Fifty-year-old Russel O’Grady first joined the force in 1986 at the Sydney West branch, when he was 18 years old. He was an icon and is popular among his colleague and customers.
Russell began working for the restaurant at a time that it was less common for people with learning disabilities to embark on career paths.
His supervisor, Courtney Purcell, said:
“We’ve got regular customers who come in to see Russell on Thursday and Friday, and the staff looks after him, so we’re going to miss him.”
His career changed Russell’s perspective on his life.
His father, Geoff explained that people have stopped in the street to shake his son’s hand. He added: “He’s very affectionate, dearly loved and appreciated, to such an extent that we just don’t believe it.”
He began with the company based on work experience through the Job Support scheme, but he showed how hard he would graft and moved through the ranks, securing a full-time job packing party boxes.
He decided that retirement was the best option because of his health.
Russell celebrated his 30th anniversary with McDonald’s, the company had a special cake made for him.