Okay, so let’s get this out of the way right up front: I don’t hate McDonald’s. Really. I mean, I know they’re sort of the convenient “whipping boy” for all that’s wrong with the fast-food industry, but srsly, folks, they’re not that terrible. In fact, their salads are actually quite tasty — and (if you opt for the grilled chicken and low-fat dressing) low cal. Dare I say it? Healthy, even.
So, I say this to them out of love. Shutting down that gawd-awful McResource site was a really good move. Should have done it a long time ago.
I’m sure you’ve probably heard about this site. It was supposed to be a “helpful resource” for McDonald’s employees. Only thing is, whoever was in charge of this site had to be about as clueless and tone-deaf as a corporate executive can get (and, trust me, a whole lot of corporate executives are exceedingly clueless and tone-deaf).
- The site advised workers to return unopened Christmas gifts or try to sell them on Craigslist in order to make a little extra cash. (Which isn’t necessarily a terrible idea, especially if it’s stuff you didn’t really want in the first place. But to have your employer suggesting this in lieu of paying your a living wage is kinda insulting. I guess McDonald’s decided just coming out and saying they don’t think their employees should be spending money on giving gifts to start with sounded too heartless.)
- They posted a sample budget that was supposed to help workers better manage their money. Only thing was, the budget assumed the workers had a second job (which amounted to admitting the rank and file can’t live on the wages McDonald’s pays), included no line items for heat or gas (so, a cold house and no car), and only allowed $20 a month for healthcare (so, no insurance and don’t get sick). Look, McDonald’s, if the only way you can come up with a budget for your workers that comes close to balancing is to leave out basic necessities (heath care, heat) and assumes they’re going to also be working somewhere else… maybe you should consider the possibility you’re not paying these folks enough.
- Then, to further “assist” these workers who have to work a second (minimum wage) job just to make ends meet — despite the fact their houses are unheated, they have no health insurance and they have to walk everywhere because they can’t afford gas for their car — the site offered suggestions of how much these workers should tip their pool cleaner, housekeeper, personal fitness trainer and au pair. Yep, you read that right. McDonald’s apparently thinks their minimum wage employees have enough money to hire a pool cleaner.
But the final straw seemed to be when the site published some third-party content that, in part, advised McDonald’s workers they shouldn’t be eating fast food. #facepalm
Yep. Next to a picture of that staple of the McDonald’s menu, a cheeseburger and fries (labeled “unhealthy choice”), the site advised, “While convenience and inexpensive for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat saturated fat, sugar and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.”
McDonald’s take on the whole thing? They’re apparently a big aggrieved that they have to take down this “resource.” Their spokesperson comes across as a bit peeved, talking about how “outside groups taking elements out of context… created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary.” (To be fair, she did also admit they’d linked to some “irrelevant or outdated information.”)
But I’m left wondering: in what context, precisely, should one take the information that McDonald’s doesn’t think their employees need to heat their homes, gas up cars or have health insurance? How is it “inappropriate” for anyone to point out that McDonald’s underpays millions of hard-working employees while lavishing their executives with compensation beyond the dreams of avarice and still raking in breathtaking profits? The only thing “unwarranted” in all this is the amount the people in charge of this website were paid — especially when compared to the pay of the average McDonald’s worker. If the guy or gal flipping the burgers and cooking up the fries as your local Mickey-D’s did as poor a job as the folks managing this site, most of us would never eat at McDonald’s (at least, not more than once).
Goodbye, McResources, and good riddance! Now, if we can just get McDonald’s (and Wal*Mart, and all those other cheapskate corporations out there) to start paying their rank and file a living wage, then we might really be getting somewhere.