Why I Don't Just Get a 'Real' Job
Do you want fries with that?
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My first job was in McDonalds. The one on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, to be exact.
It was the summer before I started university, and the Edinburgh Festival was in full swing. The city was slammed with tourists. They all seemed to want a Big Mac — or sometimes a Whopper. When I told them they’d need to go to Burger King for that, they’d lose their shit and demand to speak to the manager; who would pretend to agree that it was all my fault until the customer, then shrug and tell me to get back to work.
I lasted two weeks.
When I went in for the last time, to hand back the four-sizes-too-big dungarees, and the baseball hat I was made to cram my waist-length hair into before every shift, I felt like I was being freed from some kind of particularly hellish prison, where I’d been incarcerated for a crime I didn’t commit. (But where I at least got to have an Egg McMuffin every morning, so, you know, silver linings…)
I also suspected this was more or less what the world of work would always feel like for me — and, spoiler alert: I was absolutely right about that.
In the years that followed my ill-fated fortnight at McDonalds, I was never out of work for more than a few weeks at a time, and I literally never stopped complaining. Here’s a list of all of the jobs I’ve had in my life:
Call centre operator
Call centre team leader
Local government press officer
And here’s a list of all of the jobs I’ve actually enjoyed: