Digital nomad Chris Brogan talks about how McDonald’s is pretty darned smart, how it’s a business run by savvy business people and master marketers, even if the fast-and-fatty chain is “antithetical to all you hold pure and dear”.
Serving up mystery (and certainly not organic) meat and paying near-minimum wages is so un-progressive. Yet when other seemingly-progressive companies balk at offering sabbaticals to their employees, guess who’s been serving up sabbaticals since the 1960s?? That’s right, McDonald’s was one of the first to adopt the practice, backing up “You deserve a break today” with real action.
Company staff get a break every 10 years – 8 weeks’ paid to go and do whatever their hearts desire. Every year, thousands go. The company has veteran employees who have had three and four sabbaticals.
Ronald and I go way back. You see, I’m a road-trip Micky Deezer. When I’m at home, I eat fresh, organic fare from Whole Paycheck (Whole Foods) and sup with friends at all the foodie faves in Atlanta. But put me on the road for more than three hours, and I can’t help but take an exit ramp to McDonald’s. Super-size me, please. French fries, Filet-o-Fish, and a diet Coke, thank you very much.
After I’ve finished … dug out any fries that have fallen down beside my car seat, wiped down my steering wheel with a Handi Wipe (I’m not kidding), and disposed of the bag, so it doesn’t stink up my car … I am often disgusted with myself. Until I remind myself that I just gave a little money to a company that was a trailblazer in providing the kind of career ladder that I believe should be a part of every American story – a career “lattice”, really, that includes sabbaticals along the way, allowing people to work AND live.
So here’s to you, Ronnie – I love you, man.