Thursday, March 25, 2010

Burger King harassing teenage employees

There are different types of crimes murdering, stealing, and rubbings and many others. These crimes are committed by typical, normal people. Now, there’s another crime which is labor violation; this crime is not committed by just any particular person; this crime is committed by fast food employers like Burger King, McDanold’s, Taco Bell, and many others, and the victims are teenager employees.

Stated by DOL ( Department of Labor), Burger King was filled a lawsuit in 1988 for violating child labor law by making teenagers work longer hours, according to Washington Post; Associated Press. In “ Fast Food Nation,” Eric Schlosser indicated, “ teenagers open the fast food outlets in the morning, close them at night, and keep them going at all hours in between,” page 68. If these teenagers work from opening to closing with continues work, how can they study? How can they participate in school? Even though these employees still work on weekends, how can they prepare themselves for first day of school? However, there are some who dose it to support their family just to give them extra help and go to school.

I had worked for Burger King for 2 years when I was attending high school. I was in 10th grade. I decided to work to give extra hand to my family, and to earn extra for myself in 2000. At that time, I was 15 years old. I used to work weekends from 3 pm to 9 pm, but I was never able to get home exactly at 9 pm. The manager would keep me until 10:30 pm, closing time. During the extra time, I would continuously work. It wasn’t myself ,only, there were other teenagers who would fall into the same position as I had. I would always get home tired, and worn out that I would reluctant to do my homework and study, but I forced myself into an extension where I would tire myself.

In conlusion,in my believe, the only way to stop this nonsense is to limit the hours to 20 hours per week, and stop harassing and overworking the young employees.

Frank, Swoboda." Burger King sued over child labor." March 9,1990, Friday, city Edition.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fast food industries abusiveness

What is job and career? Well in my perspective, job is something people do just to make a living, and people will except whatever wages will be thrown at them. Career, on the other hand, is something that someone is profession and expert with, which they have to study for. For career, the salary is highly compatible for both workplace and outside workplace. However, not everyone live in a same position. There are people who are from other parts of the world come here to seek for America’s land of opportunities. Instead, many of these immigrants are victims of these bureaucratic fast food industries like Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and many others. However, there are some people who are reluctant to work, still these fast food corporations are taking advantages of these workers. In this essay I will explain, how these companies are being so crucial from my own experience and from reading Eric Schlosser “ The Fast Food Nation.”

Eric Schlosser stated in his book, “ The Fast Food Nation” on page 74 “ The fast food chains often reward managers who keep their labor costs low, a practice that often leads to abuses. In 1997 a jury in Washington State found that Taco Bell had systematically coerced its crew members into working off the clock in order to avoid paying them overtime.” This fact is true, many of these employees not only get their hours cut after all their hard work, also they are being treated unfairly. For instance, they are being yelled at front of everyone by managers. The duties are multitasks; you are cleaning, same time, serving food or doing something else in same time for seven and half hour. There are no one to assist you if you need help, not even the managers will help you. During the closing time, the work is intensive from making food to anything that requires cleaning and taking out stacks of garbage by yourself, which requires two people, with only total of three employees closing . The most difficult part is that cutting employees hours if the labor exceeds. The treatment of these employees not only absurd, but outrageous.

My very first job was in Burger king in Manhattan, 42nd street. It was in summer 2000, a tenth grader who just wanted to develop the unprecedented work experience. As I stepped into this busy kitchen, passing by between two sandwich boards. One board is known as main board. People who works at that board are the forced ones because that board is very busy all the time and you’re solitarily working without help. As I was waiting by the open space office, I was perceiving what was going on. Everyone were doing more than one job. In the kitchen, people were making sandwiches fast, but the managers were impatient about why they were slow making sandwiches. At the front, cashiers were taking orders, and packing the food and giving it to the customers. The activities made me very nervous. My sensation told me to walk out the kitchen at that very moment, but the manager who asked me to come, walked in, and asked me to begin work next day. As time passed by, I begun to feel the same pressure as I experienced when I first walked into the kitchen. The manager would get upset even though I would work fast. Overtime, I would see customers harassing the cashiers about why the food were taking so long. They did not know the fact that there are no extra helpers, especially when there are shortage of employees due to these madness that occurs every time. However, I never closed the store. I intended not to close because the workers who closes the store work much more than the day shifts. The employees have to clean the machine, which takes long time, change the oil, clean the kitchen while making sandwiches. At the end of every day shifts, they are provided with extra cleaning which follows in a list. Employees are out of luck if they already made over 40 hours because managers will cut their hours to save the labor. Despite their complain about their hours, they will have to wait until whenever they make less hours. Sometimes, the manager would pretend to forget, and I was also confronted by this similar issue, but I was never paid.

In conclusion, after long survival in this crucial work environment, I quit working in 2002. But there are so many innocent immigrants working unfairly, and I really admire them, at least they are not involved in illegal activities. And what surprises me and still do is that these companies are continuing with their success in business.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Who is McDonald's main consumer?

Did you know that in business there are specific customers and audiences that companies pick to target to make people buy their products? And did you know that targeting kids is growing every year, especially in fast food industries like McDonald’s? And because of this, companies like McDonald’s are in strong business condition. Therefore, to demonstrate this better, I will explain why kids are being returned to buy McDonald's food.

I took a field trip to McDonald’s restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens, situated next to a busy street,Queens Blvd on Friday during brunch time.As I was sitting on this comfortable leather bench with a table front of it, I was looking around the smart, fancy restaurant. During my observation, I realized that there are two H.D T.V's with cable channels. Both televisions are across from the dinning room. What separates the dinning room are the benches, chairs and tables in between. Each T.V has a different channel, one with CNN, and the other with Nickelodeon. That is when I began to ask myself a question, why are there two T.V with two different channels? The reason is both T.V's are for two different age groups, young people and elderly people. Another reason that makes this dinning room separate is one side is for elders, and the other side is for teenagers. In the teenagers section, the teens can only not watch their favorite shows in Nickelodeon,but they can also play video games and board games.The only thing this McDonald’s restaurant does not have is a playhouse. It does, nevertheless, catch children's attention while eating there. During my observation, I also experience that there are more young customers than elder customers. The entire restaurant is filled with activities of young ones that I was able to hear screams, laughs, conversations and cries. Then, I recognized that those kids are here for enjoyment. They were actually enjoying themselves more than being in a public park.Therefore, entertainments are the main cause of kids return to McDonald's

Another reason is promotions. Eric Schlosser said in his book "The fast food nation," “the typical American child spends more time watching television than doing any other activity except sleeping. During the course of a year, he or she watches more than thirty thousand TV commercials.” page 46. It is absolutely a fact that during their time watching TV, thousands of TV commercials are being aired about McDonald’s promotions, like discounts and toys. Promotions of the toys are highly influential to the children if parents buy any kids a happy meal and the toys comes free. Therefore,the company is fully aware of this, which makes these youngsters return to the restaurant whenever the company airs different commercials with new animated characters that appear in movies and television screens, but majority of the teenagers are intrigued to get the ones they see in movies. For example, I have experienced this through my nephew and niece. Whenever they see new McDonald’s advertisements with cartoon characters, they always want to buy a happy meal, especially the movie characters. Sometimes, if the parents can’t afford to buy it, the kids go out of control. They begin to “nag” as Eric Schlosser indicated. It is true because I have seen this scenario during my field research. Only different action happened in this scene; the parent left the restaurant with empty handed because the kid did not want to stop crying.I guess some parents are more strict and have control over their kids.

In conclusion, during this experiment, which I did in McDonald’s thought me that this company would do anything to accomplish to keeping their company going, that includes triggering on children’s mind to buy things . Before this experiment and reading “The American way,Your trusted Friend” anything from small to big ideas can change anything, even a person’s personality, it just that you have to know and study the precise one to sway.