The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

February 04, 2008


I noticed that the people working at McDonalds seem to fall into one of two categories:

a) those who don't stay on the job very long. In fact they're there so briefly that I don't ever see them a second time, which would make there average period of employment less than about 14-20 days. Concerning the branch across the street from Vienna University, about 97% of their employees seem to fall into this category.

b) those who stay there, like, forever. At the same branch there is a woman employee who must be well over 60, and she's been working there for well over a decade.


a) What does this say about the personality types of the employees in question? Specifically, what does it say about levels of energy and endurance of 18 year-olds compared to 60 year-olds?

b) Now that the UK government has granted McDonalds the right to issue the equivalent of A-level diplomas, how successful will these programmes be given these drop-out rates, or can we expect employment periods to become longer in the future?

Posted by Horst on February 4, 2008 04:04 PM to creatures great & small | Tell-a-friend
Scott said on February 5, 2008 05:53 PM:

You probably need to increase your sample size before you draw any conclusions. I imagine most of the employees (particularly if they are students) work part-time with staggered shifts, so the chances of seeing any one of them 2 visits in a row are somewhat low.

The press release[1] indicates that the education benefits are (at least at first) for management employees only, so the longevity of crew members won't be affected. The same press release states the average length of service of managers in the UK is 10 years.

FWIW, in the US it has been possible to get college credit for McD courses for decades.


dieter said on February 6, 2008 08:55 AM:

@horst, I would not be so harsh on the endurance of the 18 year old. Even if they do leave in no time, that might be due to their expectation that they can do better than that...

As to the press release, you are referring to: I do not quite understand the difference between those level 3 exams and the apprenticeship system they have here in Austria. Do they really allow people with those levels to university? Well, thinking about it, that can work as long as the universities have entry exams...

However, I am deeply uncomfortable with the notion that '...once you have got a qualification in management you can probably go anywhere.' In all my years of working experience, I have come to the conclusion that Scott Adams is only slightly exaggerating.

Fastfood worker said on February 10, 2008 02:51 PM:

I worked for 1 1/4 years at a fastfood restaurant (not McD) while I was studying and have to say out of the 20 or so people working there, at least 15 of them were students. We had those who started working there, but left after two weeks because they mostly couldn't handle the pressure - this affected probably around 5 people during the entire time I worked there.

Most of those 15 students working at that place stayed more than a year and only left because of long term internships, to go studying abroad or because a better job opportunity opened up (this is the case for me). The majority of students (all are between the ages 18 and 25) are still working there after 2+ years. So you're theory of 18 year olds not having enough endurance doesn't really hold true.

We had a pretty strong rotation in shifts because we would send our list of availability to our boss and then he would create a new working schedule every week or two. So I really always worked there at different times. In addition to that list there was also quite a lot of shift exchanges between the employees going on. So you could never really expect someone to be there the next Tuesdays if he worked last Tuesday. Of the few regular employees (not students) they would be there pretty regularly because it is their main work, the students have different activities every week.

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