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Late Shift McDonald’s Employee Defies Adversity with Smiles in the Drive-Thru Lines

By Margaux Pope
Hottytoddy.com intern

One of Oxford’s busiest fast food chains on University Avenue, McDonald’s, is also home to one of the hardest working women in Lafayette County.

Working mostly 12-hour night shifts, Almeeda Brown never complains to her customers, co-workers or family about her scrupulous work.

Brown throwing customers a “thumbs up” and requesting they take her survey online Thursday, April 23. Photo by Margaux Pope.

Brown started working at the McDonald’s on University in January of this year but has been in fast food management since she was 26.

“I am soon to be 60, and I have come a long way since I started in the fast food industry almost 34 years ago,” she said.

From the neighboring state of Alabama, Brown moved to Oxford 11 years ago. She has worked at various fast food chains before her transition to McDonald’s this year.

Most nights are relatively busy, with both drive-thru lines wrapped around the building, the fryer buzzer constantly going off, and customers who are losing their patience yelling because of the delayed wait time. With only herself and one other employee on the job, Brown has learned to adapt to the rapid pace of the fast food industry.

“It’s not unusual for me to only be working with one other person. No one wants to work the night shift, but I don’t mind it,” she said.

Brown placing orders at the first window in the McDonald’s drive-thru Thursday, April 23. Photo by Margaux Pope.

Brown has met various students from all over the country, some who are fascinated by her story and overwhelming joy, and others who are more interested in retrieving their Big Mac.

With a wide and welcoming smile, Brown treats each customer with love and respect. Even when some customers become enraged by the long wait time or lack of employees on duty, Brown never loses her patience. She is consistently friendly, even to the customers who are irritable with her.

“Customers aren’t interested in hearing excuses, and no one has ever asked before,” she said.

McDonald’s offers a customer service survey on every receipt. Brown asks each of her customers to fill out the survey so she can make changes to give customers a more desirable experience. This small task may not mean anything to the customers, but to Brown it means the world.

She tells customers to take the survey so she can get feedback from customers on how to improve not only herself but the McDonald’s experience. Brown is continuously working to make each visit with her more pleasurable.

Brown’s co-workers only had positive things to say about her. One employee, Ashley Covington, described Brown as enthusiastic and outgoing.

“She has such a sweet spirit – a very enthusiastic and outgoing woman. She is always great with customers,” Covington said.

Brown said she gets through the long, sleepless nights at McDonald’s by focusing on how she can make an impact on others and the Oxford community.

“I’m a people person. I just like to make other people smile,” she said.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some, like Brown, simply wear a smile.


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