There are a lot of points worth discussing in the ongoing debate about the minimum wage, especially as it relates to the nation’s fast food workers. But when faced with questions about wage policies, what’s the response of the company’s president?:

“I’ve been here 40 years.”

Let’s give the man the benefit of the doubt, and take his response as an actual answer. He must, then, be trying to let the 10 year employee asking the question know that the real income growth comes in the next 30 years. So, let’s see: our questioner is making $8.25 an hour. If we assume she’s actually getting a full 40 hours a week, that’s around $17,160 a year she’s making now.

According to Bloomberg, Stratton’s predecessor made a clean 2.15 million for a salary. It’s likely safe to assume Stratton’s making somewhere in the same neighborhood.1

So, good news, Nancy! Over the next 30 years, you should expect raises of about $71,000 a year. Amazing! Everyone needs to shut the stuff up about McDonald’s: they have the sweetest deal ever. Manage to make it through a decade in poverty, and you have super-awesome money just waiting. Jeff Stratton just revealed the real secret sauce.

(via Upworthy)

1. Given that Stratton has the advantage of that extra bit between the legs that earns someone about 25% more each year, he’s likely making more than his female predecessor, but for the sake of argument, we’ll pretend that’s not relevant

Step 5: Cover Our Corporate Asses

I’m making very small steps to try to rein in the eating out / eating poorly. Certainly, making one’s own food is a good step, but I’m tired and lazy and we said very small, remember? So: lower-calorie, frozen meals. Little boxes, little boxes and all that. On the continuum of healthy choices, it’s a compromise I’m willing to make.

Discussions about the level of my personal healthy decisions notwithstanding, what I find especially amusing / annoying about the meals this time around is that they all seem to have a “step five” that looks something like this:

Check that product is cooked thoroughly. Internal temperature needs to reach 165°F as measured by a food thermometer in several places.

Emphasis mine.

Here’s the thing: small, portable boxed meals are popular because they’re a convenience. Quick. Easy. Everything you need all in one box. The kind of person who is likely to own and regularly use a food thermometer strikes me as the kind of person who is least likely to make regular use of frozen entrees as a meal option.

And let’s not pretend anyone who wrote those instructions isn’t fully aware of that fact. I recognize that thoroughly cooking food is important. That careless cooking can lead to food-borne illnesses of various stripes. But it just seems like an annoyingly transparent CYA choice to put insincere “instructions” on packaging like this.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think there’s some Easy Mac calling my name.

Healthy Synergy

For the longest time, getting pieces for McDonald’s Monopoly promotion was relatively straightforward. There followed the collecting of tiny pieces of glossy paper that inevitably wound up re-appearing in every nook and cranny of home and automobile for months after, of course. But if managing the pieces was a gigantic pain in the ass, at least there wasn’t a lot of thought required to get them: order the biggest shit they had in a pre-bundled offering, and get pieces.

Then a few years ago, getting pieces seemed to be as much of a treasure hunt as tracking the things down every time you got another railroad piece (but, no, you just had another Reading so you could argue about its pronunciation). At some point you got pieces by ordering “premium chicken,” which, so far as I can determine, is pretty much “chicken that’s not nuggets.” Way to hate on the nugget, Mickey.

Anyway, I was in line the other day, and, having started finding those tiny little pieces on random food packaging again, I took a look to see how the puzzle fit together this year. Large fries. McMuffins. Medium drink.

Hold up: medium? And for a moment, I was impressed. Look at that, I thought, McDonald’s is incentivizing customers to drink less soda. Good for them! Hooray relatively healthier choices.

And then my brain caught up: McDonald’s has another promotion in place, which makes all their drinks the same price. Getting people to order smaller drinks increases their profit margin. That it might have the appearance of healthy choices was just a back-end bonus.

I know it’s obvious. I’m eating at McDonald’s, people. Saturated fats and sugars aren’t Quick Thinking foods. So: corporate synergy and all that, not altruism. Which is a relief, because I’m always a bit uneasy when corporations seem to actually think about people instead of profits. I feel in those cases someone is surely watching the movie version of me and yelling “you idiot! Ignore the cat! The killer’s right behind you!”

With the balance of un-nature now restored, however, please excuse me. I can’t remember if I already have Baltic Avenue…