7 of the worst things McDonald's employees have seen on the job

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mcdonald's cat flyingThomas Peter / ReutersHere are some horror stories from crew members.

  • McDonald's restaurant crew members have seen it all.
  • Business Insider spoke with a number of current and former McDonald's employees about the worst things they've seen on the job.
  • They shared their horror stories with us, from early morning soda runs to oatmeal-throwing drive-thru customers.


McDonald's crew members have a few horror stories to share.

Sometimes, customers can be pretty mean. Other times, things just get weird.

Take, for instance, the time performance artists stormed a Moscow McDonald's in 2007 and threw a cat across the counter. "The idea, they said, was to help snap the workers out of the dull routine of menial labor," Reuters reported.

Business Insider spoke with several current and former crew members and heard some of their worst, grossest, and strangest stories about working at the fast food giant.

Here's what they had to say:

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Emergency Walmart runs

Emergency Walmart runs

McDonald's and Coca-Cola are quite a pair.

McDonald's is actually the soda brand's biggest restaurant customer, according to The New York Times, and customers expect to be able to order a soda drink with their McDonald's meal.

So issues with a McDonald's soda machine are a big deal.

One McDonald's crew member of two years told Business Insider how their restaurant dealt with a broken soda dispenser.

"I had to drive to Walmart at 4:00 a.m. to buy 30 two-liter bottles of soda until we could fix the issue," the crew member said.

Barking, disruptive dogs

Barking, disruptive dogs

One McDonald's crew member of seven years complained about encountering customers who bring in "annoying" dogs that "bark in my ear when I'm trying to take your order."

Customers keeping money in their bras

Customers keeping money in their bras

A crew member from Pennsylvania told Business Insider that they hated to see "people that take money out their bras."

They added that they didn't want to have to touch "bra money."

"I don't want to touch what was just touching your flesh," the crew member said.

Oatmeal-throwing patrons

Oatmeal-throwing patrons

Ornery fast food patrons are nothing new. But one crew member told Business Insider about an encounter with one particularly aggressive customer at the drive-thru.

"One time, a woman threw her oatmeal at me through the drive-thru window because I was trying to make sure that I heard her coffee order correctly," a crew member of two years told Business Insider.

People freaking out over ketchup

People freaking out over ketchup

"I've had people throw a fit when I didn't give them ketchup by default — the customer is supposed to ask for it — or when I didn't give all of the extra sauces they want without charging them," a New York-based former crew member told Business Insider. "The employees have absolutely no say in pricing or policies, not even the store managers do, so why are we the ones you're telling at?"

Food left in the restrooms

Food left in the restrooms

"I have seen a half-eaten fudge sundae in the women's bathroom," a crew member told Business Insider. "It was sitting on the toilet, and it was completely melted. I don't know what was wrong with whoever left it there, but to this day I still find it depressingly comical."

Another Illinois-based crew member told Business Insider that they had found enough food in the men's bathroom of their restaurant to "feed a household."

Families with vomiting kids

Families with vomiting kids

"A small family was on their way out when their six-year-old son threw up right in front me," a former crew member from Virginia told Business Insider. "This child clearly did not chew one piece of food from his Happy Meal and swallowed everything whole."

The crew member said the family "just kept walking," and didn't bother to apologize, clean up the mess, or check to see if the child was okay. The child proceeded to vomit again in the parking lot. At that point, the crew member said the child's grandfather became "visibly angry."

"He stormed back into the restaurant, accused me of poisoning the boy, and told me to, 'Clean up that s---, it's disgusting,' as if it were my puke," the ex-crew member told Business Insider. "He also failed to inform me that his grandson had also thrown up in the play area. I got a very angry complaint from someone about that."

Are you a current or former McDonald's crew member with a story to share? Email acain@businessinsider.com.

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