Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Retail v. Thanksgiving

Alright. I will freely admit that this post is nothing but a rant. I know this has nothing to do with saving money, but you know what? It's my blog, so I'm going to rant anyway.

Ok, so to the point. I follow out local NBC affiliate on Facebook and lately they have made several posts about retail stores opening up on Thanksgiving and the employees that are either signing petitions or striking to try to change that. I've been disturbed by some of the comments left by other followers. Here are a few examples (I lifted these verbatim, so the awful grammar is not my own this time, and I let these jerks retain their anonymity):

  • "So really it doesnt make a difference because their are tons of other people working on Holidays and people are making a big deal out of store clerks and etc to work on holidays?? It is not hard work.."
  • "Its not like what they do is Rocket Science. of course, we have become an entitlement society and everyone believes their job is the most important."
  • "I don't see what the big deal is...like others have said most families are done with Thanksgiving dinner by 8 anyway. I'm sure the stores that are opening earlier aren't forcing the employees to work."
  • "Yep I'm shopping don't like it get a job that don't require holidays matter fact be grateful you have one I mean come on people this is a given in retail..." 
  • "Nobody forced you to work at target or Walmart or where ever it is you draw a pay check. If you don't like it find another job!"
  • "Boohoo...I know a lot of people who would be happy to take your job for you."
  • "If you whom work at walmart or any other service job do not like it go to school and get the hell out of the way."
It's the attitude behind these comments that really bothers me.

Most of you know that I work in retail. When I was hired, I knew that I would be working on Black Friday. I'm not crazy about the idea, but that's fine. But, I still get Thanksgiving Day. Not everyone in retail does. I also get holiday pay, which again, not everyone does. Not forcing their employees to work? Think again. Most retail workers are required to work on Black Friday. If they want to keep their job, they have to work that day.

But this whole attitude that the people in the above comments have pisses me off. Retail is generally not an essential thing. One day without a retail sore open is not a huge deal. Forgot the cranberries? Oh well. Should have planned ahead. You can live without cranberries.

Yes, police, firemen, nurses, etc. all have to work on holidays, but let's be real here. They are essential. We need them. And typically, they are going to be paid more that your average retail worker for their time. Besides, back when I was growing up and my mom was a respiratory therapist she worked every other holiday, so they don't have to work every holiday, in general.

Then there is the implication that retail is not hard work. That's a bunch of crap. There are lots of times when I work 10 hour shifts and come home aching all over. Being on your feet all day is tough, and couple that with customers who are pissed off over something stupid or just generally being irate because they want a discount or don't like the company policy that I have no control over doesn't make it easy at all. I work very hard at my job, thank you very much. When someone is yelling at me, I have to smile and deal with it. I have to dig through stockrooms to find a size someone is looking for, only to have them not buy it. I have to refold piles of clothing that people leave a mess. I have to do all of this and more. It is not an easy job to do retail and do it well, but I try to. So, if you are one of those people advocating for stores being open on Thanksgiving, you better be being nice to the people that are checking you out. They don't have a choice but to be there dealing with you when they would rather be at home with family.

Besides, there is absolutely no reason to be rude to them. Act like a friggin' adult.

And then there is Mr. "go to school and get the hell out of the way". I have gone to school, thank you very much, and I wager that I'm better educated that you are. Many of the retail workers I know are in college or have degrees.  Most are very intelligent. I didn't take this job because I'm stupid. I took it because I needed a job and this one was available. Would I like a job with set hours, holidays off, better pay, benefits, and that kept me off my feet? Of course! But until I can find one available, I am where I am, so I would appreciate it if I didn't get treated like I'm a moron.

People are so rude these days. I know I've said it before, but I think its an important point. There is no reason to be rude to any retail worker who is trying to help you. Be nice and make it a positive experience for both of you.

And then here is this, because I feel like this is an appropriate time to share it:


  1. Retail has turned me into a misanthropist. Seems like the cheerfully polite customers are far out numbered by the horribly rude and belligerent ones. I'll never forget the day someone ran over my foot with a shopping cart and didnt so much as turn their head or apologize.

  2. Just now reading this, so glad you posted!! :) <3

  3. Havent seen you around lately I hope you are doing ok!

    1. Doing great, just very, very busy at work. I plan on picking back up with the blogging after Christmas when they aren't working me quite as hard.