As we enter the holiday season for yet another year, I see signs that the corporate overlords of America really don’t give a rat’s ass about the people who actually labor and toil so their stock shares appreciate and earn money they don’t have to lift a finger to earn.
First, I remember way back when stores were not open on Thanksgiving Day. I remember when that was a day where people actually got to spend time at home with their families, sitting around the dinner table, and sharing laughter over huge helpings of turkey and dressing/stuffing. There was the kids table, where all the young kids laughed and told jokes. There was the grown up table, where the talk and beverages were a bit more mature. There was also the group that ate in front of the TV enjoying the food and football games at the same time.
Now, instead of having that family time, people actually have to go to work at places like Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and other retail outlets. When I worked retail, there were at least two guaranteed off days in a calendar year, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. That time now seems as archaic as using an abacus to figure out math problems.
There are outbreaks of protest here and there, but without a nationwide, organized effort, those protests are nothing more than nuisances that can easily be discarded in the minds of the corporate leaders. For example, take Tony Rohr and the stand he took against his employer, Pizza Hut.
Mr. Rohr worked for Pizza Hut for more than 10 years, working his way up from being a cook all the way to becoming general manager of the Jackson Boulevard Pizza Hut in Elkhart, Indiana. Upon being informed that opening on Thanksgiving was mandatory, Mr. Rohr decided to stand up for his employees and told his superiors he would not open his location on Thanksgiving Day.
With a mindset like that, I predict Mr. Rohr will likely land a job with a company like Chick-Fil-A or a similar run company. There are still a few out there that actually care about their employees and treat them as something more than a profit generator.
If you feel the need to go out shopping on Thanksgiving Day for any reason, please thank the people working for taking the time away from their family to be there so you can shop. Granted, there are jobs where there is no “off day” on holidays. Hospitals stay open, the police and fire departments still have to be ready to respond, and the airlines will fly as long as the weather allows safe flight. I’m not that old, and things must really be changing if I can have that feeling of innocence lost over the holiday period.
Will we have to get visited by three different ghosts in order to come to our senses that profits are not the be all to end all? I’ve grown accustomed to having to work 365 days of the year because of my line of work. That said, I don’t think the entire country needs to be a 365 day country. We need to return to the days where family time was accorded and appreciated by all. Life isn’t all about collecting the most money and finishing first. The greatest joy in life is enjoying the journey and the sights along the way, not getting to the final destination. As long as we continue to indulge the mindset that profits matter more than people, we will continue to cheat ourselves of the greatest joys of living.
- Macy’s Joining Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving Energizes Labor (bloomberg.com)
- Expansion of retail hours on Thanksgiving energizes organized labor (stltoday.com)
- Pizza Hut manager fired for refusing to open on Thanksgiving (foxnews.com)
- Manager Claims Pizza Hut Fired Him For Refusing To Open On Thanksgiving (cleveland.cbslocal.com)
- Is Thanksgiving day the new Black Friday? (reviews.cnet.com)