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What’s Hot On The Forum – Retailers Open On Thanksgiving

Check out the forum topic, Retailers Open For Thanksgiving, and vote in the poll.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • The Elf November 24, 2013, 9:48 am

    Outrageous, but not because holidays should be sacred. What is my holy day is your average Tuesday and vice versa. Even though Thanksgiving is a secular American holiday, there’s plenty of reasons not to celebrate it. When my husband worked shifts, he frequently worked on Thanksgiving (it’s a 24/7 industry, somebody has to work it). So we had a big dinner with family on Wednesday or something. It’s just what you do. One year we had “Thanksgiving brunch”. So I don’t consider Thanksgiving to be particularly “sacred”.

    It’s outrageous because it so clearly prioritizes profit over employee well-being. While that is expected of a for-profit business, in previous years they were a little better about throwing employees a bone every now and then. The bone, in retail, used to be that you were guaranteed not to work Thanksgiving Thursday because you’d be working your butt off on Black Friday and likely on Wednesday after hours to set up for Black Friday. But you get that one day off to be with your family or simply rest up. Now….. employees are completely replaceable. You don’t want to work Thanksgiving? Well, there’s a line of people that would be happy to do it. The businesses don’t care one iota about employee well-being because what are you going to do? Leave? Hah! We know there aren’t any jobs out there. You’ll work it and you’ll like it, or else.

    In addition, I wonder how many of these Thanksgiving employers do something special for their holiday workers? I doubt many of them do. When my husband worked a holiday, his manager arranged for a meal to be supplied there and the day had a bit of festivity about it. That’s because in a 24/7 industry (medicine, criminal justice, IT, etc) they know it’s part of the job and try to take the sting out it. You’re also talking about a less replaceable work force (generally), so there’s more motivation to keep employees happy.

  • kingsrings November 24, 2013, 8:26 pm

    I worked retail last year. While we were closed on Thanksgiving, we were definitely open at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, and I’ve never worked harder in my entire life that day! I came home and immediately collapsed asleep on the couch. And customers are just outrageous at this time of year. The reason I chose not to go back to holiday retail this year is because I didn’t want my holidays to be ruined again like they were last year by greedy, thieving, awful, rude customers. It’s not worth putting up with. People turn into monsters when it comes to holiday shopping and have forgotten what the holidays are all about, sadly.

    ‘m outraged that any store would cut their employee’s holiday short by making them work on Thanksgiving or Christmas. And I’m outraged that any shoppers create the reason for them having to be open those days. Your shopping can wait one day, or two. Presents shouldn’t be the main focus of the holiday season.

  • EchoGirl November 25, 2013, 3:43 am

    I work at a call center that’s open 24/7/365 (we didn’t close when the city got two feet of snow dumped on it in less than 24 hours and everything else closed around us). It’s a headache, but at least they pay extra on holidays and it’s not that hard to take off as long as you do it in advance. I tend to take Thanksgiving and work Christmas because Thanksgiving is more important to my family than Christmas and even though I could take both I feel like I owe it to my co-workers to let them have a crack at the time. Our company tends to bring in food and put the coffee machines on free vend on holidays so it’s not so bad. The worst part is really that the buses stop running at 7pm and I work until 9 or 10 so I have to sort out calling a cab, all of which are overwhelmed by customers.

    My father’s a bus driver. Apparently, the drivers all but fight over who gets to work Thanksgiving, because it’s extra pay and an easy day. He got stuck this year working the day before and the day after, which is almost more annoying if one plans to travel (as our family often does).

    I actually think that having a few stores open, specifically things like grocery stores, isn’t necessarily a bad thing just because Thanksgiving (or Christmas or whatever) is just a normal day for some people and people who cook for the holiday are bound to forget stuff and need to run out at the last minute. Anything non-essential should be closed though. You can wait one day to buy new clothes or a TV.

  • Charliesmum November 25, 2013, 6:27 am

    I totally agree with what The Elf said. My sister is a nurse, and the last few years she’s had to work on Thanksgiving, so we have ‘early Thanksgiving’ with her. The fact that ‘Black Friday’ is now bleeding over into Thanksgiving is just a sad commentary on our society as a whole.

    Everyone I know personally has already said they wouldn’t shop on Thursday (most of them don’t even bother on Friday, come to that) but there will be enough people who will rush out to Walmart the moment they’ve dropped their fork that the stores will totally feel justified in what they are doing, and it’s just going to get worse and worse.

    Wow. I’m very cynical this morning.

  • Abby November 25, 2013, 8:01 am

    I understand the frustration, but what’s the difference between retailers open and working and gas stations or grocery stores open? Customers don’t have to shop retail on thanksgiving, but they could also make sure to plan ahead with regards to gas, groceries, etc.

  • The Elf November 25, 2013, 8:25 am

    Echogirl, I agree that limited holiday hours for some businessness such as grocery stores make sense. If you read through the thread on the forum, one poster whose name escapes me called it: the source of the outrage is the change of expectations. Retail, with the exception of certain kinds of stores, had the expectation of the day off. I’d also say a lot has to do with choosing to work that day vs. being forced to work that day. Your father’s business asks for volunteers. Other 24/7 industries allow trades so that if your shift is scheduled for that day you can trade it with someone else, or at least maximize leave usage and run on minimal staffing. These retail stores are expecting Black Friday level crowds (or close to). They’ll want to be fully staffed, so there’s no choice on whether to work it or not. The two factors combined, plus the impression that profits are so much more important than employees, make for a bitter workforce.

  • lkb November 25, 2013, 9:37 am

    I’ve never, ever done Black Friday and I don’t intend to. Nor do I ever intend to shop on Thanksgiving Day (unless it’s to pick up a prescription for a seriously ill family member). My sister, on the other hand, who is a widow and a mom of a teen daughter and doesn’t really have anything to do on Thanksgiving or the day after, go all out: planning the route etc.
    At first I was outraged by Black Friday creeping into the holiday, but I’m understanding more about people who do it: Thanksgiving or Christmas are not their holidays. Sad, imho, but there it is.
    I was highly amused by an article I read recently (sorry, don’t remember where), that noted that Black Friday sales were actually starting November 1 in many places. The prediction was that pretty soon Black Friday won’t matter because the shopping season will start three weeks earlier than it does now and we’ll get our Thanksgiving back. ;D ;D ;D

  • Rap November 25, 2013, 11:45 am

    “but what’s the difference between retailers open and working and gas stations or grocery stores open? ”

    While it is possible for someone to run out of food or gasoline on a holiday, I rarely hear about people needing emergency high end electronics and fashion items. That’s the difference. Grocery stores and gas stations stay open because they provide goods that are requirements, while these retailers are opening on the holidays to entice shoppers to spend on luxary goods.

  • EchoGirl November 25, 2013, 1:38 pm

    Actually, my father’s business runs on seniority — the senior guys get to pick their days off first. Since he started this summer, he’s at the bottom of the food chain. Agree with what you said about minimal staffing, although actually Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of our busiest days of the year at my call center.

  • Ellex November 25, 2013, 7:09 pm

    My dad’s a pilot. There have been many years where he wasn’t home the day of the actual holidays. My sister and her boyfriend work the Macy’s parade so people can watch it on TV.

    So I’m afraid my response is rather unsympathetic.

  • Evie3 November 26, 2013, 10:05 am

    I worked in retail management for four years. I loved it, except for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was pure madness and mayhem. The first year I worked Christmas Eve, I put my head down on my steering wheel in my car and cried. Sweet relief and utter exhaustion. Some customers were so kind, where as others were so hateful. They were angry we ran out of popular items, and took it out on me. I have a really smart mouth, so it was incredibly difficult for me not to snipe, “Well ya knew Christmas was on December 25th, ya could have shopped a little earlier if it was THAT important to you!” You tend to remember the hateful people over the kind ones, and that is sad. It got easier as time went on, and I worked with a great team. But I will NOT shop on Thanksgiving. It should be a day of rest for everyone!

  • Library Diva November 26, 2013, 4:30 pm

    I wrote a really angry rant on this topic and deleted it because I realized it made me sound like a crazy person. I swear I’m not, this topic just brings it out in me. I already stay home on Black Friday. I’m definitely not shopping on Thanksgiving. I think it’s a horrible trend. I don’t even go to the gas stations or grocery stores on Thanksgiving and Christmas. People deserve to have a dedicated day off. Even if they work a low-level job and have no family to spend it with. They can spend it doing projects around the house, going for a walk, watching TV, reading a book, anything. I feel that our society is too sped up, too 24-7, and I feel that it’s affecting people’s mental and physical health. Getting Thanksgiving back as a quiet day would be a step in the right direction.

  • Nicole November 29, 2013, 5:17 pm

    I feel sympathy for those who have to work on holidays because they are doctors, nurses, EMT’s, firefighters, police, etc. Even gas stations and grocery stores. Less dire, but still necessary – because people are idiots. As humans we fight, we cut our fingers off chopping onions for stuffing, we burn our houses down trying to fry turkeys, and many of us would be stranded on the side of the road out of gas on the way to Grandma’s house because we don’t plan ahead. But there’s no reason to be GREEDY idiots and go out shopping on Thanksgiving. If someone in your family has to work then that sucks. I imagine it is frustrating and makes you unhappy. So to responders who surely understand those feelings and those lost holidays – why wish it on others? Instead of being unsympathetic, we should have more sympathy and avoid making more people be away from loved ones and family celebrations.

    It seems like some people say “If I can’t have it, I don’t care if you have it either”

    Shouldn’t Etiquette say “We should all share in it to the best of our abilities?”

    Also to people who say that the stores are open anyway and we might as well go shopping, we need to think more long term. If the profits didn’t turn up then the businesses would think twice about doing it again the next year or the year after that. I work on the Fourth of July every year, and it burns me up when people come in saying what a shame it is that I have to work on the holiday (Gee, thanks). But THEY are the reason I am working, because they would rather eat out than cook out at home. If sales were consistently terrible on 4th July, we wouldn’t be open. But now it is almost like a normal day, nobody cares.

  • Maimou December 1, 2013, 4:16 pm

    I’m a nurse, and have no kids. I generally don’t mind working holidays. I chose the profession, and the patient love I get is just humbling. I’ll defer to the new mama (baby’s first Christmas), relatives in from out of country, and other special situations. I do get a little testy when Lizzie wants Christmas off every because hey, Triss is turning X (insert numerical value here). But usually coworkers weigh in on this, and management doesn’t allow it to happen. But some nurses will whine for it every year!
    I admit I do a little Black Friday some years. I feel a little kinship with those retail workers, and go out of my way to be minimal bother and maximal nice to them. The actual holiday? No way. No Christmas Day shopping either.
    I’ve occasionally seen some small local businesses that are owned by non-Christians close for special days, leaving a explanatory note on the door. And I think, good, that’s what’s important to you, and you’re willing to take a little hit to celebrate the day. I will make it a point to go back to that business to make the purchase I was planning to.

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