Black Friday Blues

13 Nov

Here goes consumerism at its finest.  Target employee Anthony Hardwick has taken to popular petition website,, to implore his fellow retail workers to join him in protest against being forced to work on Thanksgiving.  Employees like Hardwick are upset over Target requiring them to work shifts that take away from their time with their families.  One employee at a Target store in California says he will be required to work from 4:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and then return to the store from 11 p.m. and work well into the night on Black Friday.

Target fired back saying that it comes down to an intense completion for the almighty holiday dollar.

“It is imperative that we are competitive.  Our guests have expressed their desire to kick off the holiday shopping experience right after the holiday celebrations instead of waking up in the middle of the night.”

In my experience that excuse boils down to the old adage, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it too?”

Just because other retailers are doing it does not make it right.  Now, in all fairness, I am notorious for getting cabin fever on holidays and feel the need to get away from my family so I have been known to take off for a while on holidays, but usually it is only to drive around and find a newspaper stand that has the Thanksgiving sale ads (an odd holiday tradition started by my mother but is basically useless since I don’t normally do any of my shopping on Black Friday – I find that crowds and a unmedicated me do not mix so well).

I see no reason that we need to feed into the commercialism of this holiday anymore than we already do.  The holiday season is a time for family, friends and loved ones so it seems offensive to me the force people to work and therefore be away from their loved ones purely for your amusement.  Of course there is the fact that Target (and other retailers for that matter) corporate workers are likely to have that day off so it’s of no consequence to the likes of the CEO (or any other CE fill in the blank) if the workers are upset about working on Thanksgiving or not.

Sadly, most employers have forgotten that one principal holds true no matter what, if you take care of your employees they will take care of you.  Unhappy employees will mean unhappy customers will mean no customers.  It has ceased to be about taking care of anyone but big business pockets (since its likely that most retail employees are minimum wage workers, part-time for that matter and are highly unlikely to see any monetary bonus or other sign of gratitude for the vast amount of bullshit that they have to put up with working in retail.



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