Greener BeeGreen LivingLiving in a College Town, and Not Attending School

Adrienne Green: How did you get started working at McDonald’s?

Caroline Held, an employee at McDonald’s in Iowa
(Caroline Held)

Caroline Held: After high school, I didn’t have any plans to attend college so I was just looking for a job and McDonald’s was hiring at the time. I had never worked in food service before, but I was hired, and I’ve been working there for about three years. I’m a full-time shift manager now.

Green: How have your responsibilities changed from when you first started?

Held: When I was first hired, I mostly just worked with the customers. I took orders and got the food ready, but I didn’t really work the grills or anything like that. Now as a shift manager, I have to know every position so I can help out. When I first started, I didn’t really have a lot of responsibilities, but now I have to make sure that the crewmembers are helping the customers out correctly and everything’s going smoothly.

Green: Have you seen what it’s like to work at McDonald’s change at all over the three years that you’ve been there?

Held: McDonald’s has actually changed a lot. When I first started, we had a different type of meat, and now it’s a higher quality. People are always getting more conscious about what they eat because there’s so much information out there about what’s good for you, what’s bad for you, and it’s easier to access. For example, we have non-GMO chicken nuggets, fresh eggs for the McMuffin, and we use real butter. I think that’s a sign that people caring more about what goes into their food.

Held: There are quite a few challenging things, but a lot of it for me is the personal interaction. As a shift manager, you have to communicate a lot with your crew to make sure that they know everything that they’re supposed to do, and then you also have to communicate well with the customers, especially if they’re upset. You just have to be really friendly, even if you don’t want to be.

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