I’ll cut to the chase, and get right into it.
Mcdonald’s was my first employer, and technically, American Eagle is my third. I quit Mcdonald’s almost a year ago, and am currently still employed at AEO.
I thought it would be nice to blog about my experiences working at these two places, cause I don’t know about you– but I find people’s work experiences (esp. part time, working retail or fast food, just to get an insight of each job…nawmean? like who wouldn’t want to know what REALLY goes down inside Mcdonald’s?) pretty interesting to read. It’s like a product review. Or perhaps someone’s looking into working for these two companies. I know for myself, that before I got the jobs, I researched and looked into what it’s like to be a crew member or an associate. So let’s get to it!
I cut this into chunks and pieces, so feel free to read on what you’re only interested to know! Since it’s going to be super in depth, you wouldn’t have to read it all. Haha.
I was already toward the end of my senior year of high school when I decided I was in dire need of a part time job. Most of my friends had been working part time since freshman year (9th Grade), and it would be quite nice to make my own cash too. So the job hunting began.
How I got hired
It’s actually pretty funny to me how the hiring process all worked out. It was mid-April of 2015 when McDonald’s had their annual hiring day. This actually happens a couple more times a year, or just another time in the fall– I forgot. But anyhow, my friend Patrick and I went together and submitted our resumes, and then waited patiently for the 1st level interview every applicant gets (on hiring day only). So if you’re planning to apply, best find out when their hiring day is, you’ll have a better chance; since they’ll interview you on the spot.
We went to 3 different McDonald’s. Yes, three. One location didn’t accommodate very much, just did a quick meet-and-greet rather than an interview, and that was it. No chance there. The second one was decent. I chatted with the Swing Manager who was presiding the event. Since I’ve no job experience, we talked about my plans after high school. Very casual.
He asked me to do a survey (which pretty much indicates they’re interested, so this is a good sign– they wouldn’t have you do this unless they want you). So I finished with that, and then they told me they were going to give me a call to let me know if I get to move on to the “second interview”.
On the third location, the same thing happened: got the first interview, filled out the survey. With this one, they called me right away, just a few hours after the first interview. I came in and got an interview with the Restaurant Manager. I’m pretty sure I did well, but they didn’t hire me on the spot. They told me they’d give me a call. *cough, liars*
I believe the next day, I got a call from location #2 telling me to come back for the second interview. I came in and met the Restaurant Manager for this location. I was there with two other guys. We didn’t get interviewed. We were asked to fill out our availability sheet and we were hired on the spot! No interview. We received our orientation package and that was that.
My experience on: Coworkers, customers, discounts
McDonald’s, for me, was quite a bittersweet experience– to say the least. I was terrified and nervous every shift, I guess it’s just natural especially if it’s your first job. But it got to the point where I just dreaded being there and just didn’t like working there. It got better towards the end, but not enough for me to stay long.
My first few shifts, I was extremely anxious. The judgmental eyes watching my every move didn’t help either. I guess it was that specific location, because most employees were Filipino. And how weird is that? I thought I would have a better time working there because I’m with my fellow Filipinos, but it was the opposite. There was a lot of favoritism, for sure. Which made it so hard to fit in and ease into the job. A lot of gossips. Working at that location taught me that everyone talked shit. I know it’s inevitable at any work place, but it was just ridiculous. So I knew, most of them (especially the tita’s or older Filipino ladies) would comment on my work ethics. It was my first job, they gave me no chills, but I guess you learn the hard way.
That being said, I just pushed myself to be better and even go above and beyond to impress them. Which, if I’m being completely honest, they didn’t seem to like a lot either. In a way that they felt I was a competition. You couldn’t be too good or too bad, ugh.
Over the course of a year working there, I’ve made some dope friends too. No elder Filipino ladies though, just the cool dudes working the back end and some of my girls up front.
The job itself was obviously tiring; on your feet for 8 hours straight sometimes (on a very, very busy Friday). The good side to those busy shifts is that, it goes by super fast. So working 8 hours isn’t as bad sometimes. The workload is intense and fast food workers definitely don’t get paid enough.
McDonald’s is like the place people think they can shit on you, just because you work at McDonald’s. That’s a warning. It’s inevitable with any fast food chains, really. So if you don’t like dealing with people in general, you probably would hate working fast food.
I’ve experienced some really disgusting people, especially on drive-thru. But it was part of my job and honestly, I took it with a grain of salt. Couldn’t really give too much fucks. Don’t take it personal, as they say. Like, bitch you think you’re better than me but here you are buying McDonald’s cause you can’t afford anything else. Shut up. But you get my point 🙂
And of course I have to mention the employee discount. Basically, we get 50% off our meals. You couldn’t use your discount to buy for like your whole family. The discount was strictly for the employee, obviously. So yeah. But sometimes my managers were nice and would give me the discount if I bought like 3 Big Macs by themselves lol.
Why I quit
So I came full circle and quit April of 2016. I worked one year and that was enough. My original plan working there was just to get experience anyway, I wasn’t going to stay long. One super honest reason I can give you is that I couldn’t deal with the overly strict managers who give you termination warning if you don’t smile enough at customers, stupid shit like that. Some managers got really crazy especially when we got a new Restaurant Manager who found every reason to hate everyone lol.
I just didn’t vibe well with anyone, and the sad part is I didn’t mind the job/the customers– it was the people I worked with that I just couldn’t be around. There is a time and place for everything, and nobody got time for coworkers who act like they work at the Pearson Spectre Litt law firm. Like dude, this is Mcdonald’s, chill a little. Some managers/people just don’t know where to place themselves.
What I took out of my whole experience, even though it seems a little harsh (which it wasn’t really, I guess I just magnified the parts that I didn’t like)… it was still an experience. I gained really good work ethics and so much more. It is a good first job, and I would actually recommend it– it’s a great stepping stone. Maybe, just maybe, if I had nicer coworkers I would’ve stayed.
American Eagle Outfitters
I got the job June of 2016, so almost 2 months after I quit McDonald’s.
How I got hired
Ever since and prior to quitting McDonald’s, I was always on the internet looking for places that are hiring. I happened to stumble upon American Eagle. Originally, I told myself I’d never get a job at the mall. Only because I don’t want to dress up and put in effort each shift. I liked it better if I got a uniform instead and be done with it.
I submitted my resume online in April, I believe, but didn’t get the interview until June. Yeah, they advertise hiring super early on. When really, this hiring is for the Back To School season– so for September. I guess the point is to work July and August, and hopefully be familiar enough with the store to be a great associate by the time busy September, or Back To School rolls in.
My interview went super chill. I remember getting asked about my customer service experience, and if I was ever in a position where I had to deal with a difficult customer. Luckily, the manager who interviewed me had worked at McDonald’s as a manager before she worked at AEO (samesies), so we related to each other a lot. And then I was asked what I thought about style or fashion– something like that. I was honest and told her, to me style is whatever I’m comfortable in. Quick and easy. I was then asked to fill out a survey on the store iPad and was told that they’d give me a call/email me within 2 weeks to notify me if I got the job or not. I want to say that it took more than 2 weeks for them to get back to me, but anyway, I got a job offer email– so I accepted it!
My experience on: Coworkers, customers, discounts
I just want to say that I love my AEO fam. Lit workplace. 10/10.
Guys, I literally work with the best set of people. I’m so genuinely in love and happy about working at American Eagle. Maybe because I came from a workplace I dreaded so much, this one just seemed like the light of day to me, lol. So I guess this is the good side of this post. I finally have some good things to say! Haha.
ALL my managers I get along with nicely, they definitely have better mangers over here than McDicks. Most of them I vibe with so well and are just, wow, they melt my heart. They’re the nicest and dopest people.
I was very shy at first, but everyone was so approachable and cool– most of them were younger than me. Literally, a handful of them are still in high school and I guess the age bracket of the employees just work out so well all together. Everyone is goofy, everyone is tight. It’s definitely so much easier to work with people your age or are going through the same things as you. Probably a big reason why I couldn’t relate to my coworkers at McDonald’s. The age difference as well as the culture difference was kinda off.
I don’t have much to say about customers, cause honestly I don’t get to deal with crabby ones like at McDonald’s. Some douchey customers here and there, but never as bad as fast food customers. In most cases, I like it when I get approached by a customer– cause I like helping people shop. It’s so fulfilling when they find exactly what they want and you suggested it to them. Hehe. I am not yet cash-trained, so I only work the sales floor. I guess that’s why I don’t get constant contact with customers.
Lo & Behold!!! Haha, I always love finding out what discounts employees get especially retail workers. We, for sure get dope ones. On the handbook we were given on our orientation day, it says we get 40% off. Which is still pretty great. But our beloved managers give us 60%!!!! Yes. That’s why I’m broke sometimes. 60% applies on original priced items. The 60% only applies to 12 original priced items per month. But no one really keeps track, tbh.
Most of the time, our clearance section is already 60% off, so as employees, we would get 25% off on top of that clearance item. SO. DOPE. There’s different discounts, depending on the item (online returns, etc.)
If you become a Jean expert or a Stylist, you can get 80% off so I heard. Lucky them.
That sums up my experiences, dolls!
I know I rambled, but you don’t have to read all of it. Hence the headings. I also didn’t mention, but I work at a family owned ice cream shop in the summer! That itself would be its own post, maybe. I love working there too, my coworkers and my boss are truly the nicest people. A story for another time!