10 September 2009
Chapter 3-“Behind the Counter”
In his unforgettable, yet disturbing truths in Fast Food Nation, Eric Scholosser explicitly illustrates the damaging effects that the Fast Food industry has on our society. According to Scholosser, during a visit to Colorado Springs, the fast food joints have forever altered the majestic beauty of the land into a “whole new world” (60). It’s a world where the Fast Food industry is exploiting school-aged workers. The youth of the community are being negatively effected by the industries actions by being given difficult and long shifts, high school students that work in the fast food industry have a higher dropout rate, and work in unsafe and often illegal working environments.
Scholosser goes on to include that the fast food industry has the largest average of adolescents’ workers of any industry in America and 2/3 are under the age of twenty (68). He introduces Elsa Zamot, a sixteen year old high school student, who is trying to balance having a part time fast food job with being a student. On the weekends she is scheduled to work the morning shift which forces her to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and work a seven hour day. When she returns home she is exhausted and school work is the furthest thing from her mind. The fast food industry should not be relying, in such great extent on their young employees to cover such trying shifts. The harsh reality is that “teenagers have been the perfect candidates for those jobs, not only because they are less expensive to hire than an adult, but also because their youthful inexperience’s makes them easy to control.” (68)
Near by, at Harrison High School in Colorado Springs, Jane Trogdon, head of the guidance department, is very worried about the wellbeing of her students. There are an “abundance of fast food workers” (79) at the school and many leave right after school, head right to work, and do not return home till way...