This is the only thing retail workers should be
stuffing on Thanksgiving.
For 12 years of my life I worked in retail. In one job I was locked in the store one night to stock shelves in preparation for Black Friday. I have worked many a Black Friday, luckily most of them in a lumberyard where there was never a rush on a bunk of 2x4s. The Black Fridays I worked in a department store were absolute hell. Constant crowds; having to break up fights; rude, pushy people (one time I brought a cart out to restock shelf and the customers tore it apart before I could get it on the shelf—leaving me a mess to clean up). I would not wish working in a department store on a Black Friday on my worst enemy.
Unfortunately for many Americans working in the retail industry Black Friday has forced its way into Thanksgiving Day. Now a day of hell is encroaching on time that employees should be spending with their families. Of course retail executives like Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart take the position that:
"Wal-Mart associates are really excited to work that day, it's a pretty high energy day for associates as well."
I would be willing to bet if you polled Walmart workers you might get a slightly different opinion than what Mr. Mac Naughton is expressing. My guess, Mr. Mac Naughton has never worked on a retail floor and has likely never worked on a Black Friday.
This isn't just Walmart. Every year we see the push for stores to open earlier and earlier. There is no reason for this except greed. It takes workers away from their families over a holiday when they should be giving thanks with their loved ones (or slightly dysfunctional relatives). It brings out the worst in humanity on a day of thanks—don't believe me, work in a retail store on Black Friday. People will get into fights over the last of of an item on a sales floor to save 20 bucks on an item they don't really want in the first place.
This madness needs to end—there is no reason that anyone should have to work retail on Thanksgiving. They not only should not have to work on Thanksgiving they should be receiving holiday pay for it.
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