I went to high school in Marquette, Michigan, a town of 22,000 in the Upper Peninsula. It is the largest city in the UP and is supported by a decent tourism industry in addition to mining and timber. The high school had about 1,200 students when I was there in the 1970s. Late in my sophomore year, a friend started working for the McDonald’s in town. I decided to apply and was given a minimum wage job.
I started work in the grill area, dressing burgers. The training was good, and I liked getting some money. I kind of just slid along, getting four-eight hours a week in two shifts on the weekend. Then an interesting thing happened. The general manager, not a particularly nice guy, asked me to clean the bathrooms. I went through the motions – mop, ice in the urinal, wipe things down, and came back to my post in the grill.More