WARNER ROBINS -- Tamika Anderson began working at a McDonald’s restaurant when she was 18 years old.
That first day, she was in charge of cooking french fries.
“I came in with the same mentality that most high school kids come in with,” Anderson said Tuesday. “Did I plan on being here long term? Absolutely not. But I was taught whatever you do, you give 110 percent. I really did.”
Her supervisor must have seen something special in the teenager.
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Anderson was promoted within a couple of months to a shift manager position. She now has been with McDonald’s 10 years and is an area supervisor based in Warner Robins. She oversees six restaurants in Warner Robins and Byron.
She and other store managers were interviewing applicants Tuesday at the 3133 Watson Blvd. restaurant as part of the company’s National Hiring Day.
McDonald’s announced recently its plans to hire 50,000 employees at its restaurants across the country.
By 9 a.m. Tuesday, about 50 applicants were waiting in the Warner Robins restaurant to interview, said Nancy Berry, a marketing representative for McDonald’s.
“There were more applicants than customers,” Berry said.
By 2 p.m. Tuesday, Anderson said they had taken 115 applications and all four McDonald’s restaurants that were taking applications in Warner Robins and Byron had accepted 700 applications.
Applicants were to apply online and then come in for an interview. Most of the people applying were between their mid-20s and mid-30s, Anderson said. But she was expecting more teens to apply after school was out for the day.
“Last night, 865 applications had already been filed online,” Anderson said.
“Some people are looking to supplement their income,” she said. “Some people are looking for more opportunities and some want jobs while they go to college. ... One applicant said he should be retired but couldn’t afford it.”
Billy Jacobs, 28, of Warner Robins, hoped to snag a position with McDonald’s.
“I’m here to find a company to grow with -- someplace I can establish a career,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs used to work at Firehouse Subs and then opened his own business, Legendary Games, also on Watson Boulevard. After a Florida company bought the business, Jacobs sat at home for about eight months, he said.
Jacobs said he would like to get into management, but he realizes he might have to start out flipping burgers or cooking fries.
“I have no problem taking crew and working my way up,” he said.
Desiree McBride, 22, also from Warner Robins, said she would take whatever job McDonald’s would offer her.
McBride currently works at Burger King, but the single-mom wants more hours to help support herself and her 3-year-old daughter, she said. She is hoping it helps that she’s currently employed and that she has previous fast food experience. She also has worked with Church’s Chicken.
Tiriek Blunt of Warner Robins said he’s found it tough to find a job, and hopes to get one at the fast food restaurant. The 19-year-old is working on his GED (General Educational Development test), he said.
“You can’t give up,” Blunt said. “You will eventually find something.”
Elizabeth Moore, also 19, who graduated from Northside High School last year, has been looking for a job for about a month.
She has experience in serving at a restaurant but didn’t make enough in tips to support herself.
“I need a salary,” Moore said. “I have applied at about 10 places.”
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.