the closest I've come to working in fast food
by Anne | 9:45 am

I admit that I never had a job before graduating from high school My senior year in high school was filled with schooling as I took some preliminary college courses for a degree that I eventually earned, but didn’t really have a passion for.

Working for The Zoothe closest i ever came to working in fast food

My very first job was directly after graduation and it was the closest I have ever come to working in the fast food industry. I got to work at the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, which is one of the best zoos in America if not the world. I didn’t work in any of the good positions, like helping with the animals, or customer service, if you know what I mean. Serving people overpriced concessions became my job. I was hired mid-May 2007 and I left their employment that winter. Technically I didn’t leave until spring, but I didn’t work through the winter there.

This was a learning experience from since I now know that I don’t do well with food. I am an emotional eater. Couple that with my introvert and antisocial tendencies and whenever I had a free moment I was stuffing my face. Of course, the business I’m building now is a much better fit for me.

Financially Sheltered

I was 18 and had been sheltered from the world to a degree. I had no financial accounting from my family, so had no clue what to do when it came to managing my bills. So, I had no clue what I would need in order to survive on my own. Trust me, it’s a lot more than I would have imagined. I’m telling you this since the zoo is a seasonal job. Concession workers aren’t in high demand in the middle of winter.

The Concessions

However I did get a discounted price for zoo membership, I believe. It has been so long for me that I can’t really remember. What I do know is that the aquarium concessions are boiling since the teller windows have to be open and they cook hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn there.

Thankfully shortly after training, I was moved from the aquarium to the concession stand down by the cat complex. This one was worse for my eating habits because it contained one of my absolute favorite snacks of all time: ice cream. It was easier since we had all prepackaged items. This included drinks. The only thing we mad ourselves was cotton candy and kettle corn and those were very easy to do.concessions

I gained a lot of experience there. I even became the person who came in the mornings and opened up shop by myself. These times were precious to me as it was so quiet, and set up was very easy. I was required to drag the hose outside to spray down the walk right outside the concession stand to remove any leaves and debris that managed to accumulate overnight.

I also did a couple of days at the concessions by the aviary and next to the bears. They served ice cream, but the kind you had to scoop, as well as nachos. It wasn’t my favorite since it was more popular for everyone.

Also, during one of the first snowstorms at the beginning of winter, I did a single day working the petting zoo concessions. Anyone who has been there would also know them as the dairy farm. I worked all of an hour or 2 there before we were sent home.

Who Wants to Walk in the Snow?

However, time continues to move and before I knew it winter had come. Winter in Nebraska tends to bring lots of cold and a bunch of snow. No one wants to go traipsing around the zoo, so I get the odd hours at the Imax Theater concession stands. Yes, the zoo here in Omaha has their own theater that plays nature documentaries and such.

The hours there was so small since you had every single person from concessions trying to get hours for that post. There are roughly 40-50 people trying to get hours for a two-person post for 7-8 hours a day. The money was very tight, but I was still living with my mother at the time while attending college.

So, one thing led to another and I started looking for other work. I wish I had found what I’m working on now, which is my site and Wealthy Affiliate. I might be in a very different place than where I’m at currently. After this, I started my temp work and ended up at Marianna Beauty doing factory work.

So, this was the closest I ever came to working in fast food. It wasn’t a good fit for me. I learned a lot about myself, but I would never go back, at least to work. It’s a beautiful place to visit and my favorite when I do go there is the Lied Jungle.

What was your first job like? Have you ever worked in a place that wasn’t horrible, but wasn’t a good fit? Let me know down in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Take care,





I worked in McDonalds after graduating from high school and before entering University. I’m not ashamed to say I work there, but it’s a social stigma in my area if a teenager works in a fast food restaurant, especially McDonalds: It means that you are a failure in life.

While I’ve enjoyed my time with my co-workers (with some rough patches) and my bosses liked everything about me (except for the fact that I won’t overtime), I hated getting pointed at by parents and having them tell their children, “if you don’t study hard now, you will be like this girl working in McDonalds.”

If I could, I would have shot back at these parents saying that “Yep, and I graduated from one of the best high schools around. I’m just earning some money before I enter University so my parents won’t need to have so much burden and I can also learn some skills and add to my resume at the same time.”

I mean. It just hurts getting looked down upon.

Apr 27.2018 | 12:13 pm


    Hello, Rachel, and thank you for your story.

    Thankfully working at the zoo carried no such stigma’s. My cousin worked at Taco Bell while she was still in high school. She’s one of the hardest working people I know. I hope you’re in a better place in your life.

    Take care,


    Apr 27.2018 | 01:18 pm


My first job was a cashier at a company called Murphy’s Mart. They don’t exist anymore. It was sort of like a smaller version of Walmart. I didn’t mind it. It gave me some experience and helped me to be more of an extrovert. I ended up continuing the path of retail as I worked my way up to manager over the years. I enjoyed working with people, I just hated having to work every holiday as that is when people wanted to shop the most.

May 01.2018 | 03:02 am


    Hello, Wendy, and thank you for your story. I’m glad it helped you open up. Maybe you’re more of an ambivert? I know that my experience was that I didn’t like working with lots of people. It tired me out way too much.

    Take care,


    May 02.2018 | 12:03 pm

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