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Bling Up That Fast Food Restaurant

May 17, 2008
What, please tell me, were McDonald's thinking? After commissioning designer Bruce Oldfield to come up with a new work uniform to make the staff feel better about themselves whilst doing a 'challenging job'.

They now have a choice. Women can wear a black fluted skirt with patterned blouse and scarf that sports the 'M' emblem. Or, and you may want to sit down for this, they can have a brown polyester tunic and trousers work uniform. Steady, don't all rush at once!

How can this type of work uniform make life easier for staff at the fast food outlet I ask. The baseball caps that gave them a sporty, go-faster look have been done away with in the hope that a smarter appearance will bring more job satisfaction and meaning. A change of career would bring more job satisfaction and meaning!

While I have every respect for those who go out and take these jobs instead of sitting around unemployed or expecting the bank of mum and dad to keep them, how many of them see this as a career of choice and not a fill in job?

New work uniforms are set to keep them on their toes, making them feel valued members of the workforce and therefore more appreciated. Personally, I would appreciate it more if I could order a cheeseburger and shake at the drive thru box and not drive fifty yards along the path only to find it's turned into a fillet o'fish and a diet coke!

I visited McDonald's drive thru last week at the insistence of my children. I wouldn't dream of it if I was on my own but it's easier to keep the unruly mob in the back quiet with a dose of additives and e-numbers than to argue. So, we pull up at the drive thru attempting to see what's on offer on the board that's placed just that bit too far away from the box to see properly.

An impatient little oik with a metallic voice demands your order and is demanding to know what else you want before you've finished talking. It's like he's got some pressing engagement to get to and you're being a damn nuisance holding him up. Already the blood is beginning to simmer.

Next you go to the window where you hand over your money begrudgingly while the same twelve year old boy barks at the person in the car behind for their order. Why can't you just order and pay at the same window?

He's getting stressed trying to do two things at once and god forbid you should hand him a voucher! This will throw him into a confused daze that will he will only be rescued from after running into the restaurant shouting for the manager who then has to come along with his special key and turn a dial in the till to reduce your bill by 49p.

You then drive on to the next little window where you are handed your order. Never, ever drive away from here until you have checked the contents of your warm paper bag because I can guarantee it will be wrong. And they know it too. That is why they designate parking spots for drive thru customers, somewhat defeating the whole object, and then employ staff in their snazzy brown polyester to run backwards and forwards between car and restaurant until the order is right.

For those of you with someone else's order that looks better than what you ordered, simply drive off at speed and enjoy.
About the Author
Fashion expert Catherine Harvey looks at the whether a new work uniform can make that much difference.
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