- McJobs and Workers -

Etiquette, mid-life crisisses, and non-fraternisation.

Posted by: Manager Dan ( Australia ) on September 30, 1999 at 11:09:21:

In Reply to: Disease or epidemic??? posted by Manager Dan on September 29, 1999 at 14:24:53:

: McSpotlight: We don't encourage personal attacks here; it would be a good thing to remain as polite as possible.

Dear McSpotlight,

One thing McDonald's has taught me is politeness: 'can I help you please?'; 'will that be a large coke madam?'; 'would you care to indulge in a sundae'? etc.

I thought I had applied this etiquette by referring to Glen by his name and asking him to 'please' get a life.

I am sorry if I went overboard but I was merely trying to emphasise the point, as seems evident in Glen's case, that McDonald's preys on the impressionability of its staff by recruiting the bulk of its employees at the ages of 14,15, and 16. For most people this is their first job and quite naturally they do their best to impress. However, often the accountability at work is greater than that which may be in place at home or at school and soon crew may find themselves prioritising their McDonald's work above their education or other interests. How many cases do you hear of bright students quitting school for full time work at Maccas. I don't blame them. While it might be a minimum wage, it is a full time minimum wage and that sure beats the hell out of what you can earn going to shool.

What Glen and these people don't realise is that McDonald's lures people into a false sense of security through deliberate exploitation of the age of innocence. By the time you are 18 or 19 you find yourself without an education and largely unemployable at other places. McDonald's is the only trade these people know - it is their livelihood. Before you know it your 20, 21 working your way up the management ladder torn between crew friends and management objectives. This is when the shit hits the fan. You have invested so much time and effort in McDonald's - especially their crappy courses which have no recognition in the market place - that you reach the point of no return. I have seen several store managers have a mid-life crisis in their 20s because they reach the peak of their career at 25 or 26. They might be on a nice income, but they have reached the top of the McD ladder and now have nowhere to go. Furthermore, they are sick of working weekends and having their hands smell like cheeseburgers at the end of each shift due to the toxic pickle juice (have you ever noticed can do to a grill?). They want to leave but the skills they have learnt are applicable to McDonald's only and are largely disregarded by other organisations.

My advice to Glen and other budding managers is to enjoy your work while you're young. Go into the wash-up room, the walk-in freezer and the compactor room and take the non-fraternisation policy to the limit by all means, BUT NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF THE BIGGER PICTURE. McD's is not all that it is cranked up to be and it will consume you if you don't stand up and be counted. Keep your options open Mr Day and you may even be able to exploit McDonald's as opposed to them doing it to you.

McSpotlight: There is a very great deal more to politeness and good manners than merely saying "please" and "thankyou". It was just a reminder, by the way; it was not personally aimed at you; we were trying to stop it degenerating into a brawl prior to the event.

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