Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Surviving your McJob: the official guide

You knew where you were, back in the good old days. Using a de-skilled, low-wage workforce to turn standardised, mechanically-recovered meat products into huge corporate profits was the job of massive fast food chains

Trying to undermine the reputations of these corporate behemoths was the job of a few subversive lefties and greens, assisted by the copy writing skills of the odd undercover cop. Now things have gone all weird and the world's number one fast food chain seems to have taken the job of doing its own reputational damage in-house:
McDonalds has partnered with Visa to launch a website to help its low-wage workers making an average $8.25 an hour to budget. But while the site is clearly meant to illustrate that McDonalds workers should be able to live on their meager wages, it actually underscores exactly how hard it is for a low-paid fast food worker to get by.

The site includes a sample “budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees that offers a laughably inaccurate view of what it’s like to budget on a minimum wage job. Not only does the budget leave a spot open for “second job,” it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees’ costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing. 

Coming from a company founded on the principle that the public will swallow any old crap, the McDonalds "Budget Journal" is probably the result of cock-up, rather than conspiracy. Mind you, it also looks a lot like something that might have been cobbled together by a rogue agent provocateur who's infiltrated some red-green protest movement, then gone native. Maybe McDonalds needs to run some serious background checks on its blue-skies thinkers and copywriters, just in case.

McDonalds have spent a lot of time and effort trying to get the disrespectful term "McJob" banned from dictionaries.

Good. Luck. With. That.