What? I Can’t Serve Fries With That?

Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies  who will dazzle you with insight on various topics.  After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:

Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.

Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.

Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World

This week’s topic comes to us from Darwin ShruggedCan someone be overqualified for something?

I was 17 when I applied for work at the local Burger King. A friend of mine worked there and had regaled me with her many tales of just how fun it was to work behind the counter with other teenagers our age. That it was a non-stop party. I decided I should join the ranks, wear the dark blue uniform and ask the customary question of: “Would you like fries with that?”

I was quickly shot down.

“You’re over-qualified, ” she told me, pity evident on her perky little face. I was blown away by the accusation. Granted, I’d done volunteer work as an office assistant when I was 14, and this led to various part-time stints after school in all things secretarial. I was briefly a nanny for a friend of the family, and this parlayed into another nanny gig for someone I’d found in the paper. She needed a glorified sitter for her 3 rambunctious children. Fact is, the jobs I’d held, held little promise of a steady paycheck, while my friend’s job at The King had. That’s what I was looking for. How could I be over-qualified for the food industry???

Looking back, I know my friend was trying to let me down gently. Truth is, I had no experience at all with food. She knew me well, and she’d seen me often in the kitchen. I’ve spoken with several individuals who have worked fast food, and it’s no easy task. It’s a hard and at times thankless job. I couldn’t cut it, and my friend saw that a mile away and didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

I don’t believe we’re ever over-qualified. I believe there are certain jobs suited to our individual talents and needs. What works for one person won’t work for another. I was knee-deep in the property management trenches for over a decade, and while I never imagined I’d be doing it for that long, it was a job that was well-suited for me. I didn’t have the college degree to back me up. I wasn’t certified in anything special. Sure, I could have gone that route and bumped my resume up, made it look a lot prettier, but at the end of the day it was all about the bottom line. How many apartments did I lease today? How many residents have I handled with care (retention), and kept happy? My years of experience in an office setting helped to keep me organized, professional and on-task, but if I didn’t have those fabulous people skills to help me work with a vast range of personalities, none of that would have even mattered. Some skill sets you just can’t teach.

Like in the fast-food industry. There is a lot of skill involved with juggling various tasks all at once. There’s no way I could have been focused or driven enough to do it. Simply put, I’m not that type of organized. Have you ever seen Undercover Boss? Many a corporate big-wig loses it when they can’t quite figure out how to manage the drive-thru window, customers at the counter and deal with the food prep. And you just know the big-wig went to a highly-respectable college.

Speaking of college, it’s always a possibility. I don’t believe obtaining a degree will ever make me over-qualified, but better educated. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. Who knows what I’ll be doing in the near future, but I can promise you one thing: I’ll never be the one serving you fries. Trust me, you don’t want that.



One thought on “What? I Can’t Serve Fries With That?”

  1. I’ve worked food service but never the fast food industry. Still, being a server or even doing carry-out is an acquired skill. After a while, I got into a groove with it and knew exactly what I was doing. But it’s still a learning curve. Great post!

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