Fast Food Nation

In response the company developed sophisticated

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Unformatted text preview: ating their crew members. In the absence of good wages and secure employment, the chains try to inculcate “team spirit” in their young crews. Workers who fail to work hard, who arrive late, or who are reluctant to stay extra hours are made to feel that they’re making life harder for everyone else, letting their friends and coworkers down. For years the McDonald’s Corporation has provided its managers with training in “transactional analysis,” a set of psychological techniques popularized in the book I’m OK — You’re OK (1969). One of these techniques is called “stroking” — a form of positive reinforcement, deliberate praise, and recognition that many teenagers don’t get at home. Stroking can make a worker feel that his or her contribution is sincerely valued. And it’s much less expensive than raising wages or paying overtime. 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 S...
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