Fast Food Can Be Fun!

Wow Burger!Hello and welcome!

A few months ago, if someone said I’d be working in fast food and liking it, who would have believed it?  But it’s true.  Despite the hectic pace, long hours, low pay, etc. it is a lot of fun!

So why is hamburger flipping so enjoyable?  Obviously I’m not getting rich while financially treading water.  But the folks I work with are awesome and that makes the difference.

Like any job, there are people who like each other and some who do not.  Some stay; some quit.  But it is an individual’s attitude that helps determine whether or not a person will endure.  Going to work each day planning to “make it a good one” is essential!

Here are some things I like about this job and why it’s a good fit for the needs.

Acceptance.  The people who work in fast food are some of the most down to earth and most diverse folks you’ll ever meet.  There are high school kids, stoners, retired people, burned out middle-agers (like me), gays and lesbians, people with cognitive challenges, you name it.  But collectively, we are pretty open-minded.  The intense amount of teamwork required practically demands co-operation and some degree of acceptance.  Everyone at work knows I live in a van on a farm due to life changes.  Nobody seems to put me down for it.  Sometimes we joke about it (the “down by the river” thing).  But coming to work clean-shaven and well groomed is critical to being assimilated.

Activity.  What a job benefit!  As a diabetic, working a shift on your feet really helps with circulation.  It also assists with slimming down.  We have one manager who lost over 100 lbs working here because he maintained a healthy diet and stayed busy.  I’ve lost a few pounds as well and increased muscle strength and speed.  Talk about a workout!

Portability.  Everyone at work knows that I’ll be moving before long and why.  There is an awesome “golden arches” in Decorah.  A good reference from this McDonalds will likely help open the door there… or possibly somewhere else such as a Hardee’s in West Union or a Burger King in Delaware County.  I don’t know anyone who was ever turned down because he or she did a good job.  🙂

Saving Money.  Believe it or not, this job is helping save money.  No, it’s not because of the huge paychecks, but it was expensive being unemployed; the reserves were constantly dwindling.  Working also helps one remember the value of a dollar and keeps you so busy you don’t have time to spend money out of boredom.  After having worked one’s a$$ off all day for minimum wage, a person just doesn’t want to spend that $20 to eat dinner at a restaurant.

Make People Smile.  I really like to make people smile and this environment is a breeding ground for making happy faces.  We have one adorable girl who randomly hugs people for fun.  When it seems like people are having a bad time of it, I’ll chime in with the “duh-dut-duh-duh-duh” jingle and get them cracking up… like the other day when I picked up an open bag of chicken nuggets and they all spilled out onto the floor.  Keeping it fun sure makes a difference!


Serena loves McDoubles.

Working at this job has been such a learning experience.  It’s very hard labor but yet has boosted the spirits a lot and hopefully made a few peoples’ days brighter.

It’s hard to say where the coming months will lead next but this job has sure been a blessing!  If there is one thing I would LOVE to do, it would be to travel from store to store just working a few months here and there.

So what’s next?  In about a week Serena and I will be camping somewhere and likely doing some Mexican cooking.  I’m also going to be testing a new shore power battery charger for the cold months ahead.  (The Iota charger died again for something like the 4th time!)

Take care!  Thanks for visiting!

Bradford and Serena, Van dwelling in rural eastern Iowa


About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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4 Responses to Fast Food Can Be Fun!

  1. Todd says:

    Hello Brad,

    I’m thrilled that this is a good place so well for you. Way to go on saving some $$$.

    Something you wrote in the “acceptance” paragraph caught me eye.

    Cue the voice of the Borg:

    “You have been assimilated. Resistance is futile!”


    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Todd,

      I thought you’d probably notice the reference… The BORG and assimilation go hand in hand. I did not intent to compare the new job to the BORG but then again… 😉

  2. Meg says:

    Wow, people *lose* weight working there? That’s amazing. I’ve always avoided applying at places that serve food because I’m afraid I’ll *gain* weight! And considering that this is already a problem for me, I’m just afraid I’ll make it worse.

    About the portability – it sounds like fast food places are pretty much like retail jobs that way – they don’t expect people to stay a long time. And when someone isn’t planning on staying in the area – which is my situation here – that’s a good thing. Plus, if the company has other locations they’re usually very open to transfers because it costs them less – they’re getting someone who’s already been trained.

    I’m glad this is working out for you (and Serena too, apparently 🙂 ).

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Meg,

      I agree regarding the aspect of eating the food where you work. The physical work is intense and stressful. But the smell of burgers and chicken are starting to turn me off a little. Two doors down is a Subway. Sis gave me some large Subway gift cards, making eating healthier much more doable! Maybe I can be like Jared. 🙂