Yes, We’re Open For The Holidays

This holiday season is going to be awesome…so many stores are open! But what about that person behind the counter? Do they want to be there or do they have to be there?

Walmart, Starbucks, Kmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Target, JCPenny, ToysRUs, Sports Authority, Best Buy, GAP, RadioShack, Sears, and Staples. All remain open this Thanksgiving holiday drawing attention to some interesting questions.

Though having these businesses open seems all good for the shoppers who believe they are getting “deals”. Could being open on holidays be allowing for the slow erosion of workers rights in the social consciousness?

joe-lightsWhat could we expect next?

  • 7 day work weeks – why do you need weekends…you can’t afford to go anywhere.
  • 16 hour work days – you only need 8 hours of sleep anyway.
  • Child labor – Children need to learn strong work ethics to pull their fair share instead of spending time “developing” their minds.
  • Buying your own uniform (Business owners can’t be expected to pay for the image they require AND your salary – get real!)

Is the time when we are supposed to be coming together being subverted by peddlers who mark up the worthless distractions into the “gotta-have’s”. Are these distractions serving to further drive us apart?

Klingon-eatingMuch anxiety has been heaped on the holidays due to the dysfunction our families face.

Irritating relatives with strange habits that serve bad food along with judgmental attitudes. Include the effects of alcohol to the equation and it’s not hard to see why pushing through a crowd of strangers in a mall is preferable.

But is it so bad that for a few hours we must grit our teeth to endure a little displeasure that in the end becomes tales of overcoming adversity that we later laugh about and share fondly? Perhaps too many mindless hours of absorbing this dread from film and television’s over-dramatization of these events causes them to seem worse than they are.

Maybe this holiday season we should try to stop being consumers for a while and just be humans on holiday. No gadgets or games just good times with those we care for most other than ourselves.

The alternative may be a future of indentured servitude for those who have never known any different.


1 thought on “Yes, We’re Open For The Holidays

  1. Having worked in retail, I can guarantee most of the employees are either working because their vacation request was denied or because they need the money. Nobody ever wants to work a holiday (well, except for a few rare cases), but employees aren’t really given a choice. As for 7 day work weeks, that’s really not all that uncommon in retail, but then, neither are 4 hour shifts and 8 hour work weeks. I doubt retail will ever have 16 hour workdays, because retail shops hate paying overtime. Many places even give their workers 7 1/2 hour work days so they can call it part time.

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john pavlovitz

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