I recall a quote by Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad, Poor Dad Fame. He wrote that “JOB stands for Just Over Broke…hence the initials JOB”. When you get into your car on a typical Monday morning and hear the cranking noise of the engine, you may hear an echo and kicking sound. That sound is nothing other than the giant sucking sound of your soul as you ponder another day at your job. People think getting a job and sticking to one is the solution for equanimity, peace, and happiness. But nothing can be further from the truth. At one of the jobs I held while younger, I finally realized that JOB really stood for, “Just Over Broken” (broken hearted).
When you typically get a job, you are selling your time for money. And as we discussed, you are selling your soul in a way to a faceless uncaring employer. Especially in our modern day economy where mega corporations rule the earth. You are really a number in the area of productivity. When I worked for McDonald’s years back, you really were just a number. At such and such station A, station B, station C, station D, there were so many statistics and variables. How long did it take to get the order from the customer in the drive through? How long did the car take at the first window to pay the cashier and for the cashier to return the change? How long did the car stay at the 2nd pickup window (should be less than five seconds), how long was the entire transaction? (should be less than 74 seconds from the moment the car drove up to the order post to the moment it left the McDonald’s parking lot). The inside eat-in cashier station was the same.
From the moment the customer started speaking, how long did it take to get the order right? (their was a timer on the top of your order screen, and taking too long the number would turn red, then after a few more seconds start blinking red, as if there was an emergency at the restaurant. How long did it take to make change? How long did the customer wait until he had the food on his tray? (you had a “serve” button to convey that ending transaction point). In the kitchen, it was all the same…
Your “seconds” efficiency number showed how fast you were relative to the other cashiers and how fast you were on average to the drive through cashiers and presenters. Everything was measured in terms of speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Sounds pretty good for the customer, but what about the workers? You are worked to the bone for minimum wage…and that is why the turnover rate at fast food places near 100%.
This is not to ascribe evil onto the McDonald’s Corp. It (corporation machine) is just doing exactly what it (the corporation machine) is supposed to do. Run out hamburgers, shakes, chicken nuggets as fast as humanly (w/ the aid of machines) possible. But is there any standard, hope, gratitude, or measure of employee satisfaction or customer service satisfaction? The Chicago Sun Times (I live in Chicago Illinois) noted that of all the companies on Earth, McDonald’s scored dead LAST):
Another Yahoo.com article echoes this fact:
Surely, the employee satisfaction record cannot be much different. Why is this? It is basically because the “machine” puts profits ahead of people. If you could give the minimum wage employees a nickel raise but yet raise the price of a Chicken McNugget order by a nickel, the price/profit model would indicate that the employees take second fiddle to the price of the McNugget. That is because everything, and I mean everything, comes down to the Almighty Dollar and profit… but at a price. The price is employee and also customer satisfaction.
This is just one example of how today’s “jobs” can never make an employee happy. The statistics just do not confirm it. I started with the lowest paid “jobs”, but climbing higher in the ladder admits to no difference in the happiness of the worker.