Review of “McJobs: McDonaldization and the Workplace” by George Ritzer (Link not available)
After reading this article, I now know what to call certain things that I have noticed in my daily life. The fact that the company clearly wants to figure out ways to enable them to gain more money without spending more money is just a given statement. I guess that is us, as the consumer, who are truly the fools in this situation and the employees are just expendable.
I’m sure you have noticed this, in Stop and Shop they now have cash registers that the customer scans and pays for the items themselves. This is a clear example of McDonaldization in the fact that the employee is being replaced with a machine and now the store only requires one employee to watch after 4 machines as opposed to 4 employees per register. This also provides the company with much less room to mess up cash transactions as the machine takes money and calculates change. The only thing that I have seen wrong with it, and this is because I have done it, is the produce buttons. If I’m buying expensive produce such as an eggplant (Because it’s not eggplant season yet) I’ll click on a different and cheaper produce and just weigh the eggplant as such. Not only do they have electronic cash registers, but now they have scanners that the customer scans each item as they put it into their cart and just scans the scanner at the end (or something along those lines) and quick pays for it. This will reduce lines and waiting times and of course those two things are very appealing to Mom’s who own screaming children.
I have also noticed this McDonaldization is when we register for classes. We no longer need to go to the registrar (Unless you have remedial courses) to register for our classes. We do it online which will save the college money in employing people to be behind the registrar’s desks. It’s simple and it’s efficient for the college because everything is online, it already knows the student due to the fact that we must put our N number in the system and in two seconds everything is done. I’m sure all colleges have this feature. No longer needing to go to a person to register, now cuts out how many people the college needs to employ to register students.
There are so many more places that have this McDonaldization such as food buffets, where the customer gets their food from a centralized location. ATM are also another example providing electronic service to individual’s bank accounts 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Bank of America even has a deposit system where you can deposit your checks and/or cash into their ATM.
It’s starting to pop up everywhere and has been an ever-growing trend in the United States especially due to the fact that since the consumer themselves finds it more convenient. There would be an argument that people would want things done for them but I believe that since the expanding “Me” generation has been booming, people will actually want to do things themselves because they simply don’t want the human interaction. That’s a scary thought that people will want to start doing things for themselves because they don’t want others doing it for them or they don’t want to talk to anyone. Just goes to show how although we as a society are being socialized a certain way, the individual can bank on not having to socialize at all.
Thoughts © Maria Campagna