People Complaining About Working on Thanksgiving/Black Friday Need Some Cheese With Their Wine

22 Nov

Last week I received an email from Change.org, a website that hosts petitions for (usually) great causes. However, last week’s petition reeked of what I like to call “first world problems.”  A woman who works at Target, Casey St. Clair, began the petition in order to prevent workers from having to work beginning at 9 PM on Thanksgiving Day.  This is a screenshot of the generic petition people are signing:

Change.org Petition

This petition is annoying in many ways, the first and most obvious example being the number of people who are unemployed in this country and would likely jump at the chance to work a minimum wage retail job at Target.  Second, what about all of the other workers who never get a day off? This includes restaurant workers (I worked the last two Thanksgivings at a restaurant myself), police officers, firemen, military, and many other people who do not get holidays off.  Third, have these people never worked retail before choosing to work at Target (actually, perhaps Target chose them)? Retail is one of the most annoying, physically painful, inconvenient, high stress jobs that anyone could ever imagine. I worked at American Eagle Outfitters for six years.  Thankfully I have not worked retail since my first few months out of college, but I definitely identify with the woes of having to work holidays.

However, in spite of how much working retail sucks, I learned many years ago to never bite the hand that feeds you.  The people you see on the news whining about having to work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday will likely not be employed come New Year’s. What people do not realize is that employment, in many states, is deemed “at will,” meaning that employers can let you go at any time without telling you why. People need to be more aware of these laws and how they conduct themselves while not at work, especially in these times of an encroaching social media panopticon.

Another issue contributing to the increasing disgruntlement amongst retail workers is the very odd sense of entitlement displayed by young people today, especially young people who chose to not apply themselves in school or attempt a professional degree, with the expectations that they’d be the next Hannah Montana or Justin Bieber. In the last decade or so, the sense of entitlement of young people in regards to where they should work or how much money they should make, or what kind of car they should drive has skyrocketed to levels of unbearable annoyance.  Not everyone can be on Rich Kids of Instagram.  I am not impressed when you post a photograph of thirty or so twenty dollar bills.  Yes, someone I know actually did that.

The core of the matter in this instance is the fact that people need to learn to be more grateful for the things they have rather than the things they don’t have.  Employment, a paycheck, and a roof over one’s head are all things to be grateful for.  If you have to work retail and you hate it so much, then try something else.  Hundreds of people will be happy to fill your shoes.

This message is brought to you by post-Thanksgiving indigestion.

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One Response to “People Complaining About Working on Thanksgiving/Black Friday Need Some Cheese With Their Wine”

  1. miscellaneoussheepery November 23, 2012 at 6:52 PM #

    Usually I don’t agree with much of what you post, but today I agree with you 100%. I worked at Walmart for almost 3 years, and yes, working on holidays sucks, but I was thankful to have a job and I was thankful for holiday pay. You’re right – there are plenty of people who would love to have that $8.30/hour job, because it beats the hell out of the $0/hour they’re making now. Do I think it’s RIGHT that those stores are open on Thanksgiving? No, but as long as there is a demand for it, they’ll stay open.

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