Are you shopping on Thanksgiving? You’re an asshole!

The title should say it all but I feel the need to throw in a few caveats, and explain why you’re a terrible person if you head to a shopping mall tomorrow.

First the caveats.  Lets pretend you’re driving to visit your family and you’re going to top off the tank at the gas station, then you see a random <insert gift here> on the shelf. It’s okay to pick that up.  It was something in passing, spontaneous, and more importantly at a place that is typically open 365 – 24/7.  From my experience from working at a gas station or convenience store, holidays are a must and comes with the job.  It’s not as if you actively went out of your way to stand in line at some sort of special sale at a store;  sales that are typically reserved for AFTER time with your family.

I remember when Black Friday became a thing.  I know the event has been around for decades, but it wasn’t really a thing until the past ten years.  Every year it gets crazier and crazier, and the stores that have these sales try to extend it longer and longer.  For instance there is now cyber Monday, and week long black Friday events.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to either of these things.  It spreads the mania out, and lessens the burden on everyone involved.

What I am opposed to are the special sales treading on to an actual holiday like Thanksgiving.  For me the Thanksgiving holiday means being with family.  I know some people dread the thought of spending time with your creepy uncle, but I know a lot of people also appreciate this family holiday. Even if you don’t have family to spend time with, it’s just nice to have a day off.

Instead stores are threatening to fire workers if they don’t show up, and telling them not to even ask for time off.  With this economy, they’ve got you by the balls. Before the housing crisis you could easily tell such employers where to shove their draconian demands.  Now you’re practically forced to work a job you most likely dislike, instead of relaxing with your family.

Those fuckers at the top of the Walmart food chain have the biggest balls ever.  They’re worth 36+ BILLION dollars, are paying people minimum wage, and telling each other to donate food to each other for Thanksgiving meals.  On top of that they’re forcing people to work on Thanksgiving. As if they need another few million dollars. I won’t even step into a Walmart unless it’s an absolute fucking emergency, or I cannot buy what I need within 100 miles of where I live.  In the past 10 years I have been into a Walmart three times.  One for a midnight birthday gift.  One because all the grocery stores were closed and I needed baking powder. And once for some Type C vacuum bags (that they didn’t even have but their website said they did).  Know what Walmart (and other stores that are open on Thanksgiving) should do?  Close down everything for a day as a sign of appreciating their workforce and their families.

But no, the economy is so shit, that lots of people can’t afford to lose their minimum wage jobs by saying “no way” to a mandatory Thanksgiving shift.  I used to joke about being a wage slave years ago, but now it’s a harsh reality for many people.  As consumers we should support the people who are forced to work on Thanksgiving by boycotting Black Friday creeping into Thanksgiving and not shopping at all on that day. No one should be forced to work with the threat of losing their job, that’s called extortion.  We’re all people with families, not just tools of mega-corporate greed.