Workers: Keep your minds open


Frank Fitzgeralde Libom

One year ago, Zack Buster was a high school student working at Chick-fil-A. Now he’s the associate editor of Campus Current.

Zack Buster, Associate Editor

This time last year, I was a high schooler working at Chick-fil-A. 

Getting threatened by customers over cold fries may not have seemed like a valuable life experience, but making sure they walked away smiling taught me customer service and hospitality. 

Whether I was learning conversational Spanish from my coworkers or cleaning the dirty bathrooms, these experiences taught me valuable life lessons. 

Even if I didn’t realize it while I was working there, I learned skills that I use in my current job all the time.

Fast forward a year, and I’m the associate editor of the Campus Current newspaper here at AACC. I have a job in my field that gets me out of bed in the morning and makes me feel like I’m having a good college experience, even in this weird time.

While working for the paper, I began to have these little flashbacks to moments at Chick-fil-A. I began to realize just how much I learned.

I’m a full-time communications student and I’m discovering just how many different social and professional skills I learned at Chick-fil-A: customer service, counting money, crisis communication, good listening skills.

I use every one of those skills at the paper–except for the counting money part. And I’m learning new skills, especially leadership skills.

I’m learning how to run staff meetings, how to manage people, how to prioritize tasks and how to budget my time.

I’m also learning how to be a leader.

I use the skills I learned at Chick-fil-A all the time. I use customer service skills when mediating differences between staff members and hospitality skills when convincing a source to agree to an interview.

These are things that help me now and will continue to help me throughout the rest of my life, whether I end up being a journalist, a sociologist or even a Chick-fil-A manager.

I can see how those experiences served as stepping stones that brought me to the place I am now, and how they will help me in the next steps in my life.

Even if you don’t realize it, you can learn lessons from your minimum-wage job, too.

While the job you have now might not seem relevant to your future or be as enjoyable as you’d like, there’s always something to learn from it. 

You never know, what you learned might be exactly the skill you need when you get to your next job or to the one after that.