I think I've figured out a job that is recession proof. It's not glamorous, but it appears that this company has hired more people than they need to server their customers, and shows no signs of layoffs. The company? McDonald's.
Now, first, you have to understand their vision. Yahoo reports that "McDonald's vision is to be the world's best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile." (highlighting is mine)
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I stopped at this McDonald's in Duncan, SC. This was in the middle of a lot of other activities (see here for a description). We stood at the counter and watched nearly half a dozen workers mulling around on the other side without caring the fact that we wanted to actually buy something. After waiting for several seconds, we decided that they obviously didn't want our business, so we left.
Then last Friday, I stopped in this McDonald's in Chapin SC on my way home from Columbia. I had skipped lunch and was tired and hungry. I only wanted a drink and something small. Why I went in, I'm not sure, but I waited a couple minutes while three workers discussed looking through the cash drawer for an Obama quarter (apparently, one of them believed that the new Hawaii quarter had President Elect Obama's face on it, something I seriously doubt).
And finally, this morning, I stopped at this McDonald's for a cup of coffee. The lady was quick and not impolite (but not great either) as she took my order and asked if I wanted cream and sugar, then asked how many. When she handed me my coffee, I asked where the cream and sugar was and she said it was in the coffee. Yep, she had mixed it in for me.
Now, I'm not sure that mixing the coffee for me qualifies as quality or value, but I typically like to mix it myself. But it strikes me that McDonald's is the kind of place to get a job that's recession proof. Apparently, it doesn't matter how bad the services is, you'll keep your job and stay in business.
No one ever expects a gourmet dinner at McDonald's, but they do expect the company to live up to it's vision of "quick" (not fast) food. And I expect reasonable service. Apparently, it really doesn't matter.
P.S. Not sure the links will work to the map sites, if you're interested in exact locations, let me know.