Working in Fast Food
In the essay “Working at McDonald’s” , the author Amitai Etzioni argues that working at McDonald’s or any fast food restaurant does not teach the necessary skills or habits required to succeed in a professional job. He writes that people that work at these fast food places never get to practice entrepreneurship, self discipline, self supervision, or self scheduling. Etzioni compares the job at these places as robots working in an assembly line. According to his research two thirds of high school students have part-time jobs. He continues to say that at first giving a teen a job can be a good thing because it gives them an opportunity to have work experience and eventually they would become independent from their parents, but that is not necessarily true. Working at fast food restaurants are providing teens with money that they believe is enough to get them by in life which causes an increase in school drop outs. With so many dropouts, these students are stuck in a world of low job skills that prevents them from being college-bound students and achieving their goals and dreams. The author believes that teen jobs are affecting the student’s school attendance, schoolwork, and even misinterpret the value of the dollar. In this paper, I will present 3 different conflicting viewpoints on working in fast food places. The three different viewpoints are people who are against working in these places, those who are for it, and those who believe that it is only necessary to a certain extent.
Those who are against working at fast food places believe that they are bad for teens and are preventing them from continuing on to better jobs. They are preventing teens from learning the skills and knowledge needed in order to move on forward to bigger and better things. Teens that have a job and go to school at the same time have to learn how to manage and balance two different things at the same time. “Fast-food chains are popular employers but can require young staff to work up to three midnight shifts a week; a schedule that can leave those with a 7.30am school start short on study time and sleep”(Balancing Home, Work, and Homework, 5). Most of these times, a teen cannot keep an equal balance between both, which results in poor school performance.
Working at a fast food restaurant does not require certified skills taught in colleges or trade schools. Lower paying jobs like fast food industries are not considered a career with a lot of potential to move up. With so many people working minimum wage jobs, people are abandoning their careers just because that job is paying off the bills for now. Fast food wages are not enough to cover living costs for your entire life. Those working in these jobs are not working middle-class jobs, but more like lower-class. This also affects the economy categorizing it as a lower status instead of raising its status. It fails to reduce poverty and affects everyone in the economy negatively.
Working a fast food job can be a positive thing. Some people rely on these minimum wage jobs because it is their only source of income. “One of the most surprising findings is that more than two-thirds of the fast-food workers were over age 20, and 68% are the main earners in their families, and more are parents raising a child than teenagers living with their parents” (The Harsh Price Americans Pay for Fast-Food Jobs, 1). With that being said, these fast food places are helping families out by providing some source of income, even if it is a minimum wage job.
College students are also working in fast food restaurants in order to pay off loans or pay bills while they are in school. They also help out students who have little or no work experience by providing them with a job that they can put on their resume. Working at places like McDonald’s show that you are able to work in a fast paced environment. Some of these fast food places actually pay a...
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