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« Yes, or No, Virginia, 2014? | Main | Sometimes Rose Colored Glasses Are A Good Thing »

Monday, November 03, 2014


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I worked in a theatre during my HS years and after and never had Thanksgiving off. Then I joined the army and had one Thanksgiving dinner aboard a troop ship bound for Korea. When I got out I went to work for a public water plant and got Thanksgiving off once every other year. Only when I became a teacher did I regularly get the day off. I'm with Linda, "If you don't want to shop, don't go"

My father used to work in a chemical plant. An operation like that runs 24/7/365. Someone must always be there running various parts. So someone had to work the holidays.

My boyfriend works as an energy trader. Again, they operate 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Someone has to work on every holiday.

He was also previously in the Navy, on a sub. The sub literally stayed under water for up to 2 months straight. Did not even surface. Even once. They worked a certain number of hours on/off, and there was not a single "day off."

After that, he also worked in the control room at a nuclear power plant.

None of these are service positions, just jobs that need to be done. And yes, they may have known going in that someone had to do it and it could likely be them sometimes. A chemical plant and an enegy trading firm don't run for the good of anyone other than the owners. But it's your job, so you do it.

I may be in the minority on this, but I agree with Mark.
Firefighters, EMT's, hospitals, etc.. Those employees all know going in
That they could and most often times do work on holidays. It's called public safety. They are REQUIRED by law to be operational 24/7. Retailers do not have to be. You compared apples to oranges. Do people have to patronize these retailers , of course not. But everyone has a voice, and perhaps if enough voices are heard maybe the retailers would change Black Friday to be on FRIDAY!
I love a good bargain as much as the next person, but at what point does a person say, "you know what, this isn't worth it? " I prefer my time spent with my family, and not in the gluttonous or politically argumentative way you described. It is a day for a traditional meal, but it's also a day to be thankful for what we have. At least in my home.
So I won't be shopping on November 27th, and I will be at work on the 28th.

Back to the original point. If you don't like it, don't leave your house.

As for services? No one NEEDS to be able to fly on a holiday. No one NEEDS to be able to get gas, pick up a forgotten item at the grocery store, go to a movie, eat Thanksgiving at a hotel or restaurant, etc. These are conveniences. Conveniences that are in place due to demand.

Don't think for two seconds that if there were no demand that retail establishments would be open.

Again, DON'T GO.

So easy.

I emphatically disagree w/ you on this subject. The other operations that you cited that continue on Holidays are all service-related operations, where employees know up front that their job continues despite traditional holiday observances. (I worked in the service industry for many years, and rarely if ever had any Holiday off, which sucked entirely, not being able to spend it instead w/ my family and our longstanding traditions.) Retail chain stores though? Entirely unnecessary. The incentive of overtime on the single day of Thanksgiving is essentially a non-justification, considering nearly every retail store out there has extended hours the rest of the Holiday Season by these Capitalists, where part-time employees suddenly become valuable, overworked, and indispensable full time employees earning much overtime pay. This may be the Nature of the Beast nowadays, but it didn't used to be. And I don't think anyone disagreeing w/ the stance that retail stores shouldn't be open on Thanksgiving is in any way faux or cherry-picked outrage. Mostly though my emphasis is on the actual necessity of retail opening on Thanksgiving for the sole purposes of getting a jump start on Holiday shopping sales: There absolutely is none. Frankly, I'd much prefer a second opportunity to get turkey gut-bombed on leftovers, and personally won't be patronizing any retail stores on Thanksgiving.

There is probably very little that says most employees have to work these shifts either. Many places assign holiday hours on a volunteer basis to start. And if you're not working full time, it's not like if you have the day off, they're giving it to you as a paid vacation day. Yes, it's a day off, but it's likely just 8 less hours you're getting paid this week - they're not going to adjust things to make sure you get the 24 or 30 hours you always get. Many people would be happy to have the hours, and some at holiday pay. Especially if you're dependent on that income to pay your bills.

And while we're screaming about the minimum wage hourly worker getting rooked, you know who else is right there standing along-side them, probably working a 12 or 15 hour shift or all 42 hours of the 42 hours straight that KMART or the like is open? The likely more-well compensated store manager. Or airline pilot. Or hotel manager. So it's not like only the minimum-wage clerk is there and being picked on by "the man." The whole team is there right along side them, without their family and friends and turkey leg as well. Not that it makes the issue better, but at least they're putting their money where their mouth is.

And seriously - unless you had to travel a distance to get there, most people are quite finished with the food and turkey and all that family togetherness in a few hours and are ready to go home anyhow. So stop whining about losing precious minutes in the bosom of your family.

Great point, Dede. It's apples and apples here. Plus, as far as shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday? I am already getting emails with PRE-Black Friday deals that start NOW.

Why even leave the comfort of my house and my jammies when I can shop online?

I guess my point is that there is no edict yet stating that people will be dragged from their homes and forced to shop. So all of the indignation is ridiculous. DON'T GO.

As for the workers? You would be surprised how many people LIKE working these shifts. I was one of them!

I make it a point not to leave my house on Thanksgiving. It's not a holiday I celebrate, and I don't want anyone else to be affected by my non-holiday spirit. What kills me about the "Big chain store destroying Thanksgiving" crowds is these are usually the same folks up in the wee hours of the morning shopping on Black Friday. So, it's ok that Joe Worker goes in at 3 a.m. Friday so you can buy a TV, but it's not ok that he goes in at 5 p.m. Thursday? Mkay. Whatever you say, folks.

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