Tuesday, November 11, 2003

As documented on Blind Höna, McDonalds has apparently successfully censored Merriam-Webster from adding the following definition the company's rather popular dictionary:

McJob . . . . noun (1986) : a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement

Fortunately, my career did not start with a stint at a fast food restaurant. My first "regular" job was at a local grocery store as a bagger, checker, stocker, and clean-up-nasty-things-er. Most of my friends-- like many, many teens the world over-- did start in a fast food restaurant.

The above definition is extremely accurate.

McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, and all the rest that use an assembly line style "food manufacturing" process maximize their profits by creating a work environment that requires little to no training and encourages a high turnover rate. Combining a high turnover rate with a young, inexperienced, part-time work force vastly decreases the cost of operations in that the franchise has to pay out less in the form of promotions, bonuses, and benefits.

McDonalds was certainly a pioneer in this effort. A modern McDonalds is an amazing collection of technical achievements that are all centered around increasing food production-- number of customers served-- by both reducing the time required to manufacture food items and by reducing the amount of thought required to do so. Over time, McDonalds has also continued to increase profitability to by reducing the original quality of the product sold through the use of manufactured flavors/textures.

On a purely technical and financial basis, McDonalds should be lauded for their achievements. It is damned impressive.

From a health perspective, it is clear that the success of the fast food industry is a symptom of a larger problem.

At what price comes success?
7:51:07 AM  pontificate