To continue a conversation we had in one of the classes….


to work at McDonalds

From the videos I have watched and the experiences I have heard about from friends in the US, working at McDonalds seems like a pretty miserable deal. The pay is not enough to live off, the customers are generally disrespectful, and the environment is depressing. 

The workers in the restaurants are paid minimum wage in the states. And even though they are mostly teenagers, most are teenagers that HAVE to have a job. I know that when I worked in high school, if my only option was to have a job at a fast food restaurant, I just wouldn’t work. But some don’t have the option. My friends from school were either coming from a low-class family or had children while they were in school and had to support a family.

As if the pay wasn’t bad enough, dealing with rude customers and being around miserable co-workers (none of which want to be there) really makes fast food workers hate their job. The customers demand ridiculous things like free food and drinks because they believe they somehow deserve it. And when they don’t get anything they become upset..? Makes no sense. I know from working in a restaurant that this occurs occasionally, but it  seems to be more prominent in McDonalds eateries because they are “fast food” and deemed cheaper (with food and workers), therefore easier to push around. All of the unhappiness in the workplace can really add up to bigger issues too, example: The fact that they hire people with such a violent past is one thing, but in the workers defense they most likely deal with terrible customers often… It was just a matter of time before they snapped from stress. (ok, the metal rod is a bit much, but you get my point)

The McDonalds corporation seems to think that everything is quite lovely at McDonalds restaurants and it is full of opportunities. “We believe the best people in the world work right here. And we believe you could be one of them. You’ve got enthusiasm, responsibility and drive. We’ve got flexible schedules, benefits and jobs that can turn into satisfying careers. It’s a perfect match.” But all I have observed from people working there is they smell permanently of fried food, most are unhappy and they all complain about the low pay. Granted, not all McDonalds are the same. Some are much more well-kept and respectable than others. I just have more knowledge on the run-down, gross restaurants in South Carolina.

McDonald’s attempt at “healthy”

Looking at the offered products from McDonald’s USA Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items, I found the section of the menu that some would deem as the “healthier” options more disturbing than the regular meals associated with McDonald’s. While expected, the fatty meals are ridiculously high in calories, fat, and preservatives. The salads, snack wraps, and oatmeal are on a separate section of the menu in the restaurants and are, what most people consider, the healthier options on the menu. But, for example, the blueberry banana nut oatmeal (8.6 oz) has 290 calories which is close to a regular cheese burger.  I researched further to find that a typical 8 oz. cup of oatmeal is usually around 100 calories, which makes me curious as to what McDonalds could be adding to their food to have such an increase. Surely .6 oz more of oatmeal or fruit and nuts would not be the cause to make the calorie count jump 100+ calories. And it is not just the calories that increase in comparison, but also sugars, fat, etc. It is strange to me to see that the ingredients seem genuine (banana oatmeal, blueberries, light cream, walnuts) and yet the nutritional facts show something not so normal. Maybe it’s the walnuts?

Regardless, coming from America and knowing people who eat at McDonald’s religiously, I have already come to the conclusion that I do not want to encourage the growth of “McDonaldization” or any other fast food establishments. To me, it isn’t even what is in the food as much as it is how badly it affects people. I react to the thought of eating there the same way I do to cigarette smoking: grossed out. I see how it affects my friends and family who eat at fast food restaurants regularly (weight gain, bad skin, low metabolism, etc.) and it just does not appeal to me. I can’t prove that these changes are all due to McDonald’s, but I can’t help but see a pattern when comparing people I know and what they eat.