‘Born’ in 1991-A A +A
Friday, June 6, 2014
LAST Tuesday, June 3, Team McDonald's Session, came together at its basement for a "final" crew assembly.
I started my talk with "I have good news for all of you. Not even my children who are present here know about it. McDonald’s Session will not close on June 15, 2014!" Everyone's sad faces quickly turned to a chorus of loud cheers! With "perfect" timing, I followed up with the memorable line, "but, it will close on June 16, 2014." "Aaaay!" Five seconds of bliss disappeared so quickly!
We all had a good laugh. That bit of "humor" set the tone of the meeting. Instead of being sad, we were joking and laughing for the next 15 to 20 minutes. The butt of the jokes was on us, the "pioneers" and "seniors" of Session.
Elena, our trusted and very loyal Administrative Assistant had excused herself from the meeting for being tired, presumably from packing up boxes and boxes of documents and files accumulated over 23 years! I wouldn’t be surprised if her emotional baggage weighed heavier. Just like many of us, McDo has been her second home! She had established hers in 1991, and had since spent more waking hours at McDonald’s Session than anywhere else.
Lin, our operations consultant, had brought along her daughter, Chloe, who also worked as a McDo crew last year. Chloe is the fruit of a beautiful and lasting marriage that was "born" at McDo Session. Lin was a pioneer manager, and Chaki, was our pioneer maintenance person, and my "favorite". When a relationship blossomed, with me knowing it last, one of them had to leave. It was a common joke in the store that Lin had anxiously wondered if I would have preferred to keep Chaki, rather than her! Of course, it was the "love team" who decided that Chaki would leave, and she would stay…. for the next 23 years!
Jessica, my youngest daughter, who was 6 months in Angie’s womb when McDo Session first opened its doors, suggested putting up a “Memory Wall” at the second floor. Since June 1, with just one tarpaulin, the memory wall, just five days later, now consists of six huge tarpaulins filled with pictures and notes, put up by family, staff and customers.
Truly, many memories and countless love stories had their roots at McDonald’s Session.
No wonder we have people wanting to buy their favorite table and chair, as we now dispose of most of our restaurant furniture and equipments.
Since news of our closing leaked out, many customers and former staff have been texting and calling me and my family members. Some have posted their fond memories and their feelings in their Facebook accounts and at #mcdosession.
I feel humbled by their messages of gratefulness and am consoled by the shared sadness at this chapter of our lives.
My Dearest McDonald’s Family, Friends and Customers,
Am I sad? Yes I am. We are closing a chapter in our lives.
So where have I sought comfort and strength to celebrate 23 years? From my family, our staff, our customers, and in His words.
1 Thes. 5:16 - 18 says, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”
Thus, as we close, we choose to celebrate 23 years of McDonald’s Session with gratitude and joy in our hearts.
We give thanks to God, for His blessings and graces, while remembering that "God giveth. God taketh".
We thank you, our customers, for choosing us to serve you. Thank you for taking care of the rent, the utility bills, and the salaries of each member of Team McDonald’s Session. We have been able to provide for our loved ones, send ourselves, our siblings, and our children to school.
You took care of us for 23 good years! Our sincerest gratitude.
We salute our managers and staff. We thank you for your dedication, commitment, and "malasakit", for the company, and for our customers.
We thank George and Kenneth Yang and their able team of leaders and staff at McDonald’s Philippines, for their continued support and assistance.
After moments of sadness, we have chosen to celebrate!
There is now peace and joy in our hearts!
P.S. 1. We will be giving “Thank you” Food Coupons starting June 7, for all McDonald’s Session customers who will be visiting the other McDo outlets at: Sunshine, SM, Assumption, Center Mall, Bonifacio, City Hall- Insular, and La Trinidad.
2. See posters for other “Closing Store Activities”, including “Buy One, Take One” Burgers.
3. All recent and past Kiddie crew members are specially invited to have their pictures taken with Ronald McDonald on Sunday, June 15, 2014, at McDonald’s Session from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.; 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
See you at McDo Session. Till we meet again!
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 07, 2014.