Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Cripes! Now we're supposed to walk on eggshells with regard to the feelings of short-order cooks?
A leading restaurant association has called for the cancellation of a TV commercial featuring Britney Spears' estranged husband, Kevin Federline, as a failed rap star working in a fast-food eatery.Earth to Mr. Anderson: Most of those jobs are demeaning and unpleasant, which is why most of them are held by kids until they complete their educations and move on to something else. When I was young, I did my time in the fast food industry and it was in no small part the knowledge that I would be moving on fairly quickly that made the monotonous, grimy, low-paying, dead-end work bearable. And no, I would not have felt "insulted" by the Kevin Federline ad. In fact, I would have laughed about it.
[T]he National Restaurant Association's Chief Executive Steven Anderson has written to Nationwide saying the ad leaves the impression that working in a restaurant is demeaning and unpleasant and asking the commercial to be dumped.
"An ad such as this would be a strong and a direct insult to the 12.8 million Americans who work in the restaurant industry," wrote Anderson, head of the association that represents 935,000 U.S. restaurants. "Developing creative concepts that accomplish the marketing strategies for a product should not require denigrating another industry." [bold added]
There is nothing wrong with working in fast food. It is honest work. But since most such jobs below management require so little mental effort, they are, by nature, more of an introduction to employment or maybe a stopgap measure than an actual career. This is why the idea of a commercial showing a failed rapper there is funny: Barring horrendous misfortune, choice, or some very unusual circumstance, the only way an adult his age will end up working such a job is through a comical degree of foolishness.
There is a difference between taking a crappy job while you're paying your dues and taking a crappy job because you didn't. I would dare say that the vast majority of fast-food workers are bright enough to realize this. Steven Anderson should try giving them a little more credit.