Monday, August 20, 2012

95 Songs of Summer, #60 - "Magic Man" (1976)

In August 1976, I began my first job - working at McDonalds, where I would stay for the next four years, until I left Sacramento for UC Berkeley.  At the time, the Golden Arches workforce was comprised almost entirely of high school and community college students, with the exception of one or two managers.

For about three months, I absolutely hated every moment of the job - to the point where I would actually hope when I went to bed at night that the place would burn down overnight, so I wouldn't have to endure another shift the following day.  That's a little extreme, I know - but hey, that's what it felt like at the time.

It was hard work, with a ton of rules - but once I had gotten a little experience under my belt and figured it all out, I began to enjoy it (and I still make use today of the lessons that I learned then).  By March of the following year, I felt like I had everything down pat, and I must have, because a couple of months later I was named the store's Training Coordinator for the grillmen, meaning that I was responsible for training all new employees (at that time there was a pretty solid demarcation across gender lines - girls worked the window, and boys worked the grill).  I stayed in that position for the next three years, not really wanting to move up to manager because with that move came an enormous loss of flexibility in terms of scheduling.

By now you're probably wondering where this is all going.  Well, there are a handful of songs that are so inextricably linked to that time that when I hear them today, it is as if I'm transported back to those first few days on the job, wondering what the heck I was doing, and wishing that I could be just about anyplace else.

"Magic Man" by Heart is one of those songs.  From the summer of 1976.

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