What's it like to work at McDonalds?
It is totally degrading and dehumanising, there is a ‘procedure' for every tiny action to make our role almost completely robotic. The pay is infamously poor, bad enough, according to the high court, to depress wages throughout the catering sector. Management is frequently very autocratic; the company likes to employ ex-military personnel because they bring “a sense of discipline”. There are no overtime payments or any rights beyond those legally constituted. Hours are often unsociable. The work is sometimes relentless and employees are expected to ‘hustle'- basically run about for 8 hours (or 10, or 12...). Because of the pace of the work cuts and burns are very common, most people who have worked there for a few years will have at least one permanent scar. We are bombarded with inane company propaganda and are expected to comply with company stipulated ‘appearance requirements'. Theft of wages (clock card entries being altered by managers to save on labour expenses) is rife and is tolerated by the company- widespread theft of employees wages to save the company money is NOT an offence that leads to dismissal, taking a drink without permission potentially is. Hours can be cut (completely) with just 10 days notice (often, in practice, much less). Even when your shift finishes, incredibly, you are not free to go and are obliged to stay on should management demand it, which they almost inevitably will. The UK crew handbook states “due to the nature of our business, on occasions you may be asked to continue working past your normal finishing time; you will be released (sic!) as soon as the need for your services has past.” You can't even go to the toilet with out first obtaining permission. If a shift is unexpectedly quiet and staff are not totally rushed then some staff will be told to go home, if they insist on working their full shift they will often be assigned the most unpleasant cleaning tasks to encourage them to rethink. At other times every day off will be disrupted by a phone call from a stressed, sometimes even tearful, manager begging you to come in and work. The obsessive cost cutting and incessant prioritisation of profit has enormous human costs.
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