Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Mcdonalds the only job available for most Americans.
It's a sad day in America, when adults are competing for teenage jobs.
Job hungry Americans flock to McJobs AFP – Fast food giant McDonald's vowed to hire 50,000 new employees in a single day.(AFP/Jim Watson)
by Sebastian Smith – Tue Apr 19, 3:28 pm ET
NEW YORK (AFP) – Thousands of job-hungry applicants sank their teeth into a McDonald's mass hiring event Tuesday, with the fast-food giant attempting to sign up 50,000 new employees across America in a single day.
The home of the Big Mac turned itself into Big McJob as 14,000 US outlets laid out the welcome mat, each looking to fill on average three to four positions.
For job seekers in a still shaky, post-recession economy, the offer was a rare glimmer of hope.
New Yorker Thomas Hill, 24, raced to make it to as many interviews as possible before the day's end. The New York area counts 620 McDonald's and by mid-morning Hill and a friend had already interviewed at five.
"I'm open to any position. I'd do anything. I just need the finances to get myself steady," he said after interviewing at a midtown Manhattan outlet.
Wearing pointed black leather shoes, an over-sized tie, and a velvety jacket embroidered with sequins, Hill said: "We got up early and we got dressed nicely."
Bosses are keen to dispel the common perception of McDonald's jobs as low-wage and low-prospect.
Applicants are given leaflets promising "fun in a fast-paced environment," a chance to "feel good about yourself," and "learn as you earn."
"We love our McJobs and are very proud," said Elaine Diekmann, owner of a Manhattan franchise.
A dyed-in-the-wool McDonald's enthusiast, she's worked for the company for 37 years, starting at entry level and working her way up, along with her McDonald's veteran husband, to joint-owner.
"McDonald's is anything you want it to be. It can be part-time, short-term, pay-for-college type thing, or if they have the interest and ability to go through management development they can do anything," she said.
Jonathan Harris, 21, said he needed to finance paralegal courses that he takes at a New York community college with a view to an ambitious career.
"I want to be a district attorney and work with children and victims of domestic violence," the soft-spoken youngster said after putting in his McJob application.
Demand was also fierce for the 2,500 jobs on offer in the Chicago area, where McDonald's is headquartered.
John Lemond, 21 came dressed in a red shirt and tie in hopes of standing out from the crowd of applicants.
"I'm not picky at all -- I just need a job," he said while waiting for his turn for a brief interview at a franchise in the suburb of Evanston.
Chris O'Conner, 32, is hoping for a job in management but also said he was willing to take anything.
He's working a couple part-time jobs right now and is drawn to the health care and other benefits McDonald's offers.
"I'm looking for something full-time with benefits and a job I can grow in," he said as he waited with his hands resting on his application.
"McDonald's, they have a very good reputation as a very fast growing company. They have different career opportunities that appeal to me."
Managers declined to say how much they were offering candidates.
Nicole Curtin, a spokeswoman for McDonald's, said benefits include medical coverage and education support, although wages could go as low as the national minimum of $7.25 an hour.
"Some of our restaurants do pay minimum wage, but we're not considered a minimum wage employer. Depending on what your position is you may start above minimum wage," Curtin said.
In 24-hour outlets the work and the odd shifts can be demanding. With the pressure of fast-food, sometimes grumpy customers, and modest pay, the employee is still expected to serve with a smile.
But that's OK, New York franchise manager Daisy Perez said: "We train people to smile."