Politics & Policy

Super Size that Rescue

Hank P and Mickey D.

TO: All McDonald’s Team Members

FROM: Management

RE: New Federal Guidelines in wake of the federal rescue

Dear Team:

As most of you are aware, the past few days have been challenging for all members of the McDonald’s USA and McDonald’s Worldwide Team.

McDonald’s, as you know, maintained a complex and highly-leveraged commodity futures operation, and recent events in the financial markets have made our risk-management strategies impossible to maintain.

#ad#All along, as we faced a softening demand for our products and in the wake of our increased exposure to losses in the commodity derivatives market of beef futures, hog swaps, egg instruments, bun swaptions, potato debt flotations, and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil puts, it was our intention to reach some productive and effective understanding with our creditors and our business partners. Unfortunately, due to market conditions, that was not to be.

Effective close of business today, the McDonald’s Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Federal Department of Agriculture. They wisely — and quickly — stepped in to provide management with a credit facility, in exchange for ownership of the company. If you’ve seen the recent news about what the Treasury Department has done for AIG, the troubled insurance giant, you’ll understand what happened here.  It’s basically the same, but with fries.

Many of our newest Team members on the griddle station, or at the Fry-O-Lator, have come to us from senior positions in the old-line Wall Street firm of Lehman Brothers, which recently experienced its own financial crisis. For those of our employees who are confused about the turbulence in the financial markets, we suggest you reach out to these new Team members for a full explanation. During your break.

Until our new management team at the Department of Agriculture forms a plan for the eventual sale and disposal of the company and its assets, it will be business as usual.


That said, we are now a department within the federal government, and we will have to adjust our business practices to reflect that:

‐ The target service time, from the customer’s order at the counter to the delivery of his or her meal, with change. The old target of 120 seconds will be replaced by a new, federal target of three hours.

‐ Ketchup will no longer be available.

‐ Our new hours: 10AM to 3:15PM.

‐ In light of federal diversity programs, all images of the “Hamburglar” will be destroyed.  New character images will be delivered to franchisees as soon as possible.

‐ The paper hats will be replaced immediately with OSHA-regulated helmets.

‐ All members of the McDonald’s Team are now members of SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, and as such are no longer required to work while standing or looking directly at the customer. Obviously, this is going to take some getting used to for Team Members used to the “old” way of doing business. Large chairs will be delivered to each location for use behind the counter. Employees will be taught to mumble darkly, and to sigh in an irritated fashion.

‐ The Drive-Thru facility will remain operative in every location for the convenience of the customer, and orders will continue to be taken via the intercom.  But in keeping with federal guidelines dictating “convenience,” both the payment window and the pickup window will be permanently shut.

#ad#If you have any questions about the above changes, please refer to the leaflet: “So, You’re A Federal Employee! Here’s What You Don’t Have to Do!” which is being distributed by the new managers from the Department of Agriculture.

All of us here in management know this is a trying time for Team Members, and we sincerely apologize for the situation we all find ourselves in — although, frankly, we’ve got it a lot better than our friends at WalMart, who just last week were bought by the Department of Commerce, and who now have to undergo a painful and complicated conversion to the work rules of the Association of Federal, State, County, and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME).

McDonald’s is a proud American firm. Indeed, for many, we represent America at her finest and most delicious. We are grateful to our partners in the Department of Agriculture for recognizing that McDonald’s, truly, is too big to fail.

We’re all excited about the new, Federally Owned McDonald’s!

McDonald’s Executive Team

(until close of business tonight)

– Rob Long blogs at roblong.com.

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