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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The War On Thanksgiving

This has been heating up on social media and it’s beginning to piss me off.   I get it.  We shouldn’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.  We should be staying home with our families instead giving into the corporate machinations that drive greed and force retail workers to be on hand during the holidays instead of at home with their families who are probably hateful, drunk, and dysfunctional anyway.

The problem is that it’s not a perfect boycott.   Here’s why.
  • Gas station attendants have to be on hand for you when you decide to pack up the family and go to grandma’s.
  • Toll booth workers have to be on hand to collect on the turnpikes and expressways
  • Hotels have to be staffed for you when you have to stay at the Comfort Inn because grandma has fifteen cats and you’re allergic.
  • IT Analysts and System Admins have to be on hand for when Amazon or eBay breaks down because everyone who says, “I WON’T SHOP IN TARGET ON THANKSGIVING!” decides they will buck the trend by point and clicking their way through shopping instead of courting the brick and mortar versions of their favorite retailers.
  • I could go on.
Look, I spent three years working on New Year’s Eve, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Thanksgiving in a hotel where the biggest problem was I had to cater to other peoples’ families instead of sharing in the holiday with my own.  It sucks, but it’s life.   Declaring with a graphic and a like that you won’t shop on Thanksgiving while doing other things that require support staff to handle your other activities is just hypocritical.  How about stay off social media on Thanksgiving.  Some poor IT person at Zynga or King or Facebook  has to be on hand because you’d rather stay home and play Candy Crush or Famville instead of shopping at Walmart.   And… some intern at Twitter has be on hand when you tell the world, “Gassing up at BP and turnpiking it with my fam instead of shopping at Target.  Suck it Wall St!”

You know, some people have no family.  Some people don't want to be around their family on the holidays, so working that day at time and a half pay might be something they enjoy or at least look forward to.  And you're robbing them of that because YOU feel YOUR AGENDA is the way it should be.  

Do I think stores should be open on Thanksgiving? No.  Black Friday?  Definitely, NO!  But it's not my problem.  It's not my place.  If people want to be assholes and corporations want to be greedy.  That's their business.  It's the framing of the argument that I take such issue with in this case.   Where do we get off high horsing our views and being placated because of it?  What entitlement crap gives us anymore say in this matter.  Vote with your dollar and don't shop.  But don't shame others into believing they're horrible because they do.  You're just as bad at other things that require support staff so don't act all high and mighty feeling that your own beliefs are solid and infallible.  Mind your own business. 

Oh, and don't read this on Thanksgiving.  Got it?

1 comment:

Janelle said...

I get essential or even almost-essential workers at all the places you mentioned and more, and I get not pushing your belief about shopping/not shopping on Thanksgiving (or any other holiday on people), especially if something happens and you have to go out and get something important. But I think people going out for a sale on Thanksgiving and workers being forced to accommodate them is ridiculous, and it's gonna keep happening as long as people keep shopping. I think it's a very selfish, materialistic thing to do.

Ideally, employers would be like, "Okay, anyone willing to work?" and plan accordingly, which is kind of what my employer does--I work for a closed-captioning company that's open 24/7 to deal with clients and keep up on the workload, and holidays are staffed on a volunteer basis. That way, people who don't celebrate the holiday or don't like their family or even just could really use the financial boost of the holiday pay are able to work if they want, but it's not mandatory.

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