‘McJob’ now a definition too far for McDonald’s

David Fairhurst, chief people officer at McDonald’s, hit the headlines last week following the fast food chain’s campaign to have the dictionary definition of a ‘McJob’  rewritten.

The petition, which will officially launch in May, will call for the UK’s lexicographers to reconsider the existing definition. McJob is currently described as “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector”.

Fairhurst said this definition was out-of-date.

“The service sector plays a crucial role in the UK economy and equips people with important skills, and yet jobs in the sector are currently treated with disdain by many. Nowhere is this view more apparent than in the current dictionary definition of McJob,” he said.

The word McJob was first used in the US in the 1980s and was popularised by Douglas Coupland’s 1991 book Generation X.

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) published its definition in its online version in March 2001. The OED has indicated it would alter the definition if enough evidence was presented.

Earlier this year, Personnel Today’s sister magazine Caterer & Hotelkeeper  named McDonald’s, which employs 67,000 people in the UK, the best place to work in hospitality.

However, McDonald’s may have shot itself in the foot when last year it used the slogan: “McProspects -­ over half of our executive team started in our restaurants. Not bad for a McJob” in a bid to improve the image of its employment opportunities.

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