Good Working Relationships

Oh dear, McDonald’s has got in a bit of a McFlurry because its CEO has been discovered having a bit of extra Sides to accompany his Big Mac.

McDonald’s Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook has been fired for violating company policy after he admitted to a relationship with an employee.  McDonald’s stated that he had displayed ‘poor judgment’.  Seems like rather a harsh assessment of the employee rather than of Easterbrook, IMHO.

McDonald’s rules forbid managers from having relationships with ‘subordinates’.  The rationale behind this particular rule is pretty clear: it is presumed that such relationships will lead to potential claims of nepotism.  This would be all well and good if nepotism wasn’t already rife in the corporate workplace.  What is the first thing that most new managers and directors do but replace existing staff and suppliers with their own flotilla of personal friends and contacts.

Much as it pains me to feel sorry for someone who has earned a $16M salary and who will receive at least $675,000 as a McPay-off, I do feel rather sorry for Steve Easterbrook.  After all, who has not had a relationship with a work colleague?  Work is the place where most consensual adults spend 75% of their daylight hours.  If you don’t meet someone to have a relationship with at work, where do you meet them?

In the wake of #MeToo, many large corporations have attempted to implement policies regarding relationships at work in order to safeguard workers from possible harassment, but doesn’t this just push dating into the anonymous and potentially more dangerous world of the clicks and swipes of the internet?

Without extra-curricular workplace relationships, the human race would have died out long ago.  McDonald’s rules forbidding relationships with ‘subordinates’ imposes an increasingly monastic regime on its senior management.  By the time someone has ascended to Easterbrook’s position of CEO, the expectation is of a Pope-like state of celibacy.  Just who is he allowed to shag?

Call me a romantic (No one ever has. Ed.) but I think that Love should transcend such artificial banalities as corporate hierarchies.  Or perhaps I have just watched Love Actually too many times?

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree is surprised to discover a heart he never knew existed.

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