Blog: “Fries with that?”

Catherine Sleep | 20 March 2007

There’s no shame in a hard day’s work, but few of us like to think of the way we earn a crust as a ‘McJob’. The term implies a position as a poorly paid, minimally respected, tiny cog in a huge corporate wheel.

The Oxford English Dictionary sums it up thus: "An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector." Whatever nuance you choose, it’s no great esteem builder, especially if you’re the company from which the term derives.

So it’s no surprise that McDonald’s is on a drive to get the definition changed, with a spokesperson calling it “out of date and inaccurate”. The trouble is, the initiative only serves to draw more attention to the term, and to give the appearance of a company suffering a severe sense of humour failure.

Term ‘McJob’ insulting to workers?


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