When not-Michael Jackson performed "Clean It" in a McDonald's training video (video)

Originally published at: When not-Michael Jackson performed "Clean It" in a McDonald's training video (video) | Boing Boing

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I thought I’d seen this before- I was right:

Still, 2015, is a long time ago (gulp) so this is absolutely in 10,000 territory

And nevertheless, I will forgive you for that opinion.


As a McDonald’s manager in the 80’s, we had a lot of now-cringeworthy videos you were forced to watch. Some of them probably haven’t aged all that badly…the “If you’re green, you’re growing” wasn’t too bad as I recall.

There was a massive library of these and they were updated fairly frequently. At one point, my career trajectory had me set as a future professor at Hamburger University so I even got to be involved in filming some. Some parts of those times are ones I miss; the per diem I got when at HU was amazing for example.


The message I get from this video is,“If it isn’t clean, it’s your fault.”

As a kid, working in a restaurant (not McDonalds) was my first exposure to the, “I want it done right AND I want it done fast” mindset. (That’s genius! You should write management books!)

“You want me to clean both bathrooms, sweep and mop the kitchen, and clock-out in 15 minutes? Sure, boss. Whatever you say.” (I lasted 6 months, the restaurant lasted 12).


“Get this shit clean NOW! Safety last!”

This video’s got everything, all right. Including at least 6 OSHA violations. A lot has changed since the 80’s, taking safety as deadly serious is one of the better ones.


Every actor in the video: “Broadway, here I come!”

Narrator: South Broadway, Wichita, Kansas

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Yeah. You probably don’t want to know some of the ways we kept the burgers flipping back in those days.

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I know how the burgers were flipped in the late 80’s, I was flipping them. At least for a while, then I quit when a new Target opened close enough to bike to.


Yeah, except for Michael’s the dancing was way too Broadway. The lyrics were a lot better than I expected, though!

I lasted until the day one of the managers took me aside and quietly told me they were considering me for a management role. I quit within the week, because I would be damned if McDonald’s was going to be my future.

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I spotted people standing on the sink and on another person’s shoulders. What did I miss?

Someone sitting on another persons shoulder, the dude cleaning around a recessed light fixture most likely standing on a counter, gymnastics on a hard-tiled floor, door closed on an occupied storage closet (minor) and serious misuse of a ladder. Hopping over the counter isn’t exactly OK, either. Plus, do you see any MSD binders, just what chemicals are these young people being exposed to?

Can you tell how many safety videos/trainings I’ve had over the years yet? :laughing:


Except for the (staged) “full trashcan” it was interesting how the restaurant was already clean before this (dance) crew even started.

It should have shown some of the real grime expected near the end of the closing shift to show the muck that accumulates during a busy day, even with the “clean as you go” mantra.

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