Fast Food Nation

The combination of low pay high turnover and ample

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Unformatted text preview: customers. They much preferred working in the kitchen, where they could talk to friends and fool around. Food fights were popular. At one Taco Bell, new employees, departing employees, and employees who were merely disliked became targets for the sour cream and guacamole guns. “This kid, Leo, he smelled like guacamole for a month,” one of the attackers later bragged. The personality of a fast food restaurant’s manager largely determined whether working there would be an enjoyable experience or an unpleasant one. Good managers created a sense of pride in the work and an upbeat atmosphere. They allowed scheduling changes and encouraged kids to do their schoolwork. Others behaved arbitrarily, p icked on workers, yelled at workers, and made unreasonable demands. They were personally responsible for high rates of turnover. An assistant manager at a McDonald’s in Colorado Springs always brought her five-year-old daughter to the restaurant and expected crew members to baby-sit for her. The assistant manager was a single mother. One crew member whom I met...
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