Last year I posted the following after seeing everyone complain about people being forced to work holidays. Luckily this year I haven’t seen it as much. I decided, however, to go ahead and repost it. The points are still valid but I’ve come to realize that if people have an excuse to complain they will. I have a saying that applies to myself; but maybe it applies to people in general? “If I’m not bitching I’m dead”.
While I realize that many feel the holidays are under attack I don’t believe everything should be automatically attributed to that. Here are a few things to keep in mind about the particular argument of working on Thanksgiving.
1. Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Yes, it’s true. For some it’s a cultural reason for others they just don’t. Some don’t like it and others find it too depressing. For whatever their reasons you should be respectful of that.
2. Jobs matter. There are a lot of people who are out of work and those who are lucky enough to have a job don’t want to risk losing it. I’ve always thought if you were going to be open during a family holiday it should be volunteer only. There are a lot of people who need or want that extra income; no matter what the economy is like.
3. If it reduced even one suicide it’s worth it. The holiday season has the most suicides than any other time of the year. I know here on military bases we tend to invite people over who might not have family near by, who’s family member is deployed, ect. Sometimes we’re thousands of miles from our loved ones, or no longer have loved ones. If someone is at work, with others, definitely not alone, that’d just make it worse, then they’ll feel just a little less alone and just a little less likely to commit suicide.
4. Demand. Yes, while there is a segment that insists that it’s family time and that stores should just give paid holidays, instead there is a demand for Thanksgiving shopping. Have you seen last years Black Friday? Or the year before? Riots! Seriously, people, I want deals too but there’s is never a reason to riot over Nike’s! There is a desire to shop on Thanksgiving; if there wasn’t the stores wouldn’t be open. It is not cost effective to have stores open, paying salaries, electricity, ect. and have no one shopping. Trust me stores didn’t decide this on a whim. And those that are ‘closed’ on Thanksgiving will be opened as soon as possible afterwards; some even open at midnight, technically it’s no longer Thanksgiving.
5. Escaping family! Not everyone wants to be around their family! Family time is all great but only if you like, or tolerate, your family. Some people abhor their family and spending time with them. Lets allow them a legit excuse to ditch the yearly trip to the emergency room shall we?
6. Not everyone gets a day off. This one always makes military service members angry. They see people demanding holidays off and wish they got that. Not everyone gets a day off. Not everyone sees it as a right. Military, doctors, police, fire department, NFL, news people; yeah, they all gotta work. Perhaps we should allow them the day off too? Lets see how well that works when no police show up for a robbery, or the hospitals are closed. I’m sure Great Uncle Joe didn’t really need 24 hour care. Be a little sensitive to the people who don’t have a choice about working holidays. My husband chose to be in the military and as a result has missed more Thanksgivings, Christmases, birthdays, ect than your little civilian heart can imagine. If you’re in a customer service profession that means you chose to serve the customer. THAT means that if the customer wants to maul each other over tv’s then it’s your job to let them; even if it’s on Thanksgiving.
7. Some people view shopping as family time. You have no idea how many people I know who think; Spending Quality Time = Shopping. To them shopping in mad long lines, excitedly going from one store to the next, and getting insane deals is a high and the only thing that makes it better is sharing it with family.
There will always, always, be someone who has to work on a holiday. Pull up your big kid panties and deal with it. If you can’t stand working on a holiday find a different company to work for or a different career. Yes, holidays are under attack in the US, but not everyone is attacking you. Yes, it’d be nice to get the day off but please remember next year that not everyone gets to take it off and not everyone wants it off.