Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shopping on Thanksgiving

Everywhere I turn I see Thanksgiving related posts on social media. they all seem to fall into one of only a handful of categories.

  • People being thankful because it's November
  • People complaining about Christmas stuff showing up before Thanksgiving
  • Stores announcing their Black Friday/Thanksgiving hours
  • People screaming about boycotts for the above
For the record, I am absolutely, positively, 150% not against stores opening on Thanksgiving day. And don't worry... I'm about to tell you why.

First of all, stores will be paying either time and a half or double time (likely double time) to employees. If you'd rather eat canned cranberry sauce than make twice as much money in half the time, your priorities are out of whack. I know it's about family and being thankful and you don't get to do that if you're busy working a register. But in reality, sitting at the table is just one way we show our thankfulness. Making TWICE as much money to help provide for your family is something everyone will be thankful for. And it's not like you have to do twice the work. Are you telling me that turkey is more important hundreds of dollars?

In the event being thankful at the table is absolutely paramount in your life... do that. Tell your boss you can't come in. One of 2 things will happen. 1) you'll be told that someone else is happy to take your shift or 2) someone else will be force to take your shift because you're fired. In 2013, the thing you can be most thankful for is a job.

Before we vilify the businesses for opening, let's remember that, as I always say "the business of business is business." What that means today is that corporations didn't choose to open so they could pay the electric bill and employees and every other expense just to stare at each other in an empty store. They are doing it because people will show up. Customers want to shop. So do we blame the business for creating the supply or do we blame the millions of customers who created the demand. We say that Black Friday isn't enough. There's not enough stuff or stores or time. We need more. Bigger, better, faster, more is the mantra of the United States. So... are the corporations truly 100% to blame?

So boycott. Go for it. You think Walmart is going to change its mind now? "You know what? We should stay closed on Thanksgiving. The group on Facebook and trending topic on Twitter has changed our minds." C'mon now. Get real. It's too late. The ball is in motion and stores will be open. So... you might as well go out there and shop. Save money for yourself, stimulate the economy for the rest of us and at least make it worth the while of the employees that have to be there. Have an impact that way.

Most people bitch and moan that there's not enough money out there and there aren't enough jobs and everyone is broke. Then why are the stores so packed on Black Friday (and Thanksgiving day itself this year)? You feed into this frenzy. Do you need another damn TV?

In reality, who are you mad at? Are you standing on principle for the people forced to work on Thanksgiving? Do those people care? If I worked retail, I'd volunteer to work that day. I love my family, we all know this - I have a ton of posts here about them, but we can eat turkey any day. Bring a sandwich to my job for my break. I'm not turning down a 2x pay rate.

Oh wait... almost every store that's opening on Thanksgiving day, will be doing so at 8pm. So you can eat, watch football, spend quality time AND earn double your hourly wage. So what's the beef?

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