Monday, 15 May 2006

Good job, bad job, McJob

From the Oxford English Dictionary:
McJob, n., colloq. and depreciative (orig. U.S.).
An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector.
Used with allusion to the McDonald's Corporation's practice of using Mc- as an initial element in a range of proprietary product names, rather than a direct allusion to the programme mentioned in the first of these quotations:
1985 Los Angeles Times 29 July II. 6/1 For instance, the McDonald's fast-food chain recently began a training program for the handicapped in the San Fernando Valley called McJobs. McDonald's has hired a dozen people after the two 10-week training programs held so far.]
1986 Washington Post 24 Aug. C1 (heading) The fast-food factories: McJobs are bad for kids.
1991 D. COUPLAND Generation X I. i. 5 Dag..was bored and cranky after eight hours of working his McJob.
1993 Albuquerque Jrnl. 4 Apr. C3/2 So many bright and ambitious young people are wasting what should be their apprentice years in low-wage, low-skilled jobs, what are called ‘McJobs’.

[Little more was heard of McDonald’s 1985 initiative, which may have been a PR stunt but was well-meant, and it was unfortunate for them that, as the other quotations show, the name they invented for it has acquired a connotation that does them no credit at all. They featured in a 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign poster.]

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