Polyester pants & a visor: a drive thru of my first job

A video of a fast food drive-thru prank is making the rounds online and the looks on the employees’ faces crack me up! It reminds me of my days working at the Taco Bell drive thru on the business loop in Columbia, Missouri.

Good times, good times.

Taco Bell was my first job outside of a paper route and babysitting. I started working there the summer I turned 16 and worked off and on during the school year and the next summer (I played volleyball and basketball so there wasn’t a lot of time to work around practices and games).

It actually wasn’t a bad job because I was able to rack up lots of hours by being on the closing shift. Back then, if I recall correctly, Taco Bell was one of the only fast food restaurants to stay open after 10 p.m.

Kids, back in the old days – the 1980s – people were able to survive from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. without a bean burrito or a quarter pounder. I know that sounds like crazy talk, but we got by. Barely.

The worst part of the job was the uniform. I’d share a photo but there are none — I wouldn’t let anyone with a camera near me when I was in that maroon polyester uniform and matching visor. Disappointingly, I can’t find a photo of this specific uniform on the internets!

I remember my 17-year-old self working an eight-hour shift in the middle of summer, going out to my 1976 bright orange Buick Skylark with vinyl seats and no a/c and making the hot, sweaty drive home as fast as possible, praying nobody would see me in that uniform and visor. Hmmm, the uniform did match the car though :-/

Retro pic from Taco Bell Facebook page

I was there for the introduction of the MexiMelt, which was usually pronounced MaxiMelt by our mid-Missourah customers. I was there for the sad day when they discontinued the Taco Burger. I was there when they still sold cinnamon crispas – remember those?!?

But when it got to a point where I only had time to work on Sundays during the school year and they stuck me at the fryer for 4 hours frying a week’s worth of taco salad shells and crispas, I decided my teenage skin didn’t need that kind of grease exposure. I had to say adíos to Taco Bell.

If you haven’t seen the prank video yet, it’s worth a watch whether you worked in fast food or not.


This entry was posted in Work.


  1. Quailman January 23, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Oh snap.

    • Melinda January 23, 2013 at 10:25 am #

      I love the one who just throws the bag of food into the car!
      And the ones who keep looking back into the restaurant and then outside again, as if that is going to change something.

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