For McDonald’s that is.
So McDonald’s, in an effort to help its employees, has built a website where you can plan your monthly budget. Here’s the mock budget they present:
You can stop laughing now. As Ryan Chittum notes, no McDonald’s line employee will come close to this:
Note that the theoretical McDonald’s employee has two jobs. The first job nets her $1,105 and the second nets her $955. If she makes $8 an hour at both, she’d be working 70 hours a week. If she makes $9 an hour, she’d be working 62 hours. If she’s unfortunate enough to make $7.25 an hour, she’d be working 77 hours a week.
That’s how you make ends meet on a McJob—but only if you have extraordinarily low expenses.
As ThinkProgress’s Annie-Rose Strasser points out, McDonald’s assumes that its theoretical worker pays just $20 a month for health insurance and nothing for heat. It also assumes a rent payment of $600 a month. You can find that in the hinterlands, but the average apartment nationally goes for about $1,050. And good luck if you’re in a big city.
Given the callousness of this sample, Chittum asks:
It’s hard to imagine how this made it past the flacks at McDonald’s. Then again, maybe it’s not. These numbers are so tiny to the office drones making five or ten times them that amount that they’re almost unreal.
As practical advice, it’s worthless, as well as insulting. As propaganda, it’s very useful. It allows them to present faux concern for their employees. But for the employees, it allows them to make the employees feel like their economic difficulties are their own fault–another part of the website declares “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.” There’s a more subtle approach here too. By saying something so ludicrous, McDonald’s is evincing utter disdain for its employees, thereby demoralizing them (especially in this economy, where jobs are scarce). It’s the psychological equivalent of keeping the boot on the neck. Or perhaps the pimpsmack school of personnel management.
So the chart does make sense. Just not for the workers.
There’s a lot of that going around.