Choose your list of life goals carefully.
Viewpoint by Daniel Carde
My mother and I barely left the drive-thru of McDonald’s in the Rose Park area of my hometown, Salt Lake City, when I created my first list of life goals in response to another incorrect order — to get fired from “Mickey D’s.”
I was 15 years old, and I recognized it must be no small feat to actually screw up bad enough to get fired from the golden arches. I witnessed some terrible mishaps from my local McDonald’s crew, yet they never lost their job — challenge accepted.
My buddy was working at the Rose Park McDonald’s, so I went to get hooked up with a free Oreo and M&M McFlurry. That’s when I was sidetracked by the assistant manager.
She asked me where I was working. I wasn’t. She asked me to fill out an application. I did.
While the manager was speaking to me, I remembered my life goal to achieve the glory, the honor and all of the greatness bestowed upon a McDonald’s employee who can actually obtain what must be a coveted phrase “You’re fired!” Surely not anyone can obtain that honor.
Like that, I was hired and on my way to achieving the first of my many life goals.
It took a lot of hard work to get fired from there. I would intentionally say “yes ma’am” to men and “yes sir” to women. At the drive-thru, I would welcome customers cheerfully with a “welcome to Taco Bell, today’s special, 99 cent chalupas.”
Even the play area wasn’t free from my fruitless efforts to get fired.
Using trays as toboggans, I rode down the slide in a flash. You can really catch speed with those trays. I’d also play king of the castle on top of the play equipment, hoping a safety violation would get me fired — nope.
I had ketchup packet fights with co-workers behind the counter. We took packets and twisted them. When we threw them, the packets exploded in a splatter of red. That didn’t get me fired either.
Determined to get fired, I visited work on a night off with a co-worker. We grabbed a handful of ketchup packets inside, went out to the parking lot and began a fight with our friend working the drive-thru window. We waited until the customers drove away then scored three direct hits before he could close the window.
Pummeling the drive-thru cashier with ketchup packets did it. After six months, all my hard work paid off.
Hearing the sweet utterance “you’re fired” was music to my ears — like hearing a gospel choir sing in the Notre Dame. Success was mine. Mission accomplished. I could finally check my first life goal as complete.
Today, I am nearly twice the age of the arrogant thoughtless kid I was then. While it seemed humorous at the time, it was a silly, self-serving goal and slap in the face to all who use such honest work to earn a living and progress to more responsible positions.
I am lucky my immature behavior didn’t have negative repercussions, and I never needed to use my McDonald’s experience to obtain work.
Looking back, I should have made a life goal to become a manager instead of get fired.
Choose life goals carefully. You may regret accomplishing some of them.