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.

1 comment:

  1. You are right,i also believe that immigrants are being treated unfairly. Most of the time the people they work for don't appreciate the job they do and treat them as if they were slaves. When I read your blog I realized that you made a very interesting point, some of these people rather work under these stressful conditions then actually deal with illegal stuff. That is defenitely something we should admire them for.