paradigm shift
Commentary,  Issues,  WTF

Paradigm Shift: Replace Them Before They Replace Us

A paradigm shift is the most appropriate term at this point, and it’s fun to say. Say it! What this world needs right now is a good ol’ fashion paradigm shift. The kind that makes the “too big to fail” rethink what they’re doing because what they’re doing isn’t right.

I can go through all the arguments and just to get them out of the way, here they are:

  • Minimum wage jobs are for kids in high school or working their way through college. They were never intended for the mom with three kids.
  • But sometimes people find themselves in tough situations and that’s what they need to survive. Those companies are making billions off of the backs of those minimum wage workers and can afford to pay a higher salary.
  • When companies have to start paying a higher salary, people will lose their jobs and the cost of products will go up.
  • A minimum wage job is good to survive, but while training for a higher paying job.

And the argument goes on and on, around in circles. You get the gist! I know a man who was about to retire from his corporate job where he had worked for thirty years. They laid him off mere days before handing him his retirement. It was all by the law because the corporation had a big fat lawyer making sure it was done by the books. So, the man had no choice but to go out and get a job at McDonald’s. Within a year, he was a regional manager. Within three years, he owned his own and was getting ready to buy another one. So, it all depends on what you do with what you have. But let’s talk about fast-food chains like McDonald’s for a minute.

paradigm shift

They are literally looking for any way they can to replace a worker. They have kiosks as you come in the door where you can put in your order. It takes your payment. That right there sent several jobs out the door. And that’s just the start. Robots will soon take over that whole kitchen and it will only take a handful of people to keep things running smoothly. A robot will take your order while another is flipping your burger and another is making your drink. And it will be a McDonald’s dream because that drink will actually be exactly 14 ounces for what they’re selling as a 16-ounce drink, and the ripoffs will have just begun.

If you look up Google searches in the last month, you’ll find fast food, fast food near me, fast food restaurant near me, fast food open near me, fast food places near me, and fast food restaurant, each getting searches of up to ten million a month. There is even a high volume of searches for healthy fast food. That data informs places like McDonald’s that it doesn’t matter what they do, they’ll always have customers.

A paradigm shift is going to take place one way or another. Either the fast-food joints will replace all the workers and customers will still come to the cold, empty places, talk to robot voices, and eat their processed food as if nothing’s wrong or all the customers will go somewhere else, leaving the robots to rust, abandoned buildings standing where promise used to be.

I used to love McDonald’s, but it has changed over the years. Where did the kid go? There used to be a playground. There used to be a clown statue that blew up balloons. It was a fun place. But look at it now. It grew up. McDonald’s is too good to be a kid anymore. There are some that are so bland now, it’s creepy looking at them. A McDonald’s trying to be sophisticated is about as ridiculous as a Stained Underwear Wallet! No lie! It exists…

I’m sorry! I had to go there to make my point. The bottom line is McDonald’s just isn’t the same. The company we bought into years ago abandoned who it was and left the kid behind. If they’re willing to abandon themselves, think about all the promise they gave to their employees. College degrees? Tuition assistance programs? Upward mobility?

If McDonald’s is offering upward mobility, who the hell is making our food? How high can you go in the fast-food industry while robots are flipping burgers? Are all those promises being abandoned too or are they going to send the robots to college?

When I think about McDonald’s these days, I’d rather hit up a Bar and Grille. A nice gourmet cheeseburger with some seasoned curly fries on the side, that has my attention over a processed burger with the cheese hardly on the pattie and everything slapped together with the least little bit of attention. That’s no longer my thing. When I was a kid, it was a different place. But now, I want a cheeseburger to be a cheeseburger and I want the person making it to at least give some shit about how it comes out.

fast food

That’s where the paradigm shift should be. McDonald’s workers should migrate to the more authentic friendly environment of a Bar and Grille. The tips alone are worth the shift. In fact, if you see me in a Bar and Grille where you work, let me know you bounced from a McDonald’s to take your job there. Your tip just doubled. That’s a promise.

As far as the paradigm shift I’m talking about, it should apply to anything. If you see it coming, the company is getting ready to replace your job with a robot, go somewhere you’ll be appreciated. You’ll get paid more and you’ll be happier. Replace them before they replace you. They’ll have to do some serious rethinking and they just might do the right thing. Too bad you’ll already be gone. They lost a good worker to a hard lesson, but I think it’s what they need right now.

They aren’t too big to fail. They need customers and we’re leaving. I’m not eating a burger made by a robot that is programmed to tell me that my 3-ounce burger is a Quarter Pound and my 14-ounce drink with a ton of ice is 16 ounces, the exactly ten fries dropped into the container is a large and I have to keep it rolling because the robot is only allowed thirteen seconds per customer. What kind of dining experience is that when I can be sitting in a Bar and Grille watching football and eating a burger made especially just for me? That’s a no-brainer!

What Do You Think?

Michael Allen is the author of the newly released novel The Deeper Dark - When Haven Kayd returns home after being a POW for years, he returns to a world that has moved on without him. As he's playing catchup, the truth comes out about a scheme he was unknowingly the poster boy for and he learns about a hidden world that threatens everything he cares about. Available now at Amazon!