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Life of a McDonald’s service crew during the COVID-19 pandemic

Life of a McDonald’s service crew during the COVID-19 pandemic

Although the service crew is not too exposed to the COVID-19 virus compared to health workers, this job can still put someone’s health (a customer or the crew themself) at risk. The pandemic has brought great damages to everyone’s life. Service crew, factory workers, boutique employees, mall staff, and more had to resign to lessen a company’s manpower due to the failed economic status. Several establishments left no other choice but to close their main source of income. This allows essential businesses to operate such as drugstores, grocery stores, and fast-food chains like McDonald’s.

Life of a McDonald’s service crew during the COVID-19 pandemic

But, considering the situations, adjustments were made. New normal, surprisingly a way to different from the normal that an individual got used to. As a McDonald’s service crew, the challenges of this pandemic became a lot harder to handle. On the first announcement of total lockdown, they closed the restaurant. And, the staff stayed at home. No earnings. However, after some weeks the store opened but for deliveries and take-out only. Unfortunately, the management only needed few numbers of staff. This led to the owner’s decision to control manpower and requested others to resign.

McDonald's Rider and Crew
Photo from May Ann Leanillo

Since no options available but to follow, some crew became unemployed.

But of course, with compensation as the McDonald’s franchise owner in our branch wanted to make sure that his former crew can still buy their essential needs. Those who remained considered themselves lucky for still having a job for them to earn. Though it’s really dangerous outside. Meanwhile, going outside seems not the only problem. Limited public transport. No jeepneys, no tricycle, no cab.

Only those who owned private vehicles got the chance to go to work. I remember one of my co-workers walked at 4 a.m. for her 8 a.m shift. She walked almost 6km just to earn money to make a living for her children. Even without the heat of the sun, considering that she only walked the long road, resulting her feet to numb even before her duty. Wearing face shields and facemasks during a busy day keeps us sweating which added to our wornness. A protocol, that must be followed strictly. No objections.

McDonald's Crew
Inquirer Business

As areas of the country fall under a General Community Quarantine, transport started to operate. However, numbers of passengers allowed to ride comes with a limit. 

This problem made us late for a few times. However, late time-ins means deduction of salary. To maximize the people on service, we only have five hours of shift. We also have the operating hours sitting from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. Aside from that, service crews also belong to workers under the provincial minimum wage rate. The salary that the crew receives can only last for a few weeks. But, we can never complained.

Compared to those who lost their job, we still have our jobs to help us earn. Unfortunately, we still continue to receive rude customers that affect a crew’s experience. What would a crew do, though? So, we let them say things we don’t like hearing. We try our best to to understand them because we don’t want to have a bigger problem to the management. On the other hand, great numbers of kind customers visit the restaurant. Despite wearing masks, they smile at us underneath and exchange the sweetest phrase, “Thank you.”

McDonald's Crew
Photo from May Ann Leanillo

It feels heartwarming when customers appreciate our service. Receiving customer complaints became a part of our job at McDonald’s and treated as normal scenarios. This informs the company of our mistakes that prohibits us from doing the same thing. Hopefully, people can learn to give a complain in the most respectful way. No harsh words, no higher tone of voice, no pointing fingers in front of our faces. One of the most unacceptable way to give a complaint would include degrading the crew and calling us, “Service crew ka lang. (You’re only a service crew.)” The sentence belittles our job despite its decency and the difficulties that we experience every day.

The life of a service crew can never be easy. Aside from McDonald’s, fast-food restaurants’ employees also experience the same thing. And, this must be addressed and considered, too. As a customer, one should understand the efforts that the crew exerts into the services they give. We, the crew, serve Filipino families at the heart in the Philippines. As we serve you your food with a smile, a little thank you can go a long way. A little appreciation is more than enough for us to lessen the burden we have.

Be kind to everyone, you never know their story. 

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