Ronald McDonald - Antonov An-2R - Budapest, Hungary, April 18, 2003.
Taco Time in downtown Hillsboro is closing, which is too bad. Today was their last day. Thank god for fast food, otherwise I might have to cook, and cooking implies dirty pots and pans, which means somebody should do the dishes, and since I will avoid my chores if at all possible, this leads to guilt, and I really don't need any more guilt. I have a hard enough time ignoring all the guilt I already have without piling on more. Fortunately there are a good half dozen fast food joints within about three miles, so it isn't too arduous to run out and get something.
I like McDonald's for their breakfast burritos and their coffee, and their $1 menu when I am feeling cheap. My wife likes Black Rock coffee across from Shute Park. I like fresh brewed coffee. I like it even better when I don't have to make it. Black Rock wants $2.50 for a medium coffee, which is slightly larger than the McDonald's cup, but I know most of the people who work there even though I only stop by maybe a couple of times a month. I know one person at McDonald's. "Know" may be a bit strong, I recognize them, and they do a passable job of pretending to recognize me. I dunno, maybe they actually do. Some people are really good at that. I am not one of those people.
I heard about McDonald's offering budget advice for their employees. I don't know that anyone aspires to make a career out of working at McDonald's. A manager might earn a living wage, but I doubt anyone else does. At best it's a temporary gig to cover your expenses until something better comes along. I wonder if the baristas who work in coffee kiosks make more than people working at McDonald's. I will tip them 50 cents when I get a cup there (or a dollar for two). There is no tip jar at McDonald's.
I suppose that in the current economy there are people who would be glad to get a job at McDonald's. Sad state of affairs.
Rumor has it that fast food restaurants could afford to pay people more money, possibly even a decent wage without having to raise their prices significantly, but in a cutthroat business in a cutthroat economy that would destroy you. Until we have fewer people looking for work wages aren't going anywhere. Some people might argue that if workers made more money, they would spend more money, which would stimulate the economy, which would mean more jobs, which would mean wages would go up. It's an interesting theory, but I doubt anyone is going to implement it. The last person to try something that radical was Henry Ford when he started paying his assembly line workers $5 a day, and look what happened to him: he grew old and died, and they are still using his name on cars. Is it doing him any good now that he's dead? No, it's not. Now you may argue that his generous wages had nothing to do with his demise, and you might be right. But are you willing to take that chance?