The Dangers of Working at McDonald’s

Like a lot of people, I did my time at McDonald’s, working at the Opera House McDonald’s restaurant here in San Francisco the summer before I started college.  I am quite convinced that taking advantage of the free, unlimited access to soda was directly responsible for some serious dental issues I suffered subsequently.  I don’t blame the company, however; it was completely my own fault.  I should have known the damage excessive amounts of soda could do to my teeth and, perhaps more importantly, no one forced me to drink the soda.  One store manager in Brazil, however, faced a different set of circumstances.

The unidentified manager was, he claims, forced to taste the food everyday, causing him to go from a reasonable 154 pounds when he started at age 18 to 230 pounds just twelve years later.  In addition to the requirement of checking the quality of the food by consuming it, employees were not given any options for healthier foods — apparently so as to avoid anyone thinking that eating McDonald’s food on a daily basis might be unhealthy.  So the manager sued the company and was awarded $17,500 in damages as well as medical expenses necessary for the “full restoration of the health of the claimant.”

While the policy of forcing managers to partake of the food they sell may not apply here in the United States and there seems to be no shortage of warnings about fast food (can you say Super Size Me?) it is worthwhile to consider the allure of free food to a teenager on the job for the first time and perhaps provide some extra guidance.  I know that if my kids ever get a job at any restaurant — especially my ever-ravenous boys — I’m going to sit them down for a chat about handling such temptation.

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