McDonald's to Workers: Be Sure to Tip Your Au Pair This Holiday Season

Yet more proof that Mickey D's is clueless about its employees.

(Photo: CSA Archive/Getty Images; design: Lauren Wade)

Dec 10, 2013· 1 MIN READ
Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart who has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

If you’re a cynic with a sick sense of humor, then the stories coming out of McDonald’s McResource Line website just keep getting better and better.

But if you’re a McDonald’s frontline employee turning to the site for something that resembles realistic tips on how to get by on an hourly wage hovering near the minimum, well, it appears you’re SOL.

It seems NBC News checked out the site last week and found an article dedicated to tipping service providers during the holidays. We’re not even talking about the guy who cuts your hair or the kid who shovels your walk.

“A gift from your family (or one week’s pay), plus a small gift from your child” is what the article recommends is the appropriate holiday bonus for…your au pair, according to NBC News. You should also tip your housekeeper “one day’s pay” and the “cost of one cleaning” for your pool cleaner.

NBC News also notes that the article lists holiday tipping pointers for your dog walker, massage therapist, and personal fitness trainer.

No doubt McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson would find those tipping tips useful: Last year the company more than tripled his annual pay package, which approached $14 million.

Thompson’s predecessor, James Skinner, raked in even more before his departure at the end of last June. Translated into an hourly wage, Skinner made $9,247 per hour; as the Huffington Post reports, it would take the average McDonald’s hourly worker making $7.73 per hour 150 days to bank that.

McDonald’s bumbling attempts to “assist” its workers have been well reported and have provided plenty of ammunition to the coalition of labor rights groups that has been agitating to bump up the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 per hour.

Last month the group Low Pay Is Not OK released a video skewering the McResource Line website, calling attention to its ridiculous lifestyle factoids. Some of the gems included “At least 2 vacations a year can cut heart attack risk by 50%” and “Breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full.”

Before that, the company was widely criticized for an online budgeting tool that assumed workers would be holding down two jobs and didn’t include a line item for a monthly heating bill.

Has the company finally gotten the message? A McDonald’s spokesperson tells NBC News that the content on the McResource Line website is “provided by a third-party partner.” Earlier I suspected that it was generated by some flunky intern in the H.R. department, so I probably wasn't too far off.

You won't find the tipping article on the website—after NBC News reported on it, the company took it down.

But the stream of generic, mind-boggling factoids remains: “Eating just a few ounces of chocolate a week can ward off a stroke.” “The tryptophan in cheese will increase serotonin levels and boost your mood.” “Wearing socks to bed improves circulation and promotes sleep."

And if you're overcome with holiday-related stress, McDonald’s reminds you, “It’s the thought that counts!”

Maybe whoever’s behind McDonald’s rather thoughtless employee help site should take that advice to heart.