Space Chicken Momma

Photo Credt: Kent Brewster

I worked at McDonalds for 5 years. Ugh. I started when I was 14, worked right through high school, and then 1 year after.

That job did a lot of things for me. Most importantly it gave me confidence, a boyfriend, and 20 extra pounds. The confidence was useful, still is. The boyfriend, not so useful, but taught me a lot about love and alcoholism. The 20 pounds followed me around for a few years after. I ditched it about 10 years ago, but then it showed up again when I got pregnant.

When I first started at McD’s I was pretty green. Other than sitting on babies and getting paid for picking potato bugs, this was my first job.

I was so excited. I remember how my visor felt, hard and smooth against my forehead. The thin red and white striped rayon shirt, stiff and soft at the same time. My shoes squeaking along the greasy floor, the smell of french fries filling my nose. It was great. And then, I met Her. One of the managers. She got results and She was mean.

“Which part confuses you darlin?” She would say if you were stupid enough to ask Her a question.

“Don’t be such a space chicken.” She would say if I did something silly like ask how to use the punch clock or the headset in the drive thru.

She was brown. So brown and little wrinkly from tanning, long before her time. And skinny and mean. But there was something about Her. She could walk into that store and whip it into shape in 5 minutes flat. Like a leathery, skinny, blonde Tasmanian devil, whirling about, hurling passive aggressive commentary and breaking down boxes and wills. It was beautiful, awe inspiring, and scary, all at the same time.

I actually still think about Her a lot, even though it has been almost 20 years since I have broken out in a cold sweat in Her presence. For some reason, I want to be like Her. Not the brown bitchy part, but the organized, whip-shit-into-shape part. It was like things would magically put themselves back in their places as She walked by. I try channel this  vibe when I feel energetic and want to get at my house. I seem to float through the house, never with empty hands, bringing toys upstairs, spatulas and tongs back downstairs, picking up the pillows from the couch off the floor, again and again again.

Last I heard, she was still there, providing regular tongue lashings to young unsuspecting teenagers. She hasn’t softened, slowed, or changed one bit. I am glad she hasn’t. Look how great I turned out? Cheers to all her Space Chickens, we will one day rule the world.


This is my response to Mama Kat’s Writing Prompt: 1.) A memorable high school job.

Go and link up and check out some of the other responses.




About Theresa

Writer, sister, mother, human.