IF any single company excites the sneers of the anti-capitalists it is McDonalds. Even the term McJob has entered the language from Douglas Couplands novel Generation X a low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one.
It does not have the wit of Samuel Johnson but it captures the haughtiness of all those who denigrate McDonalds, the fast food chain. Theres just one problem it is an entirely false characterisation.
McJobs should be praised. They represent significant life opportunities for McDonalds staff or, as the company calls them, its crew. To work in one of the outlets of these hugely successful franchises is for many people not a career. It offers the opportunity to learn virtues that make all its workers better employees. A McJob is mostly a transient one for the young who are usually from middle class or rich families and are doing it to earn pocket money. It is not a job to be compared with a role in the professions. Serving, cooking or cleaning in a fast food restaurant is not to be compared to a long and structured life as a doctor, accountant or lawyer.
We should not mock McJobs, but regard them as a period of work experience for mostly young people either students or the unskilled. McJobs, or so it seems to me, offer an employment deal that is popular. One that also offers a high degree of flexibility in hours. The company applies itself to teach the repertoire of all the tricks in a business that we might call hospitality.
May I offer a more accurate definition than Couplands? It comes from a franchise in Los Angeles that is equipped for disabled staff and was the first place ever to coin the word McJob: A job specially created by the worlds most admired food service company at great cost to give disabled people opportunities not normally available to them. It is worth registering this as the essence of the ethos and modus operandi of McDonalds. You can only get a McFranchise if you are a locally engaged and resident individual. It does not allow partnerships or absentee owners. Ninety percent of McDonalds staff are part-timers. The superior mind might reprimand the company for this, but it only reflects what McDonalds has observed and confirmed in the marketplace that many students and housewives want to supplement their incomes and not work full time. The frozen job markets of the European Union need m