I took a little time to examine the stories of fellow McDonald workers. I’m completely surprised by what I’ve been reading; it’s gone so far that workers in the UK have banned together to basically shut down the entire corporation.
I’m a swing manager at McDonald’s and I’m making around 10 dollars an hour for a job that, while is tough, is still a lot better for me at my age than around 99% of the current job market.
I’ll go out on a whim and assume that I lucked out with the franchise that I joined. I hear constant stories of time punch changes, manipulation and terrible working conditions.
At my store (and every other store in the franchise) things are apparently much different. Manager payment doesn’t completely suck (especially for a college student) and rules are very strict.
For example, if a manager changes a time punch without the consent of the employee, than that manager will be fired, no questions asked. If a manager or crew steals food, then they will be instantly terminated. If a manager asks a crew member to go home early, and they refuse then the manager on duty cannot do anything about it.
Crew carry on friendly conversations and are allowed free drinks (and often times free meals as long as they did their job correctly) throughout their shift which keeps them happy and hard working.
Yes, McDonald’s does deliver a lot of propaganda to their employees. I mean a lot, so much in fact that it’s almost sickening, but again, I guess I lucked out on this aspect; allow me to explain. At orientation, you are forced to watch a ton of propaganda videos; at management training you are forced to a second round of not-so-subliminal messaging. At our company, the district managers often joke about the propaganda and remind the crew on a constant basis that what they are witnessing is far from reality.
Again, some managers are manipulative, but they are very rare at our franchise. I once had a manager that never gave out breaks, another scheduled minors for overnights, another made crew clock out for breaks but never allowed them to actually go. The difference is that all these managers were caught and eventually fired and crew was compensated for damages. Other franchises simply allow these actions to happen.
Calling out for shifts is simple and managers are usually very polite. Managers do take on a ton of stress, but they also make a significant amount more than their crew-counterparts.
Crew members are entitled to fifteen-minute breaks, and yes they do have to clock out for it, but they are still paid for it. Any crew person clocked out for less than 20 minutes receives a payment for that clocked out period of time. This helps both stressful labor costs and tired employees meet a happy median.
Crew is entitled to printed time punch summary slips after each shift this way no dispute is made over hours when paychecks come in. It’s a very nice system.
Our franchise owner also sponsors his high-school aged employees in any financial needs for school that they may encounter. Such things have included sponsorship to Odyssey of the Mind World Finals for two of his employees and a full paid trip to Washington DC for two upcoming journalists his payroll currently housed. In addition to this he offers two scholarships a year to employees of any age.
Yes, the work is hard and the pace is grueling, but the pay, security and treatment are far better than many other companies around the area.
So, I guess I lucked out at McDonald’s, but I’ve had bad enough experiences to know that other franchises probably mistreat their employees to an extent that lawsuits become the only solution. So, if you want to enter the McLife, be weary, but you just might luck out and find a good one.