Remember when Black Friday used to kick off right at the normal opening time on the Friday after Thanksgiving? What about when it got all crazy, and the stores started opening at 8 a.m. instead of 10:00 on that day? I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to get up, dressed, and out to the mall by 8 a.m. on a day that was designed for sleeping in and then having leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast.
It got a little crazy when it went to 6:00 a.m. Soon it was midnight, followed almost immediately by 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening.
Let me just say one thing: If you aren’t comatose by 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving from too much of, well, EVERYTHING, then you’re not doing it right.
This year, many retailers, tired of fighting for those first fistfuls of Christmas shopping money, have thrown down the gauntlet and will be open all day on Thanksgiving. There’s going to be a real shortage of assistants for the household chefs, parade watchers, dishwashers, and nap takers.
Let’s see……parades, food, family, more food, card games, dessert……or, shopping. For me, there’s no contest: turkey, laughter, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, French Silk Pie, leftover turkey sandwiches, It’s A Wonderful Life….well, that beats shopping any day.
However, whether or not there SHOULD be an option to shop is a topic of hot debate this year. Some people are quite angry that corporate greed is resulting in employees losing a family holiday so that the stores can make money.
Is it unfair? Should retailers be closed?
If you believe the answer is “yes”, then I have some follow up questions for you. What of the other businesses that are open? I won’t go to the extreme of hospitals and other emergency services, but what about restaurants? Can’t people live without a Grand Slam breakfast for one day? How about pharmacies? Emergency medicines are always available at a hospital, so does Walgreens really need to stay open? What about gas stations? Can’t people, for ONE DAY, remember to fill their tanks the day before? How about movie theaters? It’s a huge day for them, but can’t folks stay home and watch TV for one day so the concession kid can be home eating pumpkin pie?
If you believe the answer is “no”, I have some questions for you as well. Should employees who are likely making low hourly wages be required to work on a family holiday? What about those people who have children and can’t find daycare on Thanksgiving? Not to mention the fact that those children will likely miss out entirely on a Thanksgiving celebration because Mom and/or Dad have to work. Should employers be required to only utilize staff that is willing to work on holidays, maybe for extra pay, or should they be able to enforce the common rule of termination for not working on high volume days?
I’m genuinely interested in hearing both sides of this argument, so please comment. I’ll be digesting all opinions while enjoying a late night turkey sandwich next Thursday.