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The 5 Worst Things You See While Working in Fast Food

#2. Staged Robberies

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Now here's a story I will share about a criminal I used to work with. Again, I don't remember this guy's name. He took over for me after I left a powerful position as a Subway Sandwich Artist in favor of assistant-managering the shit out of a Burger King. I had to hang around and train him for a few days, and, interestingly, between the questions about how to cut bread and/or put meat and vegetables on bread, he asked something kind of strange. "What do you do if you get robbed?"

It wasn't a terrible question. We worked alone from 7 p.m. until midnight, for one thing, and that's definitely unnerving. But it was still weird how he asked the question. Kind of like he was expecting to get robbed, even if I'd worked there for a long time and never had been.

Sure enough, a few days later, I heard that the store had been robbed and that the guy I was training had been locked in the walk-in cooler when it happened. I immediately knew what actually took place. This guy staged a robbery so he could steal from the store himself (he was eventually caught). Does that sound like some movie shit? Because it shouldn't. Just like the drug dealers that I promise you are working at your local burger chain, someone at every restaurant has figured out in their mind, down to the most minute detail, exactly how they would rob the place if given a chance.

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You don't need blueprints for a job this small, but they sure look professional!

It makes sense: As an employee, you know all of the inner workings of the place and can make elaborate plans with all the time you spend not actually working, and that's exactly what people do. The only thing is, sometimes they also go through with it.

For example, two fast food employees in Virginia Beach were arrested when one entered their place of employment wearing a mask and took the other employee, his accomplice, hostage with a knife, demanding money from the manager before letting his "victim" go free.

Another incident, this time involving a manager, went so far as to include a staged carjacking and the theft of nearly $9,000 in cash (or 18,000 2-for-$1 tacos) from a Jack in the Box.

The first thing you look for in any major crime is motive. When it comes to fast food restaurants, no one hates them more than the people who work there.

#1. Life-Threatening Filth

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It won't shock you to find out that fast food restaurants can be terribly filthy places. That's especially true in the bathroom. Again, you've seen a fast food restaurant bathroom, you don't need my descriptions. Even with a team of employees (hopefully) taking shifts to keep the restrooms in presentable enough shape for public use, they inevitably fall into a state of disrepair at least 15 times per day. That means, all day long, employees are in and out of the bathroom, cleaning supplies in tow, fighting the dirtiest fight in the building.

That can cause problems when a manager starts doling out responsibilities to employees who are already handling multiple tasks. For example, at a burger joint I worked at very briefly, I saw an employee, fresh off of cleaning the restrooms (plural), asked by a manager to fill the shake machine.

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"So we can keep making moments like this."

This involved emptying a 30-pound bag of yogurt or something like it into a bin at the bottom of the machine.

I was already a little put off when, instead of putting away the cleaning stuff and maybe tidying up his hands, my fellow employee just dropped the cleaning supplies where they were and went to retrieve the shake mix. After returning, things got worse. A failure to estimate the force with which liquid chocolate flows from a plastic bag caused an excessive amount of shake mix to spill onto the top of the bin (there was a lid on top with a hole in it where the liquid is poured in). What he did next haunts me to this day. Instead of grabbing a roll of paper towels to clean up the mess, this nasty animal took the same rag that he'd just been using to clean the bathroom, meaning it was full of cleaning products and disgusting bathroom filth, and used it to push the spilled shake mix back into the machine.

Someone else actually spotted this and intervened before I had a chance to speak, but here's the thing: They didn't do anything about the shake machine. A refresher course in proper cleaning techniques might be all that's needed to get the employee in order, but who's going to see to removing the E. coli that's just been pushed into those frosty shakes? The answer to that question, unfortunately, was no one. If you happened to be at that restaurant on that day and ordered a chocolate shake, I'm sad to report that it was probably way more chocolate than you even realized.

I quit shortly after that incident. I'd love to tell you I did it out of protest or something, but honestly I just hated my job, just like damn near everyone else who works in fast food.


Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should check out right here. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.


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