Flipping Burgers and Rock Stars

April 19, 2010

Bernie just finished his training session at the local Hamburger Fast-food company. So he was a little nervous being behind the register for the first time. His first customer ordered a soda.“Bernie,” the manager said, “remember to say ‘Welcome to our restaurant to each customer before they order.”

His second customer ordered a Cheeseburger. This time, the manager approached Bernie again, and said, “Remember to ask each customer if they want fries with their order.” Bernie at this point felt so uncomfortable having the manager come and correct him every time he serves a customer. At this point a man came in wearing a ski mask, approached Bernie at the register and pointed a gun in his face. “Give me all the money you got in that register kid! “Bernie took one look at his manager, thought to himself, and quickly said, “Would you like that for here or to go?”

Working in a fast-food business is not very easy. It’s a joke in America. Flipping burgers is. And the sad thing about this is that it’s not even funny. Let me give you an example. Here’s a joke that has circulated in the Internet community. The graduate with a Science degree asks, “Why does it work?”

The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, “How does it work?”

The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, “How much will it cost?”

The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Implying that flipping burgers or working in a fast-food restaurant is degrading? But is it?

I have always known the world famous Zig Ziglar as a very positive inspirational and motivational speaker and this is why I was surprised when he became upset. And in one of his tapes I heard him say: “I get so irritated when some of these high paid athletes, high paid television and movies stars, when they belittle those “hamburger flippers” who work down in some of the stands where they operate.”

The reason why Ziglar is irritated is that these “burger flippers” have 2 or 3 choices. They can either get an honest job. And flipping burgers and working for a fast-food company is honest. This way these people can take care of their own needs or help out in their family. Or they can go on welfare, get into drugs or prostitution so now you decide for yourself which one is more desirable.

The exciting thing about burger flippers and all those who have similar jobs working for the fast-food business is that each and everyone of them is learning important lessons in life. They are learning lessons like:

  1. Dependability – They have to show up on time and they have to work until it’s time. There is another word for this and it is called “Responsibility.”
  2. Customer Service – They learn how to treat their customers with courtesy and respect. They are developing people skills.
  3. Technology – They learn how to operate those high-tech machines. They develop mechanical skills that you and I don’t even have.
  4. Pleasing personality – They learn that it is important to keep oneself neat and clean.
  5. Leadership – They learn how to lead their peers and they learn how to submit to authority.

Now you tell me, are these not lessons that can prepare them for future successes in life?

Meanwhile, what does the cocaine-alcohol-driving-under-ntoxication-demanding to have only blue-colored M&M’s in their contract rock stars and movie stars learning anyway? Not very much wouldn’t you say?

I just finished training some of the managers of a leading fast food company and many of these dedicated leaders started with flipping burgers at the start of their careers. Today they are successful.

There is no such thing such as an honest job that is demeaning.

Flipping burgers is not beneath one’s dignity. Our grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.

It’s not the nature of the job that is important. It’s the nobility we put into our job that is.

Be proud of what you do as long as you are doing it honestly and giving it your best .

Show appreciation and thank God for the opportunity.

Never mind the proud and the arrogant. Men look at the outside but God looks at the heart.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. belle

    you’re so right…. i also worked in a fast food chain also i was a student to supplement my needs for college and it did really help me a lot. other than the monetary reward, i have learned so many things that i still carry until now. two things that work gave me was i developed my people skills and patience with lots and lots of customers because dealing with them is not an easy job… now i’m a teacher… and reminiscing those times in my life brings a lot of memories… 🙂

  2. Chona

    When I was a sophomore in college, I worked as a part timer in Jollibee for 6 months. It was tough but I enjoyed every minute of it. The learning experience, gained friends, and the value of hard work for every penny earned. All the things you said are very true. The most important thing I’ve learned are Customer Service and Responsibility which up to now, I am applying to every aspect of my work and personal life. I am always proud to have gained such experience, not even once I’ve been ashamed of it. 🙂

  3. jackie

    Thanks for this article sir francis…. yes it is fulfilling to have this kind of work. Im so blessed that cHOWKING is my first job. I’m earning for a living and at the same time I’m a blessing to others because of my career and my Chowking family who supports me. more fulfilling article and God Blesses us.

  4. Alwin

    That is true!
    Sir Francis, we’ve met already in your inspirational talk in my company.
    I also work in a fast food chain during my colleges days to support my tuition.
    Now, I’m a successful manager of multi-national company and still I’m not ashamed working flipping burgers… i will shout it further it can reach.

    I’ve learn a lot in my partime job during college days, I value the hard earned money, value the oppurtunities, value the experience, the honesty, etc. and these goes with me until I graduate and here now as manager it still exists like it is engrave already in me.

    Sometimes, there are things happened that we question but it’s a step given by GOD for future leadership and position.

  5. trusophos

    am proud i worked in mcdonalds as a service crew…at the age of 17 i learned how to handle money on how to enjoy and how to save for my future..

  6. len chew

    i agree. i used to work in a fast food restaurant before working in a call center. it was hard. it’s no easy job but i learned a lot. i learned how to work fast and how to multitask and how to work hard. the pay wasn’t that good but it was my first job so it was an experience i won’t forget.

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