“Working at McDonald’s”: Amitai Etzioni

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In modern society, it is common for teenagers living in the United States to have a part-time job in various fields. However, the fast food chain is the most common choice of work placement. In the essay entitled “Working at McDonald’s,” Amitai Etzioni claims that working in the fast food industry, including McDonald’s, may have a negative influence on the educational achievements of most teenagers. The author of the article emphasizes the presence of three negative outcomes of McDonald’s job, stating that it may interfere with education, fail to develop new skills, as well as change the perception of the value of money.

In the essay, Etzioni discusses his belief that working during the school year may negatively affect teenagers. I partially agree with the author’s statement that working is not beneficial for youngsters. First, the writer argues that McDonald’s type of job conflicts with school activities and interferes with school attendance (Etzioni par. 3). The statement is a correct one. Almost all work activities take place after school, which means that after some period, teenagers’ grades will drop and they will have no time to study. As a result, such persons will have to make a decision which activity to choose: either school or a new job.

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Second, Etzioni claims that in most cases, such jobs help to develop only a few skills that might be helpful in later life (par. 3). I agree with the statement because teenagers learn new skills in a very short time. Additionally, many of such jobs are suitable for even a ten-year-old child, as they require a person only to press a button. I also believe that such a job will help nobody in the future. Once youngsters quit their jobs, these skills also disappear. However, some skills learned at fast food places, including efficiency and work ethics, may be helpful in the future. McDonald’s customers do not respect slow and inefficient workers who cannot meet their demands. As a result, employees try to become as efficient as possible as this skill is of high significance in the fast food industry. The other skill is the ability to find a solution to a problem in a stressful situation. For instance, if a customer orders something wrong by accident and then returns demanding new food, an employee should calm the client down and fix the issue without losing the company’s money. The skill may serve as an experience for future jobs.

The third aspect discussed by Etzioni is the value of money earned by teenagers at such places. I partially agree with his observations on the use of money. The author of the essay claims that McDonald’s jobs do not teach teenagers how to use their money effectively. Indeed, youngsters believe that they can receive a salary without education because they see that they can earn a large sum by working in fast food restaurants. As a result, they will never value their educational achievements or use knowledge gained at such institutions. Such individuals may also think that since they can earn money, they can no longer be dependent on their parents. Thus, I agree with Etzioni’s statement that McDonald’s jobs do not teach youngsters how to use their money. However, earning money at such age may also be beneficial because managing one’s salary with mistakes may provide young employees with the opportunity not to repeat them in the future.

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Apart from the aspects discussed above, Etzioni in his essay offers the audience some more opinions, beliefs, and reasons working at fast food places might negatively affect teenagers’ education. For example, the author states, “There is no room for initiative, creativity, or even elementary rearrangements” (Etzioni par. 7). He means that McDonald’s jobs do not care about the development of youngsters’ identity, which may lead to adverse consequences in the future. Etzioni also claims that fast food places do not provide any “career ladders,” offer only “few marketable skills, and undermine school attendance and involvement” (par. 11). The belief emphasizes the fact that working at McDonald’s does not offer any advantage for teenagers. Etzioni’s opinion is that parents should control their children’s employment. Overall, such arguments help the author to support his thesis.

The essay reminds me of jobs my friends have had in the past. As I hold the same opinion as Etzioni, I do not have a job. Thus, I guess that the author would support me. I believe that teenagers should not work during their high school years. I think that instead of looking for a job, they should focus on gaining knowledge at educational establishments, which would be helpful for them in the future when finding a decent work. Furthermore, parents should be involved from the start to draw the attention of their children to education.

In conclusion, the analysis of “Working at McDonald’s” reveals that Amitai Etzioni provides sufficient beliefs and opinions while analyzing the value of work at fast food places, including McDonald’s. I agree with the author’s argument that such jobs are harmful to teenagers. However, I also believe that such places offer necessary skills, including efficiency and the ability to find a solution in a stressful environment, which might be helpful in the future work. Earning money may have both positive and negative consequences for the life of youngsters.

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