Mc Donalds – like a family for its employees?

The first thing when you check up the German Mc Donalds page for career and working opportunities is a video which pops up immediately after opening the page. In this video there are showed people who work at Mc Donalds and love their job, smiling and laughing a lot. And Kai Pflaume, a German television presenter probably not from personal experience an “expert” for Mc Donalds career chances, explains, why it’s good to work at Mc Donalds: It offers a wide spectrum of opportunities.

But the message of this and other videos seems to be a different one: Except for the high apprenticeship quality one thing is most important: That beeing part of the Mc Donalds team is like beeing part of a family – within three month like one employee explained. It seems to be this emotional message which is so important, because the image of working at Mc Donalds in Germany is quite bad, somehow linked with the idea of an underqualified rough job you only accept if you really need money. The chief human resources officer so explains in another video the importance of improving that image with the new campaign Mc Donalds started. All in all it seemed to me like Mc Donalds right now wants to give an “honest” view behind the scenes which shows that you are accepted, your qualities and talents are seen and used and that Mc Donalds gives you a lot where others don’t – for example with a low graduation others only give a look to your grades whereas Mc Donalds sees your talents and advances them.

Interestingly the campaign differs very much from the US Mc Donalds employee campaign where I coulnd’t find any video at all. Instead I found a lot of facts that should proof the advantages and benefits of working at Mc Donalds. So the question is why these campaigns do so much differ from each other  and what that says about the employment situation in both countries.

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The lowest common denominator (for eating out)?

Beside the harsh critisism that dominates in the “Urban Dictionary” the “definitions” of Mc Donalds  as an organization that makes people fat and silly and even worse, there also appeared the thesis that Mc Donalds is something absolutely typical for the manner of almost every American when it comes to eating out.

Some even spoke of the American imperialism manifested in the “culture” of Mc Donalds brought to almost every foreign country.  If you bring the harsh critisism and the notice of ubiquity of Mc Donalds not only in every modern suburb but also in the manners of the most Americans together it leads to the really interesting question what the probably qualified criticism says about these Americans or even about the whole western and globalized culture.

On the one hand they seem to know exactly about the dangers of eating to much Mc Donalds food, especially because Mc Donalds publishes the nutrition facts of its dishes directly on the wrapping. On the other hand most people don’t stop eating the Mc Donalds food, so that one describes the phenomenon of the worldwide success of Mc Donalds as an invasion – “like a virus”.

So this leads to the question what makes the great appeal of Mc Donalds though we know about the ugly facts of conform mass production and the unhealthiness of these products. Maybe one “advantage” of Mc Donalds is that it couls be used for many as a scapegoat, like one description pointed out. If the weight one has is to heavy it’s the mistake of Mc Donalds simply beeing part of the culture. But there have to be more reasons to explain the lasting success of Mc Donalds. Maybe we will find out some of them during the next weeks.