Summary and Reaction:
“Working at McDonald’s”
In the essay, “Working at MacDonald’s,” the author, Amitai Etzioni, critically mentions the bad influence about working in fast-food chains, such as MacDonald’s. He thinks that working in fast-food chains as a student cause academic problems.
According to Etzioni’s research, now as many as two-thirds of American high school students have part-time jobs. At first sight, it seems to be a good opportunity to work because through working experience, children will learn to be independent from their parents. However, he thinks that many part-time jobs can undermine school attendance and skew the values of teenagers – their ideas of the values of a dollar.
To support his idea, Etzioni gives some reasons and the facts how working at fast-food chains affect teenagers. First, he mentions the work styles of fast-food chains including the environment of workplace, the forms of works, and of course, payment. Then he cites a fact that say students who have part-time jobs tend not to get high quality jobs after they graduate. This fact really helps to show how part-time jobs interfere schoolwork. Finally, he says about the affect which may change the values of dollars for teenagers. He is worried about the case that many teenagers forget right values of things for their ages.
From these statements, he really thinks devoting to working in fast-food chains can interfere with many students’ schoolwork and deprive chances to make their dreams come true. (End)
As a student who has an experience of having a part-time job, I really want to say that working while you go to school is a quite tough mission. Although, I only have to work during long vacations and sometimes weekends, I strongly agree with what the author mentions in his essay.
When I work at a Japanese restaurant, I cannot think other stuffs, such as my homework or course studying. When I come back home, I’m always tired and feel that I want to do nothing except having a bath or brushing my teeth. When I work only during a lunch time, this symptom doesn’t become so serious however, once my working time is shifted to night time, I have to think that I won’t do my homework after I come back home.
Though I still have a difficulty to understand American teenagers’ working systems or styles, I have a good example for how part-time jobs affect school studies. When I went to New Zealand, I was in the same high school with my host sister. She worked in KFC while going to the school but a few months later, she suddenly quitted the school. It was hard to understand why she did that because she had had a dream to become a Japanese teacher, but as a matter of fact, she gave up making her dream come true. Instead of going to school, she devoted her time to working. Soon, she became an assistant manager even she had not enough experience for her work. Now, I think that she still works as a KFC staff.
I know that a work experience can teach us a lot of things which may not be taught in school. However, as many people realize, many good companies emphasize good academic backgrounds. Also many kinds of qualifications cannot be acquired without hard studying. Work can be really an exciting experience because we can get “our own money.” However, I think that once we forget our purpose to go to school and precede part-time jobs, we can easily lose our chance to get our dreams come true.
I like your reaction, I love examples.
Yes that’s true that “work experience can teach us a lot of things which may not be taught in school.” If a student can adjust his/her times approriately,he/she can learn valuable things and gain much experience from it.
I know one good example. One of my friends in National University of Mongolia, has a part time job in a tourist agency. Actually he works during all the summer and also during the school semesters. But he comes to school everyday, every lectures and attends all school activities. Moreover, he studies spanish and french progressively adjusting his school and working times.
So i think thing solely depends on the person.
I enjoyed reading your essay very much. I impressed by your words-“work experience can teach us a lot of things which may not be taught in school” It is absolutely true. And you mantioned instant earning money destroys our hope for the future. In my opinion, after I started to work in here, my value toward the money is totally changed. I became more careful to use money because now I understood how it is hard for people to earn 1000-yen. I think if a student works hard typed job, it will make he/she think about value of their parents’ money in good way. How do you think? Let’s discuss about it! Thank you for your wonderful job!
This is a really excellent summary and insightful reaction, Saika! The example that you give of your host sister in NZ quitting school for a fast food job, and in essence, giving up her dream, is classic. Now, instead of learbning a new culture, travceling and having the pleasure of working with studemts, she will be spending her work life with greasy chicken and growling stomachs!
I want to repeat what you state as a last sentence: ” I think that once we forget our purpose to go to school and precede with part-time jobs, we can easily lose our chance to get(make) our dreams come true.”
That is the truth. Thank you for your deep consideration of this topic.
Thanks for your wonderful post!!
When I heard you sometimes work at Japanese restaurant, I was little bit surprised. It was because you always do things what you have to do. I think students who can do both part time job and course studying like you can start part time job, as you say.
Thanks for interesting post!