Best Personal Essay Ever- Spread My Wings & Fly By: Miguel Rivera


I always wanted a job for the same reason that most people want jobs, for money, but I never knew how much you would have to do for $7.25 an hour. From the countless numbers of wings needed to be sauced to the progress of cleaning the flyers know as filtering. I have done many summer projects, varying from taking classes to volunteering, but Wingstop was another beast. A hungry beast wanting my energy and time. Wingstop is a fast food franchise with its main food item being bone in and boneless chicken wings. I worked the one on Aramingo in Philadelphia and I dislike working there. I don’t say hate because I have been able to find light in the darkness such as having somewhat flexible hours. I dislike Wingstop as anyone who has worked in fast food before. The fast past and little pay of fast food is something I think few people would enjoy. Everyone I know says who worked in the fast food industry says they learn so much, but they don’t talk about the struggles of working. The countless hours on your feet or the lack of tips that people give. They are blocking those unpleasant memories of doing bone aching work and only remembering how you learn about to make unhealthy food in less than five minutes.  

The worst part of the job is dealing with rude customers. I can’t remember the countless times customers feel the need to argue about mistakes they have made like wanting to change sauces last minute or ordering the wrong thing, saying the cashier misunderstood them. Sometimes, they had young children or grandchildren ordering food and wonder why they don’t get boneless chicken instead of classic. However, I shouldn’t complain much because I got the job without doing much. I got the job on June 10, 2017.

“Hey, Thila wants to talk to you about the job. Meet me at the 25 bus station. So we can go together,” said Sabrina over the phone.

“Okay, thanks!” I answered. I was on my way home from school. It was a breezy Wednesday. My sister, Sabrina, has worked in Wingstop for about a year now and she went to high school with both the manager and assistant manager who are sisters. I have met the assistant manager, Alondra, one or twice, but we don’t talk much because my sister doesn’t like me talking to her friends.

I was nervous about meeting Thila, the manager because I never had a job before and I wasn’t sure what she would ask. I thought about all the typical questions that may be asked like “why do you want the job?” or “what is one of our weakness?” My sister told me that it was a sure thing, but I still had to put my best foot forward or at least show-up.

“Hey, this is my brother,” said my sister passing Thila to go into the kitchen to clock in.

“Hello, nice to meet you,” I answered with my shaking hands out to Thila.

“Nice to meet you,” answer Thila.

I sat down on the light brown seat in the front of the store. The store is small and in a weird location. It’s filled with Tv’s all turned to sports event channels: football, baseball, and tennis, but I don’t see soccer. I never understood how people could be entertained by the repetition of sports. The constant kicking or throwing of a ball into something seems so boring to watch. There were barely any customers in the store. Thila looked bored and facetiming with someone on the phone. The store is “aviation-themed” from the propeller on the side of the cash register to the photos of pilots covering the walls.The walls are covered in green and a dark off-white color. The green reminded me of the green from Ben 10. I don’t remember much from the “interview” because I wouldn’t call it an interview. Thila said something along the line that she was tired and just gave me the job as a cook. I started training the following Friday.

“Are you high?” asked Mark as he pulled the red lever in to stop the oil from moving.

“No, I’m not high! I just need more time to figure this out” I said.

I could feel all my nerves tremble in fear as I hold the metal hose pouring hot oil into the fire’s fryer with old rubber gloves. I could only think about the numerous times I have spilled soup, water, and other liquids on myself, but never oil. I fear how the hot oil could burn my skin and leave Wingstop mark on me for life. I also felt like I was performing an act that I don’t know to a nagging audience of one who surely doesn’t help me but those feelings to go away. Mark was mad because I don’t completely empty the fryer with oil before spilling it with oil. I know it may sound bad, but it was an easy mistake to fix. You would just have to pull the red lever down to stop the oil. My face turned red and I lose the need to try after that question. I wanted to shake the nerves and do a good job. However, I allow Mark to take away my confidence and cause an emptiness in my stomach like the feeling of going down a roller coaster. I felt embarrassed.

Many months have passed since I got hired, about seven months to be exact. I’m was earning $7.50 an hour and still dislike my job. The job was more mindless repetitive at this moment than a nervous adventure. The shifts seem like endless cycles with an unstopping amount of customers. The cycle was sauce chicken, clean, and repeat until the end of my shift. I have learned a lot of things in those seven months such as how to balance school work and a job, how to train other people, and how to deal with annoying customers. I now understand why many people say you learn so much from working in the fast food industry. The most important thing I learned is I’m ready for something new and better. So, I quit on January 5, 2018.

“I have to quit because I have to focus on school.”

“ I understand. When you are right to come back. Let me know,” answer Thila with a face of sadness.

We were in Thila’s office in the back of the store on a cold Friday night. It was a small room with white walls with papers all around. I had to quit because I needed to let go of the job to open myself to find another. I understood that I would not be able to find a new job while working at Wingstop because I would not have time or energy. However, I don’t tell her the real reason I quit because I thought it would be disrespectful to tell her that I am leaving to find a new job. I also wanted to keep my options open if I was unable to find a new job. A job in retail or anything not having to do with making food. I am grateful that I had worked at Wingstop, but it is time that I spread my wings and fly.

Comments (4)

Dayanna Hughes (Student 2019)
Dayanna Hughes

I realized that you know what you want for yourself in the essay. Even if that means sacrificing a job, you strive for happiness. In a way I am facing the same issue, making little but doing so much so I really liked this essay. The scenes were very vivid with the use of dialogue.

Alexandrea Rivera (Student 2019)
Alexandrea Rivera

You figured out what he needed to do in order to be happy and think for yourself. There were scenes and dialogue in your essay that made the reader be able to picture what was happening in their own head without actually being there. I liked all the different videos and pictures you used for the audience to be interested and keep looking at different and new things. Good Job!

Miguel Rivera (Student 2019)
Miguel Rivera

My two techniques: 1. Insightful reflection: I used the insightful reflection throughout the essay. I 2. Illustrative Scenes: I used illustrative scenes when I went to the store for the first time.