I was a Burger King girl. It was my first minimum wage, pay taxes, contributed to Social Security job. At the time the “Have It Your Way” campaigned feigned that the burgers were custom grilled. The special orders dictated how the hamburger was dressed— hold the pickles, hold the lettuce… It wasn’t supposed to upset the assembly line, but now and then someone wanted saltless fries—a nuisance. The worst request was seedless buns. Two bottom bun halves had to be used for one hamburger. No one ever special ordered a hamburger with seeded bottom buns.
The Burger King I worked at was in Bohemia on Sunrise Highway in the Hills shopping center. It was too far to walk or bicycle to so Mom had to drive me. I usually got a ride home from a fellow crew worker or, when I was 17, my boyfriend. He would order two whoppers extra everything before I punched out. Each burger weighed more than a pound.
The most memorable part of working at Burger King was the uniform. The orange and yellow polyester tunic coordinated with the elastic waistband orange pants. The heavy, oily meat fumes could not wash out. It became my perfume every time I put on that uniform. The worse accessory was the hat—the orange and yellow bubble hat. No one looked good in that hat!
I worked at Burger King until I was 18. Waitressing proved to be more lucrative and did not require a garish uniform. I did come away from my Burger King experience with excellent customer service skills (the managers always put the girls with pretty smiles at the register), learned to make change, and developed multi-tasking abilities.
I must admit that I do, occasionally, indulge in a BK hamburger. I think it is to satisfy some primal craving. When I open the wrapper, I am immediately brought back to the smiles at the register and that silly hat.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.