Wednesday, October 29, 2014

McDonald's Employees Feel They Deserve $15/hr. We All Disagree

McDonald's employees take to the streets in protest of wages
Threats of making Ronald McDonald even scarier are showing no obvious gains.

**Post-script note: After discussing this post with a friend, I want to make clear that this post is NOT in anyway commenting on the overall state of minimum wages, which I am not qualified to discuss.  This is merely commenting on a select, disgruntled group of idiots who make the faulty assumption that being employed by a highly profitable business means that they deserve more money, despite consistently showing overall poor performance.

The fact that McDonald's employees rallied together in the mutual goal of raising their wages to a whopping $15 an hour had the ironic effect of proving exactly why they don't deserve it. Don't get me wrong the same vein in which I believe that teachers should be paid more (to attract better talent, though this wasn't mentioned in that post), I fully believe that all workers should be paid a living wage. However, McDonald's workers aren't teachers, in every sense of the word. They add no value to the communities in which they operate, they can be trained in less than a week, and don't even require as much as a GED. For my foreign readers, that's a General Education Diploma, which is reserved for those who didn't care enough to finish high school or whose teenage years vanished from their lives by getting pregnant or taking a detour through the penal system.

Let's get real here, people. Should that magical moment that you fantasized about ever become a reality, all of your asses are getting fired on the spot. For those of you who pleasantly greet us when we step up to the register and don't need to call a manager every time someone has a special request such as ordering a McChicken sandwich with no lettuce, you can stop reading right now, because I'm not talking to you. I'm talking about those drab imbeciles who speak in monotone voices and shuffle around slowly like the walking dead because they don't care enough to conceal the fact that they wish they were doing anything besides, well...working at McDonald's.

You are disposable. You squirt gobs of mayonnaise on my sandwich as if I had asked for a triple serving, you haphazardly dump massive amounts of salt on a batch of French fries because you can't be bothered to even look at them while you are doing it, you toss everything into the bag without regard to whether or not the items are right side up or upside down, spilling said fries all over the place, and can't understand what I mean when I ask for half of the amount of sweetener that you normally put in an iced coffee, no matter how many times I ask or how I choose to phrase it. The last time I went through the drive through, I thought I was pretty specific when I requested a Happy Meal for a boy and felt pretty confident that I was going to get the Hex Bug that flashed onto the confirmation screen, only to reach into the bag before driving off to find a Monster High brand bedazzled set of faux pink sunglasses with no lenses to hide your look of shame for wearing them. Should my son grow up to be gay, I want to be certain it had something to do with the contents of my sperm and not have to wonder endlessly if it had something to do with the contents of his Happy Meal.

Hex bugs from McDonald's Happy Meals
These gross looking things are called "Hex Bugs"
Monster High Spooky Spectacles from McDonald's Happy Meals
These are Monster High Spooky Spectacles.
Being able to tell the difference is not only required to attain a GED,
but also is an automatic $2/hr pay raise.

I wasn't mad, of course. If I was, I wouldn't patronize this place. However, it does beg the question: would these derelicts perform better with higher incentives, such as a totally undeserved pay increase to $15/hr? In my experience, this just isn't how the real world works. Should the minimum wage be simultaneously increased for everyone, there is no incentive to do anything different. I think it's possible that a large wage increase could promote more productivity amongst a selected group within the store itself, but only if they must worry that it can be taken away should they fail to meet quality standards. Under a mandatory minimum wage, it couldn't be taken away. This isn't to say that ALL people under this new scheme would putting in the same performance. Those people who are running the businesses and putting up all the capital with the associated risk- they will be working harder than they ever have in their lives trying to find a way to make up for all the cash they are hemorrhaging to their employees who aren't doing a minute of extra work or risking a dime of their own money.

We are all familiar with phrase "I'm not been paid enough to care." People say this because they view their job as replaceable; that they can make the same amount of money elsewhere doing the same amount of work or even less. When everyone starts making $15/hr, no one is making enough to care because the guy working at McDonald's can take his I-don't-give-a-shit attitude right over to Taco Bell and make the same money, except now he can over-apply sour cream through a modified caulking gun rather than mayonnaise. A likely unintended consequence of this is that the lower management staff, the ones who actually cared enough in the first place to work their way up, will now probably be making marginally more than their less qualified underlings, if anything more at all. So that person that I mentioned in the beginning who gets called to the front all the time because he's the only one who knows how to use the register and makes sure there isn't piss all over the toilet seat in the bathroom? Guess what...he's no longer getting paid enough to care anymore.

No comments: