. Yvette says:

    I wouldn’t feel comfortable being the customer at the McDonalds where you were allowed to touch the food! No offense!

  6. Scott Hanson says:

    Saw this in the “Reader” here in Duluth and i’m in the same boat. Two associates degrees (toilet paper), a B.A. and a B.A.S. and i’ve discovered that i may have to beg to get my old job at “Super 1” back. I don’t particularly feel like stocking shelves at night, but i also don’t particularly feel like starving or having to go without beer. Good luck!!
    Scott Hanson

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