Poll

How do you feel about this?

Great; the shopping season is too short this year
10 (2.8%)
Indifferent; I don't need to shop
30 (8.4%)
Indifferent; I really don't care
87 (24.4%)
Outrageous!  Some holidays should be sacred
210 (58.8%)
Undecided
1 (0.3%)
Other
19 (5.3%)

Total Members Voted: 357

Author Topic: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day  (Read 17634 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

baglady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4607
  • A big lass and a bonny lass and she loves her beer
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2013, 03:35:28 PM »
When people take jobs in emergency services, health care, etc., there is the expectation that there will be weekends and yes, holidays that they will have to work. In retail, there has been the expectation that unless it's a convenience store, it will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, even if they're open Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Easter, etc.

The outrage over Thanksgiving openings is coming from the "rules change" -- retail workers used to be able to count on having those days off, and now, not only can they not count on it, many will face the loss of their jobs if they refuse to work. So I can understand the reaction of "What's the big deal -- lots of people have to work holidays, like cops and nurses," but it feels like apples and oranges to me, especially for retail workers who have been at it since before the Thanksgiving opening trend started.

When I worked in a nursing home as a teenager, I actually enjoyed working Thanksgiving and Christmas, because I got to help brighten the day for the residents. I worked early shift, so there was still time to celebrate with my family. And because I was living at home, there was no traveling involved to be with family.

A lot of workplaces that are open on holidays bend over backward to give as many people the day off as possible who want it. They have a skeleton staff, they ask for volunteers (in the sense of willing, not unpaid), they schedule everyone for short shifts, they require only those with the least seniority to work (with the understanding that this is a pay-your-dues thing, and next year you may have sufficient seniority to be off), they allow people to request the shifts they want or switch with one another.

I used to work in a convenience store where everyone was required to work a two-hour shift on major holidays. For Christmas I used to ask for morning hours, so those with families could do the Christmas morning ritual, then I could go celebrate with my friends in the afternoon. I didn't always get it, but I worked around it.

I've never heard of going to the movies on Thanksgiving, but that's just me. Going on Christmas Day is huge, though, and I think that's because by the end of the day on the 25th, many people in the U.S. are Christmased out. There's this huge buildup to the 25th that starts before Thanksgiving, and once the presents are opened and dinner consumed, it's "over," and people are desperate to do something that doesn't scream "Christmas!" -- like going to a movie. It may be a Christmas Day tradition, but it's not a "Christmas" tradition, if you get my drift.

But a movie theater is one of those workplaces that could get by with a skeleton staff/willing "volunteers" and not require everyone to work.
My photography is on Redbubble! Come see: http://www.redbubble.com/people/baglady

Crochet Addict

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #106 on: November 24, 2013, 07:24:37 PM »
Personally, my husband and I both work on Thanksgiving. I work from home and had the option of taking the day off, but as I'm not cooking and other coworkers are, I opted to work. My husband works in a restaurant (apparently, a lot of people like to go out for breakfast Thanksgiving morning, according to him :o). I don't feel one way or another personally about working, but we get to go to his family's for dinner after our shifts. I feel so bad for retail workers who are missing a day with their families. We're trying in general to live a greener/thriftier lifestyle, so this year, we're focusing a lot on making gifts and giving practical things- in other words, items that I don't need to be in any hurry to shop for.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6358
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #107 on: November 24, 2013, 09:08:13 PM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-brenoff/stores-open-on-thanksgiving_b_4149893.html

While agree that many people do not mind working holidays, the author does not address retailers who make working the holiday a term of their employment which is the case for most retail employees. The author even ends by saying that once she became a mother she quit volunteering for the holiday shift. She's obviously not had family members who've missed a holiday been forced to leave the Thanksgiving table early because they had to get to work.

I think this is a grey area, though. If you take a job knowing that part of the terms of your employment is you have to work holidays, then you don't get to complain about it later when you decide you'd rather have the day off.

If, on the other hand, it's sprung on you as a change in the terms, like what happened to Ehelldame's daughter, I agree that that's unfair.  Especially at such late notice when travel plans had already been made.

Many companies are modifying the holiday open schedule every year. So 6 years ago you might have started working at a store believing you'd have Thanksgiving off. Three years ago, they decide to start opening at midnight. This year it's at 6pm. But now your fully vested in your 401k and getting 3 weeks vacation and a pretty decent hourly wage. Deciding to leave because of this one change could be a very difficult choice for many.

Asharah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3903
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #108 on: November 24, 2013, 09:27:00 PM »
I guess I should be grateful the bank I work in will be closed.

Regarding movie theaters being open. I remember a mini-story in Reader's Digest where the letter-writer had no place to go on Thanksgiving and decided to hit the multiplex at the mall. After two movies, letter-writer noticed the same small group of people who had also sat through the same two movies were now waiting to buy tickets again. Obviously they all also had no place to go. Letter-writer suggested they go to one of the mall restaurants and share Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone enjoyed themselves and the waitress told them how nice it was to see such a happy family on the holidays. ;D
Luckily my sister the Black Friday fiend will not be dashing out to shop at 8pm Thursday night. She'll be watching the Raven's game.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 09:28:48 PM by Asharah »
Asharah

Peppergirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 355
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #109 on: November 24, 2013, 09:35:39 PM »
^ well, I'm no fan of the ravens, but I'd much rather see someone watch them (if they must) than shop on Thanksgiving. Lol.

zyrs

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1951
  • spiffily male.
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #110 on: November 24, 2013, 10:27:52 PM »
I have never worked in retail, but I used to work Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The main difference is, where I used to work needed to be staffed because it was a service you didn't want the area to be without (think electricity, water, sewer, hospital - that sort of thing) not retail.

The other difference?  People's schedules were paid attention to and we tried to make sure people got to spend some time with their families.


JoW

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 900
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #111 on: November 24, 2013, 10:39:13 PM »
I like my holidays in order.  Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  No Christmas before Black Friday.

Some people do have to work - hospitals, police, fire department, snow removal, utilities.  Some retail has to be open - pharmacies and gas stations.  Also hotels and restaurants.    Those people should work and they should be paid well. 

But having WalMart open on Thanksgiving is outrageous.  There's nothing in WalMart that you can't do without for 24 hours.  Its my understanding that those employees are not getting a significant amount of extra money for working those hours.

I didn't know that movie theaters were open on Thanksgiving and Christmas until I read it here.  I don't think they should be.

I probably won't leave my property on Thanksgiving.  I'll be out on Black Friday, but not shopping.  My health club has a full class schedule which they are presenting as "burn the turkey".  I plan to take a class.  And I'm ringing for the Salvation Army that afternoon. 

Katana_Geldar

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1751
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #112 on: November 24, 2013, 11:33:19 PM »
What sometimes happens with higher wages on holidays in a small business is that the owners end up doing it all themselves rather than pay staff penalty rates.

DH is going to be working through the mandatory shutdown period at his work through Christmas, so he's working from home. It does mean we get money.

violinp

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3543
  • cabbagegirl28's my sister :)
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #113 on: November 25, 2013, 12:11:49 AM »
I like my holidays in order.  Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas.  No Christmas before Black Friday.

Some people do have to work - hospitals, police, fire department, snow removal, utilities.  Some retail has to be open - pharmacies and gas stations.  Also hotels and restaurants.    Those people should work and they should be paid well. 

But having WalMart open on Thanksgiving is outrageous.  There's nothing in WalMart that you can't do without for 24 hours.  Its my understanding that those employees are not getting a significant amount of extra money for working those hours.

I didn't know that movie theaters were open on Thanksgiving and Christmas until I read it here.  I don't think they should be.

I probably won't leave my property on Thanksgiving.  I'll be out on Black Friday, but not shopping.  My health club has a full class schedule which they are presenting as "burn the turkey".  I plan to take a class.  And I'm ringing for the Salvation Army that afternoon.

Well, then, what about Easter? Or Hannukah? Or Presidents' Day? Or any other holiday that's used as a gimmick to get people to come to the business? It's not as if every holiday is celebrated by each and every person in the country, and maybe people who don't do Christmas want to see a new movie on Christmas Day. We can't keep people from working on any holiday, or even just the big ones, just because they might want to spend that whole holiday with family.

I work in a theater, so I know how frustrating it is to work on holidays when you'd much rather be with family. That said, we can't enshrine every holiday, else we'd never get anything done. A business is there to make money, not to be inherently charitable to its workers. We do our jobs, and try to make sure that everyone gets at least some time with family that day. That's just how it works.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


hannahmollysmom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1285
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #114 on: November 25, 2013, 12:53:43 AM »
I work at a job at the airport that is 24/7. I am working Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've been there 14 years so I'm used to it by now.  My adult children have places to go Thanksgiving, so I am not hurting them by working. I'll have Christmas here on Christmas Eve. My schedule is Sun - Thurs, but I get New Years Day off, so I'm taking a vacation day on the 2nd, which gives me a 4 day vacation.

I actually work for the airport authority, which means all of my bosses and office administration are off that day. I do get compensated, so I really don't mind most of the time. Next year I will have Christmas off as it rotates. Because my job is municipal, I don't get fed, but many of the airlines do have big buffets, and I have many friends there, so someone always brings me a plate.

I voted indifferent, although I do feel those working that day should be compensated. Unfortunately, if you are considered a part time worker, you don't get paid overtime until after 40 hours. And, it seems these days, most retailers hire under part time conditions so they don't have to pay benefits, whether it is a holiday or not.

I can see many a teenage retail worker happy to work though. I mean, when I was in my teens, I found after eating a great dinner, the last thing I wanted to do was hang out with the "old" relatives.

I do feel that retailers should put it out as a volunteer basis, and then fill their holes after.

As far as Black Friday goes, I stay as far away as possible. People are crazy to save a couple of dollars, and I can't handle the crowds, nor do I patience to stand in mile long lines. I much prefer cyber Monday!

Teacup

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #115 on: November 25, 2013, 01:22:39 AM »
I work in retail and fully expected to work some crazy hours on Black Friday.  It comes with the territory.

Maybe I wouldn't have been too upset about working on Thursday if it hadn't been sprung on us two and a half weeks ago.  Oh and by the way, it will still be your usual pay.  And don't forget, we need the store fully staffed because we will be so busy.  And someone needs to go in early to make sure the sale is completely set before opening.

Normally I enjoy working where I do and I guess I should be thankful we aren't open until the early evening, but its really hard not to be upset.  Maybe next year it will be old news and I'll be over it.  We are trying to see if everyone wants to bring some leftovers in with them so we can have some wonderful munchies in the breakroom  :)

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2438
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #116 on: November 25, 2013, 01:51:46 AM »
When I lived in LA (actually had moved back to LA after living in SD for three years), I was really surprised to find a few places open on Christmas (like the record store where my friend worked and the movie theater and deli that were close by).  He pointed out to me that not everyone celebrates Christmas, especially in the area where we worked (I worked in the drug store across the parking lot from him, but my store was closed on Christmas).  After he pointed that out to me, I then came to understand why these places were open on Christmas.

So, no, there are no howls of protest from me for retailers and entertainment establishments being open on Christmas.  As others have pointed out, not everyone celebrates Christmas.  Thanksgiving in the US is another story and, I agree, it sucks for those in retail who don't have a choice (an employee told me her friend works in the outlet mall and was mandated to be at work at 4pm on Thanksgiving).

Will I be in the stores Thanksgiving or Black Friday to take advantage of the sales?  No.  I haven't done that in years (actually, not at all that I can remember).  I'm tempted to go to Yankee Candle Company, though, but I won't (they're selling their pillar candles for $5 during the first four hours they are open so the employee told me).  As tempting as that is, I'm not willing to endure craziness for that.  Besides, most of my shopping was done by two weeks before Halloween.  We have three things we still have to pick up (three different places) for his family that we can't purchase online (I bought everything else online).  I have zero interest in going anywhere near the non-grocery stores between now and after Christmas.  I'll admit, though, I *do* plan on us shopping on Black Friday but only because we will be in LA at that time so I want to take advantage of us being down there to get some runners for our house from the garment district (we can get them really inexpensively from there).  I regret that it'll be on Black Friday (which is not at all why I want to go shopping), but I don't know when we'll be in LA again and want to get rugs to cover the freaking cold tile floors in our house.



perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1933
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #117 on: November 25, 2013, 02:02:39 AM »
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ann-brenoff/stores-open-on-thanksgiving_b_4149893.html

While agree that many people do not mind working holidays, the author does not address retailers who make working the holiday a term of their employment which is the case for most retail employees. The author even ends by saying that once she became a mother she quit volunteering for the holiday shift. She's obviously not had family members who've missed a holiday been forced to leave the Thanksgiving table early because they had to get to work.

I think this is a grey area, though. If you take a job knowing that part of the terms of your employment is you have to work holidays, then you don't get to complain about it later when you decide you'd rather have the day off.

If, on the other hand, it's sprung on you as a change in the terms, like what happened to Ehelldame's daughter, I agree that that's unfair.  Especially at such late notice when travel plans had already been made.

Many companies are modifying the holiday open schedule every year. So 6 years ago you might have started working at a store believing you'd have Thanksgiving off. Three years ago, they decide to start opening at midnight. This year it's at 6pm. But now your fully vested in your 401k and getting 3 weeks vacation and a pretty decent hourly wage. Deciding to leave because of this one change could be a very difficult choice for many.

That's true, but many companies modify their operating practice on all sorts of things over the course of a year, not just holidays. If that happens to you (you general) in your job I think it's case of weighing up the options. I don't know what a 401k is (like a pension, perhaps?) but to some it'll be important enough to put up with the terms change, to others it won't be. Jobs change all the time. You get a new boss you don't like, your hours are changed, you don't get a pay rise one year because the company isn't doing so well... lots of people grin and bear changes like that because the bigger picture is more important and the rest of the terms overall are good, so this really shouldn't be any different.

I don't know, I really am conflicted. Like someone says, nobody *needs* junk from Walmart or wherever 365 days a year and it's a bit of a sad indictment on society that we think it's necessary to shop shop shop at all times and don't even get me started on the concept of shopping as a leisure activity (*g*), but on the other hand there are people who a) don't celebrate the holidays and being told what they should or shouldn't do on a holiday they don't celebrate isn't really on or b) would be grateful for those extra hours.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 02:08:36 AM by perpetua »

Cricket

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 147
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #118 on: November 25, 2013, 04:08:40 AM »
I guess I see retail as a bit different to other services that operate on major holidays. Most other professions would not expect a significant upsurge in clients. If other industries experienced a similar increase in clients, many of whom are rude, obnoxious and entitled, I bet there would be a bigger hue and cry about extending holiday trading.

dirtyweasel

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1392
  • Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
Re: Retailers Opening on Thanksgiving Day
« Reply #119 on: November 25, 2013, 05:44:40 AM »
I guess I see retail as a bit different to other services that operate on major holidays. Most other professions would not expect a significant upsurge in clients. If other industries experienced a similar increase in clients, many of whom are rude, obnoxious and entitled, I bet there would be a bigger hue and cry about extending holiday trading.

Not sure about other industries, but the medical industry definitely gets a pretty big bump in patients around the holidays.  Holiday stress, alcohol, and traveling really do a number on people.