How My Career Began Under the Golden Arches

I know I’ve already wrote about my experience with McDonald’s but I had SO much fun during my time with them, that I really wanted to write a more in-depth post to highlight how much of a positive impact McDonald’s has had on my life and career.

Fun Fact Time: Did you know that on April 6th (tomorrow), nationwide, McDonald’s is hiring over 7,000 new crew members?? That’s amazinnnnnnng! 🙂

I’ve been to university, completed a post-grad, and held various jobs in my short 26 years. I guess you could say I’ve had an opportunity to learn a lot, to meet new people, and grow my career. But every time I am asked by a family member, a friend, or a future manager what has been my best learning and work experience to date, I always respond with my very first job – McDonald’s.

As a McDonald’s alumni, I find myself acting kind of like an ambassador. I want everyone to know how valuable my job at McDonald’s was because I’m tired of hearing about the stigma of working there. While from the public’s perspective, you may see teenagers working with food behind a counter, I see a new generation gaining the skills and training that will serve them throughout their careers. I learned so many of my life skills during my time at McDonald’s – I met some of my best friends there, and gained experiences that have carried me throughout my education and employment to date.

Although McDonald’s was my first taste of work at 15, the company didn’t see me as an underqualified youth like other employers might have. They saw me as capable, and encouraged me to grow my career from day one.

The most important skill I learned at McDonald’s was leadership. One of my biggest accomplishments to date, and something I still mention in every interview, was my promotion to manager at 17, after three years with McDonald’s. I was responsible for opening, closing and running the restaurant, plus dealing with customer questions and concerns. While some of my friends had never held jobs, I was holding keys. This leadership experience has allowed me to become a key holder with other companies, and it gave me the confidence to train McDonald’s team members, and co-workers at my future jobs.

As McDonald’s was my first job, it was my first time being accountable to someone other than myself or my parents; I was taught how to truly be responsible. McDonald’s made sure I understood even the basics of business – if I was late for work, I would not only be impacting the other members of my team, but the business as a whole. To this day, I feel like having management and crew experience as a young teenager gave me an advantage. I pride myself on making good adult decisions (most of the time) and attribute them to having such responsibilities as a 17 year old.

While juggling school, a social life, after school activities and work, the chance to create my own work schedule at McDonald’s allowed me to master the art of time management. I noticed that when I went off to university, I never struggled with handing in my assignments on time like some of my peers did. To this day, I have never handed a work assignment in late or rescheduled a meeting, and I generally always feel prepared because of my training behind the counter.

I chose to focus on my education after high school, and left McDonald’s – a decision I still regret. McDonald’s believed in me as a young person, and I have seen how they supported my old teammates with flexible work schedules, and provided them with growth opportunities in regional management and even at corporate headquarters.

Working under the golden arches didn’t take away from my teenage years – it actually enhanced them. While I no longer wear a uniform, I proudly share stories of my years as crew and management, and encourage anyone starting out in the workforce to get a head start and build their skills at McDonald’s.

No New Friends (but srsly)

WARNING: If you are easily offended by Jesus jokes, I would not scroll to the bottom of this post because there might be (is) a hand drawn interpretation of what I think Jesus looked like (Hint: Werewolf). Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

I met Dave in 2008 in Waterloo. He sat at a table with me and my friends and ate our nachos. He gave me his business card. I added him on Facebook. The rest is history.

Dave is my go to guy and one of my dearest friends. If I’m ever in need of a reality check, I text him. He calms me down and makes me less anxious more than any of my other friends.

The reason why I go to Dave with a lot of my (mainly non-existent) problems is because he thinks like me. I’m pretty sure we have the same brain. If I were to pick a male me, it’d be him. But, that’s not the only reason.

Unlike most of my friends (bless their souls), Dave likes to play “Devil’s Advocate” with me. I don’t know if he does it on purpose or if he thinks its funny, but I appreciate it so much. The only reason why it works with Dave and not anyone else is that he knows how my brain works (we have the same one, duh). He understands how my wheels turn and why I would think the way I do. If it were anybody else, I’d probably get offended and storm off in a huff. When I come to him really frantic about a situation, he’ll say something like “Yeah, I agree with you, but what about this….”

In other terms, he makes me think of the other side of the coin, so to speak. As much as it annoys me that he doesn’t always tell me what I want to hear, I appreciate the way he handles my ridiculous thought process, which in turn makes me value his opinion above anyone else’s.

I had one of the most meaningful life conversations with Dave today. We’re kind of in similar spots. I’m in my late 20’s and he’s in his early 30’s. We’re at that point in our lives where we’re starting to choose quality relationships over quantity. Gone are the days of adding random people you met at a bar on Facebook. Do you remember when we were kids, how the more people you had on MSN, the cooler you were? Well, today I decided that I don’t want any new friends, unless they’re going to add something to my life. I have my core group. I’m content with that. They are amazing and supportive and fun. I really don’t need much more.

It’s not that I’m opposed to making new friends; it’s just that at this point, it’s not my main focus. My focus is on deepening relationships with the people I already have in my life; the ones who add value to my life. The ones that are going to be supportive of me when I decide I want to try something new (like a 10k run). I’m not just talking romantic relationship wise (that is a WHOLE other story), but with my good friends and family as well.

It’s also not just about maintaining the relationships you already have, but getting rid of the ones that don’t add any real value to you. It’s not easy to remove people from your life, especially if they’ve been there for a long time. I did it recently and it sucks, but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and personally, I owe it to myself to keep it this way.

Now, more than ever, I am very aware of what I want, and what I don’t want in terms of my personal relationships. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older and legitimately exhausted from this shit, OR if it’s because I now have 27 full years of life experience under my belt and refuse to tolerate it

I’m a firm believer that every person has a time and a purpose in your life. We learn and we grow. It’s a never-ending process. Sometimes a relationship that was great 3 years ago might not fit into your world right now. The hardest part is realizing that, that’s OKAY. It’s okay to let go of people. You don’t need to feel guilty. That’s really been tough for me, as I’m the kind of person who 1) doesn’t like to see people upset and 2) hates letting others down.

Dave mentioned a quote that stuck with me today, and it ‘s one I think we’re both really taking to heart. Again, we’re both in similar headspaces, so it’s really nice that I can talk to someone about this with zero judgement.



These ramblings are courtesy of my bullet journal. I started one this week and I decided that I’m going to have a “theme” each week. If you couldn’t have already guessed, the theme I chose for this week is “acceptance.”

It really is a work in progress for me. I’m trying to accept things that have happened to me in the past, and accept that this is my life, this is where I am now, I’m not old. Time to make the best of it.

If you want to read about a really cool project my good friend Dave created, read my post on “Because Love”

Now, for no other reason than I think it is hilarious, here is Werewolf Jesus. Jordyn Hawley drew this for me because we are weird and find the strangest things funny.





You’re Not Busy, You’re a Ghost

You’re not busy, you’re an asshole. I mean, you probably are busy, we’re all busy but I mean you’re an asshole if you use the “I’m busy” excuse with someone who you’re really just trying to avoid.

Being busy is probably one of the lamest excuses in the ghosting manual. I get it, people get busy. Being busy really isn’t that new to me, we have jobs and families and pets and friends and social media to keep up with AND SURPRISE I’M A PERSON TOO; but in terms of the people in your life, you make time for the ones you want in it.

Fuck, I’m so busy and I don’t even know what I do with my time besides work and sleep, but when it comes to my family and friends I always have time for them. I make time.

“I’m busy” is the oldest avoidance technique out there. I think- but I’m really not sure, the science behind it is, if you keep telling someone you’re busy, they’ll eventually leave you alone. That might have worked maybe the first 15 times you’ve tried it, but at the age of almost 30- and literally having heard it all before (x73), nothing is more infuriating than that phrase. Do you think this is my first rodeo? Sorry, you’re not the first guy to ever let me down. Like, you might as well just say “fuck you, get lost.” It’s the equviliant to that, but at least “fuck you, get lost” gets the point of across


fuck this shit
My reaction to “I’m busy” texts.












We live in a world where our technology has made us so avoidant of conflict that our communication has come to a virtual halt. Nobody knows how to talk to anyone anymore, and its never more apparent than in the dating world.

Maybe it’s partly my fault, too. I like to believe that people are genuinely good at heart. I’m pretty open and honest, and I like to think I have the whole communication thing down (though, I’m sure my mom would beg to differ). I expect everyone to be like me, and they’re just not. That’s always been really hard for me to accept. I can’t seem to wrap my head around how people treat others, because I personally would never treat people in a way that would make them feel disrespected.

Truthfully, I hate confrontation as much as you do. I loathe it. I’m a shy person who hates to let people down, but in the last year or so, I’ve learnt SO much about people and the kinds of people I want in my life, that I’ve started being honest with myself, and other people, by letting them know the actual truth.

The fact of the matter is, you make time for those you want to make time for, no matter how busy you are. I’ m so busy at work most days, that I don’t even take a lunch, but somehow I manage to maintain my personal relationships just fine. If I ever find myself in a position where I’m too busy to talk, I let that person know OR respond at a later time….but I always respond and that’s the key to maintaining relationships of any kind. Communication.

I would probably say since mid- January I’ve been talking to someone pretty consistently. Every day, for sure. He would respond and he would respond in a way, that even if he was busy, didn’t make me feel like shit. We even talked on the PHONE. And for anyone that knows me, knows how much I hate talking on the phone.

I understand that this situation was a little different in the fact that he was literally moving his entire life here- and yes, was probably legitimately busy, but when he got here he still made such an effort…for the first few weeks anyway.

I’m not 100% sure what happened- probably my fault because I like to say and do dumb things without even thinking, but almost overnight he went silent. His entire attitude had changed and he was short and almost cold with me. I played it off for a bit, as I know he was getting settled and had a new job and blah, blah, blah. But it never got better.

It got worse. I called him out on it a few times and was really not surprised when the “I’m busy” excuse was used.

That was it, no explanation or anything until I called him out twice more, which is finally when he said he thought he should be friends and nothing more.

OKAY! First of all, I’m a 28 year old girl living in a modern world. I am not an idiot. Girls can pick up on these clues really, really, fast. I knew that as soon as he started getting cold and distant something changed, regardless of being busy or not.

Secondly, this has happened to me many, many, MANY, times in the past and I am so fucking tired of it that I’ve decided that from now on before I leave anyone alone for good, I will hound them until they spit out what they actually mean to say.

Sure, it’s crazy, but I like to look at it as I’m helping them grow to be a better person, literally zero shame. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m human too, I’m not perfect and recently I had to tell one of my good friends that I needed space from her. I semi avoided her, until I was able to tell her why.

I understand that sometimes letting someone down isn’t the easiest thing to do, and although I understand why she feels the way she feels, at least she knows the reason behind me distancing myself. She knows the reasons so she can stop thinking about it and I feel 110% better with her knowing my reasoning behind my decisions. Ya dig?

No one likes to have those uncomfortable conversations, but in a world where it’s so simple to take the easy way out, it’s the right thing to do.

From the bottom of my heart, the next time you go to use the “I’m busy excuse” on someone, I’m begging you to please just tell them the truth. Be honest. It’ll make you feel better too, I promise! The world will be a better place because of it 🙂

I Want Starbucks KD Employee Level of Happiness (No KD)

I want the kind of work happiness that a Starbucks employee has. No really. I do. Have you ever seen an unhappy Starbucks employee? If you said yes, I’d be calling you a liar right now. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a miserable Starbucks employee.











What’s the deal and what is their freakin’ secret? I would love to read a self-help book written by a retired Starbucks barista. PLEASE EXPOSE TO ME ALL OF YOUR SECRETS. ALL OF THEM!!!!

Jordyn worked at Starbucks for a short time while she lived in Calgary and she too said she was sucked into the Starbucks vortex of happiness.

Apparently (according to Jordyn) all employees get 3 (or more) drinks per shift, half a lb of free coffee or tea a week, benefits and yearly raises.

I have a hard time believing that making grumpy people coffee all day is a “fun job”, but I’ve been wrong about a lot of things before…

I’m not saying that I’m unhappy at work. I have a good job that pays well, all things considered and I love my team like family- they’re great. But I don’t have whatever magic those Starbucks employees have.

Most days if you ask me how I’m doing at work, I just kind of scowl and mumble something about how I haven’t even had time to get my cup of coffee yet.

My team has learnt this incredibly fast and I truly apologize to them for the mornings the grumpies took control of me. I truly do.

I wonder if Starbucks even allow their employees to start their shift without having a coffee first. Like, I’m pretty sure it’s written in their contract somewhere that they have to have a caffeinated beverage before they start. I wonder what happens if they don’t. Do they get the grumpies like the rest of us, too??! What happens if they’re late for work and miss their pre-shift coffee? Does the manager make them sit in the corner and chug it?

I get yearly raises and I have pretty sweet benefits. I don’t pay into them AND I have a great boss. Actually, I’ve had two pretty great bosses so far in my career here. I’ve really lucked out in that department , but I STILL don’t have that genuine Starbucks warmth and happiness.

All of these ramblings about coffee and happiness and Starbucks started because tonight on my way back home from the art store, I stopped at Starbucks for a cappuccino and was so pleasantly taken aback by how warm and friendly my barista was. I so badly wish I got his name to give him a quick shout out, but I didn’t because I was too busy trying to figure out why he was so happy.

But the thing about this is, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been surprised over how pleasant their staff are. This happens every time I go in and I’m pretty sure, subconsciously it’s one of the reasons I keep going back.

Truthfully, I don’t even like Starbucks coffee. It tastes kind of burnt and I much prefer McDonald’s, but the McDonalds experience is never the same.

When I walk into a McDonald’s I always feel more like a burden, then a welcome guest, and can confirm this 100% to be true as I spent my entire high school career working at one.

OK! SO. If yearly pay raises and health benefits aren’t the key to happiness and my grumpies are gone only after my first cup of coffee and Starbucks feeds their employees caffeinated beverages almost hourly (confirmed by Jordyn); then by the process of deduction, the secret to happiness and the cure for the grumpies is COFFEE (McDonald’s is probably not feeding their employees enough caffeine.)

Think about it real hard. Most offices these days provide their staff with some sort of coffee and Starbucks gives a minimum 3 shifts per drink (one before, one during and one during their break) to keep them going. The grumpies only go away AFTER drinking a cup of coffee…makes total sense!

So, now that I’ve thought about this way too hard and uncovered the key to a happy, healthy and functioning life, how do we get these 3 coffee breaks mandated into the workday by the government? And what about those weirdos who “don’t drink coffee.” What’s their deal, anyway?

My guess is that they’re not even human and maybe some sort of robot spy sent here from Mars to uncover the secret to work place efficiency.

Well, all I can say is that I beat them to it. I’m smarter than a robot.


Friday Nights Sure Have Changed pt 2

So, I did something I don’t normally do on Friday nights- especially until 330am. I went out with my best friend…. to the psych ward of Mount Sinai Hospital.

At the time, not a single bit funny. I never want to see my friend in the state she was in, ever again. In fact, I never want to see anyone in that state. It was horrible and all I wanted to do was hold her until she calmed down.

Anxiety is a beast that no one really understands unless you deal with it yourself and unfortunately, I know all too well what it feels like to be unable to calm yourself down. I’ve been to the hospital probably close to 10 times in my life for anxiety related issues. Though, I’ve never experienced the horribly terrifying hyperventilating that she has, I have had my heart race and beat so fast that I thought I was actually going to die. I have had the uncontrollable tears for no reason, and the 923 thoughts at once that race through your brain. It’s an exhausting and scary disease and I know this first hand.

That’s why when she called me panicking at 1:30 in the morning; I didn’t even have to think twice about spending the night with her in the hospital.

We didn’t spend long in triage, when they moved us into another, smaller, room. From there, it didn’t take us very long to realize they stuck us in the psych ward and that’s where our little adventure began.

Thankfully, both of us are the type of people to look back at our anxiety and laugh about it after. I definitely asked if I could write about it before I started, so don’t worry. I have her full permission.

J: “It smells in here”

Me: “Yeah, like peanut butter!”

J: “No! Like homeless man.”

Me: “Oh…yeah.”

We looked around us for a few seconds until we finally realized that we were put in a room next to where a homeless man was soundly sleeping. Although I feel badly for the man, the smell in the room was horrid and I had to hold my breath for, 4 hours.

Once we settled into our little room, we looked around us again and at the people lying on gurneys in the hallway and then back at each other, with what I can only assume was the same thought. I’m pretty sure we both almost burst out laughing right then and there.

We were in the psych ward of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Only us. Only we could end up in the psych ward on a Friday night between a sleepy (and stinky) homeless man, and a woman who kept peeping in at us through the cracks.

In the span of an hour we must have seen the woman get up out of her bed 3 times and be escorted back by security. The Doctors kept telling her that she had to stay there until the morning so she could see the psychiatrist. I told my friend to stop staring at her and to not make eye contact, but like usual, no one listens to me, and she did  anyway and I’m pretty sure this freaked out the lady even more.

About two hours into our visit, I literally couldn’t take the smell anymore. I had to get out. I decided I was going to go for a walk around the hospital so I could get some “fresh air” (hospital air is probably the least fresh air, but compared to the smelly room, it was a Godsend). While I was out, some one ran into the hallway and STOLE THE SANITIZER. Yes, the fucking sanitizer. No, not a bottle. The unit off the WALL! The paramedic chased him down the hall and I can just imagine my poor friend sitting there all like “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!” Me, on the other hand, I was sad I missed it for the entertainment value. After talking about it, we decided that he was an alcoholic and he stole the sanitizer to drink. It wasn’t so funny after that and I truly hope he’s okay.

Everything seemed to calm down for a bit until they rolled in a man who obviously was in horrible pain. He kept shaking uncontrollably, and I’m not sure why, but no one would give him any medicine for his pain. I guess you can’t really give a patient drugs without examining them first- probably liable for death or something if he had a reaction to it. Anyway, he started puking into a garbage can, and for anyone that knows me, knows that I have TERRIBLE gag reflexes. I gagged and legitimately thought I was going to throw up too. Like, that’s all I needed. To be seen throwing up unexpectedly in a hospital. They would’ve admitted me and I would’ve had nothing to tell them except that the man who ate bad sushi triggered my gag reflexes. No, I’m not making that up. He did say he ate sushi earlier in the evening. Thus, he became known as the man who ate bad sushi.

FINALLY, the doctor came to see us. Truthfully, I gained a lot from the visit as well. She taught us breathing techniques to help calm us down during panic attacks, which is something I’ve always been told to do, but never actually shown.

We’re both laughing about it now, but at the time it was not the slightest bit funny. I truly felt bad for everyone that was in that hospital with us that night. It took being in a psych ward on a Friday night to help me understand that no matter the extent of my anxiety, it could always be worse.

Mental illness- especially anxiety and depression, is something that still has such a huge stigma around it. It doesn’t necessarily mean you are crazy. It means that you have a chemical imbalance. I’m always scared when I meet new people that they won’t understand why sometimes I like to stay inside by myself, or why sometimes my thoughts are illogical and don’t make sense, or why sometimes I just cry for no reason.

Over the past year or so, I’ve been trying really hard to get my own anxiety under control and I think I’ve been doing a good job. I take a low dosage of Fluoxetine and I started going to the gym regularly. Even though it’s a struggle to go out sometimes, I do it anyway and I always end up having a good time.

Most importantly, I’m surrounding myself with people who love me, and people who can at least try and understand me. I understand it’s hard to grasp anxiety if you’ve never been in that position, but at this point in my life, I really need the influence of positive people. I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time and I’d like to keep that going.

My friend is fine. It all ended up okay, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat if she needed me. If anyone needed me.

But man, Friday nights sure have changed.