- McJobs and Workers -

I can't quite believe we are being SO civil !

Posted by: Gill ( Northern Ireland ) on October 21, 1998 at 18:48:26:

In Reply to: It's about time! part 2 posted by Quincunx on October 21, 1998 at 02:03:40:

: Qx: It seems like the term "manager" can mean more than one thing at McDoanld's. At times it seems to be designed to confuse outside observers who might investigate McDonald's. At any rate it's a rather unique differentiation that may make even some hourly paid managers wonder why their job title includes the word "manager."

Yes. This is a complaint that many junior managers have. The differences in pay are not that significant. Really the only difference is that these junior managers have slightly more responsibility, and are put "in charge" of the other crew. It is more of a supervisory role. Also, they are more easily identified by customers. To make their situation a little more realistic, I have changed the job title in my (soon not to be my) store to Area Runner.

: Qx: Can you tell us more about this "communication day"? In my posting "Rap session is a rather loose term" I used a URL hyperlink to highlight Siamak's posting about rap sessions in which he stated along the lines that rap sessions were also detrimental to managers because if certain managers were too well-liked by the employees they were in danger of being demoted or worse. Is your experience in any way similar to what Siamak posted about his? Also, could "communication day" be handled like this at all?

It is true that the worse your "rap" is, the more the franchisee thinks you must be doing your job right, because noone wants to be worked hard. It also goes against McD's principle "talk behaviour not personality" as most raps are basically a slagging session, and not constructive. My franchisee viewed any manager who got a good rap as not doing his or her job properly. My raps used to say that I could be unpredictable and if I was in a bad mood everyone would be in a bad mood - and vice versa. However, they thought that I had excellent job knowledge, and any discipline was fair, consistent and done in private. I was happy with that ! Interestingly, noone complained about their pay rate.

: Criticism is perhaps the citizen's primary weapon in the exercise of her legitimacy. That is why, in this corporatist society, conformism, loyalty, and silence are so admired and rewarded; why criticism is so punished or marginalized.- John Ralston Saul- THE UNCONSCIOUS CIVILIZATION.

Yes and now I am free from the golden shackles I've got quite a few criticisms to air. All in good time, my friend !

: Qx: I think they would be understanding even though I could imagine some "hard-liners" taking a hostile position with "the working class and the employing class have nothing in common" stance which would simply undermine their own position due to the inflammatory (not to mention messianic, 19th century) rhetoric. I'm certainly not against the idea. Hey, if the United Mine Workers (UMW) can organize doctors why can't the IWW at least see that even the white colllar sector has it's back against the wall?

And I thought you were one of those hardliners Qx. When we argued earlier about how outdated the 19th century rhetoric was, that is what I meant. It doesn't have the same relevance today. The world of work is infinitely more complicated than it was then. A new, more flexible approach is needed. The broad, all encompassing statements about working/employing classes need to be replaced with something that will have relevance to all workers. I think the IWW could achieve this without being diluted in any way. Using the old archaic principles simply alienates the IWW from a large majority of the working population for whom they exist.

: Qx: That's really interesting. Some activists disparage shareholder activism but at time I see it as an outgrowth that can have its effects.

I will post about the details - but not JUST yet QX ! My notice isn't up yet ! My last day is still a few weeks away !

: Qx: Yes and sometimes they can say one thing and do absolutely the opposite. What I mean is that I'm not saying that the corporate elites are comprised of people who have long, gnarly fangs and plot evil day and night and neither do I say that they are complete morons. Their plans are oftentimes very well thought out and especially so in the case of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI).

The private face is very duplicitous. There is a distinct lack of trust between those at the bottom (Store Manager and below) and those further up in the hierarchy. You can see it behind Ronald's grin !

: I've been given the impression that many who spend their entire careers in the corporate culture are absolutely cocooned from the everyday realities that a part-time truckdriver/ woodsman/ mineral prospector like me or someone in your position face each day. I've known a few very wealthy people (in financial terms, not spiritually) and they can afford the lifestyles that perpetuate that while we're in the race to the bottom in this age of free markets and free trade. None of which is really fair.

I used this argument frequently when complaining to my franchisee. I told him that as he had never been an employee, he could never understand our position.

: Qx: Yeah, it was really a busy location on the westside of Houston. Just thinking about it gets me sweating.

I'd be interested to hear more !

: Qx: Well, good luck with it and don't fret about working at McD's too much either! We all have to make a living and I'm luckier than most because I've been able to choose my line of work over the past few years. I'm simply lucky not smarter or wiser than anyone else.

Qx, I can hardly believe that last statement ! Is it really you saying that ? Have you been smoking those funny cigarettes again ? I'm sure in the past you roasted me for coming out with things like "we all have to make a living" - remember you compared me to a prostitute ? Well, no hard feelings.

Till next time,


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