Marko Milanovic

8 Things You'll Relate To If Your First Job Was In Food Service

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We all remember our first job. Whether it was lifeguarding at the beach or scooping rum raisin at the local ice cream shop, the experience was filled with laughs, long days and plenty of life lessons.

And if your first job happened to be in food service, you can relate to all of this PLUS a million other little quirks that are totally specific to the industry.

It's difficult to say if it's the customers or maybe something in the kitchen, but when you work behind a counter you can expect an experience like no other.

And, at the end of the day, this industry has the potential to give you the skills and insights that it takes most people a lifetime to learn.

Here are eight things you'll only understand if your first job was in food service.

1. Your co-workers will be your BFFs.

There's something about working in food service that accelerates the time it usually takes to bond with someone. Maybe it's the customers or the nonstop collaboration that the job requires, but your co-workers will feel like friends (and maybe even family) before you know it.

2. Comfort wins over fashion every time.

Your first day on the job will go down in history as the day you officially stop caring about stylish shoes. From here on out, it'll be ALL about comfort, arch support and that unrivaled non-slip grip.

Pro-tip: French fries are the banana peels of the food service industry – you're bound to slip on one if you don't take the proper precautions!

3. You'll gain a new appreciation for food service workers.

A job in food service will give you a fierce appreciation for the other people who work in the industry. Once you've seen the other side, you can't help but notice the work ethic and positivity that most food service workers exhibit.

And you'll find yourself showing that gratitude in every possible form — for the rest of your days.

4. You can morph into a human change calculator at a moment's notice.

Sure, you have a register that can do the work for you, but your job will make you develop a certain finesse when it comes to doing math in your head. Making change becomes a game you play with yourself, and you get a little thrill when someone asks you to break a 50-dollar bill.

It's the little things, ya know?

5. You'll get to know the regulars...and their orders.

Everyone who works in food service knows that regular customers are one of the best parts of the job. It's always nice to see a familiar face, AND it gives you a chance to show off your psychic (read: memory) skills.

There's nothing more satisfying than seeing a regular walk through the door and rattling off her go-to order of a Big Mac® sandwich (extra pickles!), fries and a McFlurry® dessert before she even has a chance to say "hello."

6. Being busy is bae.

Most people dream of having a slow day at the office. But those who work in food service experience a very different phenomenon: A constant flow of customers means that time flies, which makes for a better (read: quicker) shift.

7. Your memory is way better than you think it is.

It's not until you have to remember dinner orders for a family of seven (with about a million add-ons and allergies) that you realize the true potential of the human brain.

Seriously, in an era when most people can't even remember a phone number, food service employees rival stage actors with their memorization abilities.

8. You learn way more than just how to work a register.

Sure, you'll be a whiz at making exact change and you could prepare a complicated order with your eyes closed, but working in food service will teach you so much more than just those skills. Collaborating with co-workers, management and customers not only gives you an unparalleled ability to problem-solve, but also turns you into a communication pro.

And since these skills are prerequisites for basically every job in existence, starting off in food service really does prepare you for it all.