The inner workings of a fast food kitchen are equal parts mysterious and morbidly intriguing. Even though we all feel that there is something deeply unsavoury about food that goes from frozen to fried in a matter of seconds, we still can’t resist eating it. Not knowing what goes on behind closed doors probably makes us feel that much more comfortable about stuffing our faces. Peeling back the curtain, however, could risk spoiling everyone’s appetite. Something about curiosity and cats springs to mind.
Fortunately for the nosey fast food fan, an opportunity has arisen to find out the answers to all the questions you were always too afraid to ask. An ex-McDonald’s worker, who claims to have spent five months working in the belly of the beast, has taken to popular Australian website OzBargain to shed some light on the inner workings of the McDonald’s machine. His information is certainly illuminating.
In his introduction to the online forum, the unidentified individual described how, “I did an AMA [Ask Me Anything] five months ago when I was still quite fresh and inexperienced with Maccas worth ethics,” adding that it was, “Time to give it a go again! A casual employee at Maccas front counter serving the customers all day long. Open to all questions.” The Aussie internet seemed to leap at the chance to take him up on the offer.
Questions touched on a number of issues, with many choosing to focus on the rumoured abuse of fast food employees by angry customers. Unsurprisingly, the anonymous whistleblower admitted that they had been shouted at “many, many times,” adding that, “I've been flamed at for either giving out a toy that their son or daughter disliked or giving out burgers that were supposed to have no pickles but had pickles in them.” Clearly, getting things wrong can have dire consequences.
However, for the thousands who may have been expecting a total evisceration of McDonald’s practices, the ex-employee’s stories may come as a disappointment. In fact, in many cases he was extremely complimentary, debunking the myth about the rumoured “five-second rule,” revealing that “Anything dropped by either customers or employees will be thrown away... We would have to make it again,” as well as confounding rumours about so-called “pink-slime” in nuggets and burger patties.
In what will undoubtedly be seen as a coup by many at McDonald’s HQ, much of the insider’s assessment is actually pretty positive. Not only did he admit that 'I do enjoy the job. Colleagues and our managers are nice and welcoming,” but he also revealed that, “My store is 24/7 so at the end of my shifts, I could ask the manager for any leftover burgers that either haven't been picked up or are extra.” If this evidence is to be believed, it looks like the bad old days of the McJob may have been consigned to the trash heap of history.