Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A retail rebellion

I work in retail, and I'm quite grateful to have any job at all, right now.  But many of my fellow workers are being mistreated, and you can change that.


The day after Thanksgiving is, in the US, a big shopping day - one of the biggest of the year.  In a bizarre effort to increase the amount of shopping done on that day, retailers are opening their stores earlier and earlier each year.  Now, the final straw, Target stores are opening AT MIDNIGHT on Thanksgiving evening!


If you're an employee, do the math.  "I have to be in the store at 11 p.m., so I have to leave for work at 10:30 p.m.. I'm going to work at least 9 hours, so I'll have to sleep before I go to work, so I realistically need to be in bed by... 2:00 p.m. ON THANKSGIVING DAY!!!!!"


Really.  If you don't shop at these ridiculous hours, the retails just might figure out that this is a silly, and cruel, idea.


And you can sign this petition, directed to the president of Target, to express your concern for the retail works affected.


Late update: apparently ToysRUs is going to be opening at 9:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  Congratulations, your staff has no holiday AT ALL now...  I predict that within 5 years, stores will routinely be open on Thanksgiving Day, we will have officially declared ourselves to be a nation of nothing but consumers, and the division between the haves and the have-nots will be permanent.


/rant

25 comments:

  1. I don't work in retail but I sympathize and I'll sign the petition. This is a terrible thing for the employees of these stores, but what does it say about the rest of us? That we're willing to abandon our families on a holiday to shop? 9:00pm, really, Toys 'r us? In my family, at 9:00pm, we're still picking at our dessert and enjoying after dinner conversation. It would be unthinkable to get up from the table and go rushing off to a place like Target or Toys' r us. It's disgusting and I'm ashamed.

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  2. Oh, and by the way, my husband and I are both nurses, so are no strangers to working on Thanksgiving (and Christmas, and Christmas Eve) but patients need care 24 hours a day. We accepted that when we chose our careers, but it's shameful to ruin a holiday simply because greedy people want an earlier shot at a bargain. I *never* shop on Black Friday.

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  3. Dear Patience,
    I'm utterly grateful to (and impressed by) those who work in medical care and emergency services. And of course you're right that you work on all of the holidays - your work is that critical! But being able to buy a bargain toy - not so urgent. I'm grateful that you see the difference and appreciate my irritation.
    big hug,
    Vivienne

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  4. Horribly greedy. I wonder if Target and Toys R Us's executives will be showing up at the office at midnight on Thanksgiving, too? :oP

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  5. I agree... greedy greedy greedy! Friday at the crack of dawn is early enough!

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  6. Ugh! And who really wants to shop at midnight on Thanksgiving anyways?!?

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  7. Signed it! Great post. I agree completely. Living a style-conscious life must also be ethical. Thanks for this reminder of the social price we're paying in this country in order to shop fur "stuff."

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  8. Thanks for mentioning this issue, Vivienne. Love your blog & your "rants". I signed too.

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  9. I just signed it. I have never been one to shop the day after Thanksgiving anyway and don't see how any deal could be that great that one would want to shop in the middle of the night amongst throngs of people. I just can't understand how that could be fun.

    I plan on buying absolutely nothing that day, except food - in person or online.

    Thanks for getting the word out about this...xo

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  10. It''s not just Target. My niece has a temp job at Kohl's and has been told she may have to start work at midnight on Thanksgiving also. I think it's insane. Any sales the stores get are sales they could make later in the day. I used to enjoy shopping the day after Thanksgiving (before children), but only at a civilized hour. Now I stay home and get started on the Christmas baking.

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  11. I'm really glad when I read articles about Black Friday that I'm always done with gift buying/making well before Thanksgiving. That makes for a far saner holiday.

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  12. I do not shop on Black Friday ever. That's just my rule of long standing. In fact, I will not go to any stores at all from Thanksgiving Day through the weekend. I also will not do any online shopping on Black Friday and I often don't do any shopping online that entire weekend. I will not be a part of the statistics, nor will I spend a holiday weekend as a consumer.

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  13. I'll admit to having gone shopping on Black Friday. At times the deals have been great on items that were already on my list of "to-buy". However, I've noticed that unfortunately more people go to see what there is rather than for a specific list of items. It helps boost the economy, I guess, but it seems fairly ridiculous to me. I've reached the ripe old age of 27 and come to realize that honestly the savings just isn't worth the hassle. While living in England one of my favorite things that I dearly miss was the hours the shops were closed (most closed by 5 each day), as well as all the bank holidays they closed on. It's about prioritizing your real life rather than consumerism.

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  14. I HATE these retail hours during the holidays. It makes me sick. I signed the online petition. Oooh, I'm upset thinking about Black Friday. I absolutely will not participate in this horrible shopping debauchery and gluttony.

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  15. I guess the stores wouldn't be open if we didn't want to shop! (I don't, btw)

    I had a friend who worked at the post office. She elected to work on ALL holidays because she was paid DOUBLE. Too bad the people who are working are not there by choice. And I don't suppose they get double salary.

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  16. I can't sign the petition since I live in Canada but I am with you all the way. There is absolutely nothing that is so special in any store that one needs to be in a store at mignight.
    BTW before I opened my own business I worked for a furniture company who closed at 5:00 on Christmas eve and re-opened at 9:30 a.m. on Boxing Day so no one could spend time with family if they were out of town, and New Years Eve we closed at 6:00 and had to be back at work 9:30 a.m. on New Years Day. Naturally there was no New Years celebrating because we had to be up early for work. It still annoys the H--L out of me when I think about it.

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  17. The day after Christmas has been National Buy Nothing Day for years. Check it out here: http://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/bnd

    There's also Small Business Saturday on November 26, which promotes shopping at local businesses:
    http://smallbusinesssaturday.com/

    I'm not much of a "joiner" but these anti-consumer efforts get my approval! I never shop Thanksgiving weekend, at all. - Queen Lucia

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  18. Thanks for providing the link. I signed it and I wrote to Walmart & Best Buy were I rarely shop, and to Macy's informing them I would no longer be shopping with them at anytime until Thanksgiving is left alone. It's unfortunate because Macy's is one of the few retailers still offering petites but I'll take my business to more conscientious retailers. I figured I could boycott but it would have more impact it they knew why.

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  19. Thanks so much for sharing this. I mentioned it to my coworkers, and no one batted an eyelash! Is this what we've come to?

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  20. The fools that do the shopping on thanksgiving dont realize that they will be doing themselves out of a day off eventually by doing so. First their own companies/bosses will eliminate the friday after (if they get it now) and then we'll just have to "do" thanksgiving after regular work hours on Thursday. really, is it that important that people shop at the crack of dawn? what difference would it make if stores opened at 9. people will buy whatever they were going to buy anyway.

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  21. god. this is such a travesty. i never understood the point of post thanksgiving shopping frenzy. i hope you have a good holiday next week.

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  22. when i first moved to europe, i was anxious at the thought that many stores closed at 6 or 7pm, and some on weekends too. but then i quickly realized, i didn't need continual access to buy stuff ALL the time. shops close at reasonable hours so employees can enjoy a little time with their families - and shoppers do too. there is no good reason to be shopping for paper towels or TVs at 10pm at night (any day of the year!). it's ridiculous that here, we can't even hold a few holidays sacred. i'm totally onboard the petition!

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  23. Thanksgiving has always been my most favorite day of the year, primarily because it is a holiday to be spent in quiet reflection, giving thanks for life's many blessings. Unfortunately, more and more retailers seem to think of Thanksgiving as a sort of Pre-Christmas Warm-Up, the kick-off to a season of orgiastic over-spending, over-scheduling, over-imbibing, and all-around wretched excess. Instead of expressing gratitude for all that we have been given, we unleash our inner gimmie pigs and wade into the fray, pushing and shoving, clawing and grabbing, trying to get more, more, more. Every year, there is disturbing news footage of shoppers behaving badly, whipped into a frenzy of consumer greed by those soulless corporate blood-sucking bastards who only worship the Almighty Dollar. (I'm looking at you, Walmart.)Well, enough. I don't shop on Black Friday ever, and any store that tries to encroach upon my beloved Thanksgiving will never again get another dime of my money. (I'm looking at YOU, Target.) Rant over.

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  24. It is so sad that our world has come to this. That's why I support Buy Nothing Day. We forget that we DO have a say in this - we can just refuse to participate. Excellent post and I hope you don't mind that I linked to it in my blog.

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  25. I'm sorry I didn't know about the petition til too late to sign.

    As an advertising broadcast manager of over 30 years who makes her money selling ads, I've been irritated by the Black Friday hype for years. Every year the violence seems to escalate. This year was no exception.

    To expect employees to work at all hours of the day and night, particularly a Midnight open on Thanksgiving is the height of corporate greed.

    While the public has to accept their share of the blame by "buying" into the scheme, it is the corporations who should be held accountable. there is no reason in the world not to have their special sales and limited offers during normal business hours. The pity is they don't offer them to all.

    After years of living in major cities I now live in a small resort area in the northeast. For the most part, I buy local. That is, I buy from independent shop owners.

    I am assured by the quality of the products, the opportunity to return if necessary and the satisfaction of knowing my money goes to the local economy rather than Wall Street.

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