Retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day, and why you should be upset

Okay seriously, enough is enough!

I’ve been reading a lot about stores being open on Thanksgiving now.  Last year, many stores were open at around 10pm or midnight, which was a shift to the 5 and 6am Black Friday time.

The purpose of this was because they stated it would discourage huge crowds of shoppers that were knocking each other over and using pepper spray for the latest DVD and TV deals.

First of all, this is stupid.  

Is our society really falling apart this bad, that we have to alter the way stores open and times, just to avoid people from tackling each other?

Now many stores, including Walmart and Target are said to be opening 8pm on Thanksgiving.  That’s right, ON Thanksgiving day.

Of course, I will not be partaking in these shopping festivities.  I plan to spend that day with my parents, nieces, nephews, and my siblings.  Oh yes, I even will be spending it with my uncles who will mooch all of our leftovers or pass out on our couches so we can’t watch an after Thanksgiving dinner movie with the kids.

But, that’s what it means to spend Thanksgiving with your family.  You’re spending it together, no matter how quirky or annoying your relatives may be.  It is the one time of year people take the time to be together.

Now, people are telling their employers they can’t come to work that day.  Most likely the reason is, it’s a holiday and they normally at least got that ONE day to spend it with their family as a whole.

However, there is tons of backlash all over the internet about this.

People are stating:

“They should be happy to have a job.”  
“These retail employees are disposable, they can easily find a replacement.”

While this type of thinking may be okay to an extent.  Where do we draw the line?

Government employees such as teachers, post office, DMV, etc get every major and minor holiday off, and weekends.  Most of their jobs end at around 5pm, with random exceptions.

Employees at retail and restaurants often have their hours garnished, just enough so they do not qualify for health insurance. 

Yet, those who work jobs answering phones at certain offices can have weekends off, with health insurance dental.

Retail and restaurant employees have a hard job, constantly catering to unappreciative people who are demanding and cheap.  You are always required to smile, and be pleasant.  Yes, this is your job.  Yes, it should be expected that you always treat customers well.

These employees also have to answer phones, and direct people to where they need to be, just like any school desk position or dental office.

Whatever made one person who answers the phone in their fancy slacks, and manicured nails more deserving to get health insurance and holidays off?  Why do people feel the employee answering the phones at Target is less of a human being, and is less deserving to spend Thanksgiving with their family than the person who answers the phones at a dental office?

Oh, well they chose that job so…

Yes, that’s always the argument; the whole, “if you don’t like it, then quit”.

Yet those are the very same people who complain about the unemployment rate.

The problem is, society is so quick to rank who is deserving of time off, health insurance, or just a holiday with their family.  What ever made a retail employee looked down on so much?  Do you even realize how mentally exhausting it is to deal with unique personality after personality for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week….all while keeping the same smile?

Sure there are better jobs out there, but if no one was taking those serving or cashiering jobs, then who would serve you and your family dinner when you don’t feel like cooking?  Who would stock the shelves of those cheap DVDs you beat each other up over?

Then we go on about how Denny’s is adding a 5% surcharge to the meals for ObamaCare.  I’m sorry, but there’s so many problems with this.

1) Denny’s food actually is pretty awful.  I’ve been there twice, unfortunately.  And it was pretty bad.  And no, I don’t have a sofisticated, elite taste buds.  I just don’t eat cardboard.

2) Restaurant employees deserve health care anyway.  They are on their feet a lot, and it’s a very exhausting job.  This absolutely cannot be done by just anyone.  You have to have patience for customers, the mental capacity to always be happy and bubbly no matter what, be physically fit for the position, be able to lift heavy objects, and multitask in an extremely high paced environment.

3) This surcharge is not hurting the consumers, it’s hurting the dedicated, loyal employees.

Yep, it’s hurting the person who chose to GO TO WORK, instead of sit at home and claim unemployment.

By not allowing your employees, who work 30 – 40 hours a week, rightful health care just because of the “type” of job they have is unfair.

So because someone works a “service” job, they don’t deserve health care?

Who put you on your high horse?

A lot of jobs out there are less labor intensive.  You get to sit in a cushy chair, have pre-determined lunch breaks, make enough money for your family trip to Disney Land, all the while getting your Thanksgiving off.  And you, the one who makes enough money to pay $9.99 for that DVD, expects someone who is fresh out of college, or a retired veteran who is just trying to make ends meet, to leave their family on Thanksgiving, just so you can purchase that very same DVD for $6.99.

All the while, you mumble, “If they don’t like it, they can get a new job.”

If no one is doing that job, who would sell you that DVD?

How do you know the intelligence or worth of that person?  Does the blue vest label that employee, a worthless human being to you?  Not worth insurance?  Not worth time with their family, their children?

What kind of society do we live in?

I got lucky.  And yes, lucky.  It has nothing to do with my intelligence or worth that I am work in the service industry.  I don’t mind working with people.

I am lucky to have found a job that at least lets Thanksgiving and Christmas be the one day we all can have off.  I work every Memorial Day, Labor Day, or whatever other holiday out there…but Thanksgiving and Christmas is still meant for family time.

So, would it be right of me to take that one day my employer let me have that day off…to go shopping instead, forcing others to work?  No.

I haven’t seen my sister in a year.  Why the hell would I go shopping to save money on stuff I don’t need, instead of spending time with her on Thanksgiving?

There’s nothing little ole me can do to change this.  It’s nothing 2 people can do by walking out of their job.

Society, as a whole, needs to get real and prioritize better.

Sometimes it seems like we’re born so we can work an unsatisfying job, to pay for plastic garbage we don’t need, and then tell other people they better work hard so they can make more plastic garbage.

I hope you do the right thing, and spend time with your family during the holiday season.  Or, at least stay home and watch a good Holiday movie, like Home Alone.

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