McJobs aren’t very glamorous, and yet, many successful people got their start working the front lines at McDonald’s.Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of internet retail behemoth Amazon, is one of those people.
Author Cody Teets asked Bezos some questions about his time at McDonald’s for her book “Golden Opportunity: Remarkable Careers That Began at McDonald’s,” and the big-time executive shared what his life was like back then.
Bezos started working at McDonald’s as a teenager because he needed a summer job, and his dad, Mike, had once worked at McDonald’s too.
From Teets’ book:
“My first week on the job, a five-gallon, wall-mounted ketchup dispenser got stuck open in the kitchen and dumped a prodigious quantity of ketchup into every hard-to-reach kitchen crevice. Since I was the new guy, they handed me the cleaning solution and said, ‘Get going!’
“I was a grill man and never worked the cash registers. The most challenging thing was keeping everything going at the right pace during a rush. The manager at my McDonald’s was excellent. He had a lot of teenagers working for him, and he kept us focused even while we had fun.”
It’s interesting to see what Bezos actually learned from his time at a place like McDonald’s. A Campbell’s Soup exec also noted the value of his time at McDonald’s, as did the others interviewed by Teets.
How are people learning things from such an infamously low-level, supposedly unfulfilling job? The answer is in Bezos’ advice to teenagers entering the workforce:
“You can learn responsibility in any job, if you take it seriously. You learn a lot as a teenager working at McDonald’s. It’s different from what you learn in school. Don’t underestimate the value of that!”
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