There are many of us, myself included, who make the dire mistake of choosing to work in the fast food industry. It can be for many reasons, such as location, job availability, or peers, but don't fool yourself. This is why you should never work in fast food.
Guaranteed minimum wage when starting. Fast food is undoubtedly the poorest paying job, except of course for being a writer or administrator for TheSpoof.com, because no job will ever pay that badly.
The People -
The typical person to work at fast food is usually of three people. Single teen parents, high school dropouts, and illegal Mexican immigrants. This is the majority of the fast food crew, but sometimes you get your average drug dealer/user, ex-convicts, and of course, the normal person who wasn't able to find this article in time.
Immediately divide any customer's typical patience in half. It doesn't matter what kind of person they are, the simple fact that they know they are ordering 'fast' food, registers in their mind that they will get their food in two minutes or less. They aren't aware that, for example, to make a simple burger it takes at least one minute to cook, let alone complete the burger as well as fries and a drink.
I've been to many airports in my life and I thought that they were one of the most chaotic places I've ever been to, however that was before I worked in fast food. A typical rush hour at a fast food restaurant constitutes more chaos than Los Angeles International. It will not matter what type of work you do in the restaurant, it will always be equally chaotic. God forbid you should ever choose to work at fast food in an airport. Those jobs are only for daredevils and the mentally unstable.
The stress of a job in fast food is ridiculously high, as is the effort required to successfully perform your duties. On a typical day, I was required to operate the drive-thru. That is making the drinks, taking the orders, handling the money, and giving out the food, all at once. I didn't write on my application that I was bio-physically attached to another human being either, so I don't know what my manager was thinking when he assigned me all that work. Occasionally someone would come along and help me out, but that was on a good day.
Though you do not require any sort of prior knowledge to become an employee, it will require a vast amount of knowledge capacity, or in other words, the ability to remember, well, just about everything in less time than it takes a to recite the first three letters of the ABC's (or less time to read to read the letters in that sentence, whichever comes first). I'm not sure about most fast food restaurants, but where I worked, my first day went a little something like, Manager: "Ok, here's the fountain. These cups are small, medium, and large. There's the screen. Make some drinks." Two minutes later: "NO! That cup doesn't have enough ice! Come on! We're getting slammed here!"
From the moment you accept a job in fast food you will abandon all sense of organization. Sometimes people just don't show up to work or call in sick because they don't feel like working. In such a case, which is at least once a week, you will be called in to work. By law you can accept or decline, but the law does no protect against a manager's vengeful attitude when you return. Normally you feel obligated to accept their shift.
Physical and mental effects are also possible. From smelling like fries 24/7 to greeting people when not at work by saying, "Hi. Welcome to (name of restaurant). My name is (your name), how can I help you today?" Some people just go insane, which is normally a good idea, because then you get to go to an all expense paid trip to the mental institution until you recover. That may be never, but hey, at least you won't be working for the rest of your life.
Ignorance is bliss -
You have no idea what goes on behind those closed doors. Disgusting habits and gruesome things that you would never know about if you don't work there. The only thing you care about before you get your food is how it tastes, and you assume all clean and hygienic procedures are in order. This is the best way to think, because you have no worries. It's better to just eat the food and never know about what was wrong with it and stay happy. Now I'm going to question the safety of every fast food restaurant I eat at.