On a day when the fast food hamburger conglomerate is being frivolously sued over the inclusion of toys in their Happy Meals (hey, 1986 called and wants their social issue back!), McDonald’s would rather focus on something else: like its attempt to hire 50,000 new workers in a single day.
It’s a gimmick, for sure, but for many Americans — some 280,000 job applications were submitted online — the prospect of landing a job today is an opportunity too good to pass up.
At a Cincinnati location, managers said a dozen or so applicants had lined up by 7 a.m., an hour before the franchise planned to start interviews. By 10 a.m., the store had interviewed 100 people and had 25 more waiting.
“There are worse things an economic rebound could ask than, ‘Welcome to McDonald’s — may I take your order please?,’” Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s U.S. operations, wrote in an opinion piece for the company, according to the AP.
The American economy is still sputtering with at least 13 million people looking for work, and even though the publicity blitz by McDonald’s is unusual (the company hired 50,000 people last April, so today is really a compressed version of business as usual), it has been effective in painting McDonald’s as a model employer.
It’s even resulted in a feisty competition. In Cleveland, Ohio, three people were struck by a car after a melee broke out. Did you ever think that Americans would be fighting for a job at McDonald’s?
Det. Theodore Perez with the Cleveland Police Department tells Fox 8 News Melissa Reid, a fight broke between two females outside the event.
Sgt. O’Neal with the Cleveland Police Department says one of the women was asked to leave by the owner and operator of the McDonald’s and the store’s manager.
Sgt. O’Neal say the woman who as asked to leave jumped in a car, along with another woman, and backed the vehicle up striking the owner, manager and the woman with whom she was fighting.
Detective Perez says all three people struck by the vehicle were taken to a local hospital with injuries.
The driver of the vehicle drove from the scene and dumped the car a few blocks later. She took off running east on St. Clair Avenue and is still on the loose.
The passenger in the car was arrested for her role in the crime. Neither have been charged yet according to Sgt. O’Neal.
Fortunately, a spokesman for McDonald’s said that the arrests and fighting would not affect McDonald’s triumphant march to hiring number 50,000.
Despite the rowdy crowd in Cleveland (insert it rocks joke here), the positive affirmation is a welcome change from a company associated with the pejorative “McJob,” defined by the OED as “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects.”
McDonald’s has estimated that 10 percent of the U.S. population has worked for the company at one time or another, including such famous alum as “Jay Leno, actors Andie MacDowell and Keenan Ivory Wayans, Olympic athlete Carl Lewis, musicians Fred Durst, Pink and Macy Gray and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.” Not exactly an inspiring list of famous alum, with the exception of Bezos. Still. A job is a job. How often have you heard someone say their job sucks but at least they have one?
For many, it may be a pride-swallowing move, but it’s a move that helps get people back on their feet, or pay for college, or give them something to do in high school. As Annie Lowry puts it, “those McJobs might be nothing to mock. Several of McDonald’s current executives started behind the counter, as did half of the company’s owner-operators and 75 percent of its restaurant managers. A low-paying job need not stay a low-paying job forever. And a low-paying job is decidedly better than none at all.”
Job seekers may or may not be lovin’ it.