I got in a Twitter fight last night with someone mocking Target employees for not being jazzed about having to leave their families on Thanksgiving to open stores for people so addicted to shopping that they can't take a single day off.
I put myself through college working retail full-time and, even when I include my summer cleaning latrines, it remains the most difficult job I ever had. I worked on commission and was on my feet for more than 8 hours a day selling footwear. It sounds easy but it's actually quite grueling, day in and day out.
Some members of my family continue to work as retail managers. In their experience, that means working 6-7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Sometimes more. Yes, they're thankful for the work. But they do really value the three days a year that they are guaranteed off. Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.
Or, I should say, were guaranteed off. There's been a push to be open on Easter and Thanksgiving in recent years. Some executives require stores to be open that day. Twitter user Debbie M. wrote:
Dear Target employees who have to work on Thanksgiving: If you don't like it, find another job. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/thanksgiving-shouldnt-black-thursday-target-215753491.html …#caring#FreeMarket
Do Target executives have the right to make employees leave their families to open stores on days when they'll be home with their families? Of course they do. Should they? Of course not!
I realize that our highest holiest day in this country is Black Friday, where we all pay homage to the Sacred Santa who governs our economy and upholds our most important values of consumerism.
I realize that some people are so addicted to shopping that they can't even take three days off a year.
But I'm not going to take part. Not only will I not shop on Thanksgiving, I won't shop at any store that requires employees to leave their families on Thanksgiving if they want to keep their jobs. I'm not even a boycotter, but I'm annoyed by this practice.
So please let me know if other retailers are feeding into this silliness by opening on Thanksgiving. And if you are in any way inclined to shop on Thanksgiving instead of waiting a day for your fix, consider seeking help.
Shopper picture via Shutterstock.