Over the Counter at McDonalds – Leidner

I could not believe when I read that there is actually a “hamburger university” built, run and paid for by McDonalds.    How absurd!!    I feel that they have gone mad and overthought the whole training process that they feed those willing to be fed.   I understand wanting to have set principles and guidelines in order for a business to be successful, but to have a “university?”     I agree, if a business wants to be successful in most cases, produce a product that is constant for the masses.   Many, like myself, do not favor the repeatable, predictable, duplicated things in life.   I like change, variety, newness.  However, McDonald’s is rich and famous and I am living in a suburb where very few know my name, not that I would trade places for an instant.

I love the paragraph on page 499 that talks about the image of McDonald’s in their advertising schemes where they are perceiving the staff and stores as one of “fun, wholesomeness, and family orientation.”   Yuck.    From information I have gathered over the years from many who have eaten McDonald’s, it is sometimes anything but fun when one’s body rejects the fried fast food consumed.    Let us define “wholesomeness.”   In my book of synonyms, it states this: healthful, beneficial, nutritious, invigorating…..are just some of the words shown.    I do see why they chose to use the word “wholesomeness” instead of one of the other synonyms because McDonald’s is none of those.     Next, family orientation.   Sure, they promote an environment for families to bring their kids, and many McDonalds have playgrounds for the kids to burn off excess energy (happy meal included.)   However, not ALL McDonald stores are “family oriented.”  I have been to a few ,in California, where homeless people who are dirty, mentally-ill, and sometime verbally aggressive to passerby’s and customers, are allowed outside the immediate building.   Those who behave are sometimes allowed to sit inside if they order food.   I personally would not take my kid to a store that had that type of element present.   Regardless of having the understanding that many homeless cannot help their situation or behavior for that matter.   So I would say that perhaps, without being able to visit a majority of stores to do a study of the “family” environment claim, most McDonald’s may in fact be a safe haven for families to eat.

I do not agree with the “mindless” ways of training that are given to the managers and employees.   Of course, managers are allowed to handle “out of the box” issues I would say.   In this chapter, it is clear the only ones allowed to think for themselves and Jbe creative are the CEO’s and owners, and again, they may be limited as well in their thinking allowance when it comes to rules, procedures, and regulations.   I want to say that McDonald’s is a communist food chain in a sense.    They are successful by using these tactics and training people to be flesh-covered robots.    I have tried in the past to converse with the cashiers when giving my order.  An example would be making jokes or asking how their weekend was.    I did not receive a very warm response and little detail was given to me.   Instead, the cashiers seemed annoyed, concerned, worried, just to name a few emotional expressions I saw on their faces; as if it were illegal to talk about anything other than the food.     They did ask me if I wanted to upgrade my fries and then asked what size drink I wanted, even though I never said I wanted one.  They assumed, or believed that I was a mindless goon and would just follow their lead into the abyss of grease and sugar.    After the order was placed, they collected my money, handed me a receipt and that was all folks.    Everyone seemed very fake in their performance, movements, facial and verbal expressions.

If you want a mindless job, go work at McDonald’s.   They are the professionals in the field of mindlessness.    For the record, I believe that McDonald’s wanted to be like Disneyland, so they followed their lead in trying to create a wholesome, family-oriented, and fun place to go.   Unfortunately, for me, they failed miserably.