WARNING: The following blog entry contains strong language. I'm sorry, but I'm really, really angry.
This is Thanksgiving week, and I was finally forced to pay attention to the news that some retailers (Target, Sears, Toys 'R' Us, Wal-Mart, and Gap, Inc. to name a few) will actually be opening on Thanksgiving Day.
Think about that statement for a second.
I'll cut right to the chase here: as someone who worked for over ten years in a traditional retail setting, I think this is an unconscionable violation of retail employees' right to a day with their families and an example of the profit motive run completely rampant. It's bad enough that so many companies engage in "Midnight Madness" (the practice of opening at midnight on Black Friday with the intent of capitalizing on huge amounts of shoppers opening their wallets for holiday sales) which forces store employees to be pre-occupied all of Thanksgiving Day with having to WORK AT MIDNIGHT so Joe and Jane Doe can get that 70" flat-screen plasma Internet television with a built-in coffeemaker at 65% off or else their shitty kids won't love them anymore. Now these companies (and the consumers who support them, loud and clear, by spending their money at that time) expect their employees to show up to work on a national holiday? Jesus Christ.
How did we find ourselves in this sad state of affairs? To me, it seems like a factor of two things: greedy companies (who are apparently creating the demand for these hours, according to the article referenced above) and a consumer base that's apparently more concerned with a great deal than they are with taking even one fucking day to slow down and relax, let alone allowing their fellow citizens who work in retail to have the same opportunity.
Apparently these companies' investors are concerned with profits. To them I simply say the following: take your profits and shove them right up your collective ass. The employees who you pay crap to efficiently run your stores have friends and families too, and they deserve at least one full day to enjoy some time with them, never mind a day to just relax.
With regard to any consumer who patronizes a business that is open for any length of time on Thanksgiving Day, please know that your actions will be deplorable. Is your family so awful, so profoundly dysfunctional that you can't spend more than a few hours with them before you need to ditch them for a sale on the newest Xbox for your pimply teenage son who should be reading a book -any book- anyway? Sit the fuck down, eat some god damn turkey, and then continue sitting the fuck down until the end of the day. Napping is also acceptable.
Think about what you're doing and the effect that your decision to shop on Thanksgiving has on other peoples' lives. Retailers, especially large ones, will follow the money trail. If you give them no trail they'll have nothing to follow, so please remember that it's up to you to decide whether this horrendous practice will continue.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.