I thought Amitai Etzioni’s article: The Fast-Food Factories: McJobs are Bad for Kids,” was both accurate and convincing. His assertion that fast food jobs, “impart few skills useful in later life,” and “skew the values of teenagers,” is correct. At first blush, these jobs seem idea for teaching young people responsibility and self-discipline. But, when examining issues the author mentions as negatives such as; hours worked, appropriate supervision, job training, opportunity for advancement, responsible behaviors, and affects on academics; fast food employment does appear to have a negative effect on teens.
The number of hours worked usually equate to how much money you make. If hours worked is not tempered with other responsibilities, such as school activities and adequate rest, teenagers will suffer the negative effects. Teenagers working in fast food establishments often have hour’s restrictions of 40 hours per week. Because many fast food establishments are open late, and require cleanup and tally-up after hours, many teens can work very long shifts. It was not surprising to learn that teens working a thirty-hour week may do so in two to three days. The author references an informal high school yearbook survey wherein seniors acknowledged that their jobs interfered with their school work; a definite negative trade-off.
As in any business, fast food establishments must have appropriate management of the processes to maintain consistency of the product and enforce safety practices. In many fast food establishments to be a supervisor you must be an adult, defined as eighteen years of age, and complete supervisory courses provided by the employer. Though teenagers were not officially supervisors, in some establishments, supervisory duties are many times assigned to and accomplished by them. And, sometimes, as the author states, there is not an adult on the premises.
Each of the fast food establishments requires... [continues]
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