Friday Professional Group


Why I Loved My “McJob”


By: Kimberley Dart

Sunday marked 10 years since I first started at FRIDAY.  I feel old just saying that.  Prior to this, my longest job tenure was when I was a teenager working at McDonald’s – I lasted there just over 4 years. 

Say what you will about having a “McJob” those 4 years did more to shape my work habits and perceptions than anything else. 

Looking back I now recognize many of things that I am constantly preaching to my clients about.  These are the key elements to a successful organization:

·         Onboarding

My first memories are of the hiring & training process.  I was interviewed on site by a restaurant manager, and before I left, I met the head manager.  Once hired I attended a team orientation at the head office.  This was my first experience with Onboarding, even though this was not my first job.

·         Training

After the initial orientation, all training was held on site and new employees were paired with a trainer for 2 shifts on each station.  If the trainer didn’t feel that the employee got a good grasp of that station, they received more training.  At first you learned 3 stations, and for the first couple of months you would work on them exclusively.  After that, you would be trained on other stations.  At any time you could tell them that you were happy and didn’t want to learn others, or the reverse.  Their system is such that new employees are set up for success.

·         Reviews & Expectations

We would receive regular performance and salary reviews: every 6 months in fact. I can’t think of another job (before or since) when the review process was as precise.  But, more importantly, before that we received regular, on the job feedback so we always knew where we stood and there were never any surprises at the review.

·         Growth Opportunities

If you wanted to move up and learn more, all you had to do was ask.  Things have changed since I’ve been an employee but back in my day you would first learn every station, then you would be promoted to a “Crew Trainer”, then “Crew Chief”, then “Swing Manager”, and eventually to Manager.  The head office in my city was staffed fully by former restaurant employees as well (reception, accounting, PR and marketing).

·         Recognition

There was a lot of employee recognition as well.  The employee of the month earned himself a Ronald McDonald trophy and watch (I still have mine), for each year of service you were awarded a collectable pin, and if you managed to stay until your 10th anniversary you received a crisp, new $1000 bill along with a gold signet ring.  At your 15th anniversary, they added a diamond to the ring.  In addition to the tangible recognition, there were annual parties in both summer and winter and all employees were encouraged to attend at no charge (they would have employees from other locations staff your location so that all staff members were free to go).


In addition to the above, I learned about teamwork, and finding productive ways to keep busy when things get slow.  I learned to appreciate the customer’s point of view and what true customer service is.   And I have a great collection of pins and toys that I hope will be considered collectible one day.

Like any job there were the downsides too, but the memories of those have faded.  Now I tend to remember the good parts of the job and am able to appreciate the experience that much more.

What was your first job?  Do you have any fond, or maybe not so fond, memories of it?

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