Respect Workers For The Holidays

So, this week is Thanksgiving. Once upon a time, Black Friday began on Friday, the morning after Thanksgiving. In recent years, more and more stores have been starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day. Even that first started in the evening, then moved earlier and earlier. At this point it may be all day Thanksgiving, taking away any chance for employees to spend with their families on that day.

I’ll be clear. I have spent my life in service industries of one kind or another. Years ago I was a chef in restaurants. Every restaurant I ever worked in was open on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I accepted it and went along with it. People have to eat, many have to or choose to eat out for the holidays. Later I was in the Army and was frequently not in the position where I had a holiday. Then I became a nurse, which is a 24/7 occupation. In my 25 years of nursing, I worked in positions where I had holidays maybe 2 of those years and had a couple of years I was not employed for one or both holidays. (I opted to suspend the job search until January for obvious reasons.)

Retail is not service. People do not have to shop for televisions, clothes and cheap plastic shit on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

What is happening here is that corporations are forcing people to leave their families on Thanksgiving and Christmas for the sake of corporate profits. In the majority of cases, these employees have no choice. They are threatened with personnel action up to and including termination from their low wage jobs if they do not work on these holidays.

If you surrender to the call of capitalist obsession and start shopping on Thanksgiving, you have become an active part of this process. You are rewarding the corporate oppression of employees while reveling in the subservience of low wage, unprivileged workers. You have personally become the problem.

I really do not care what kind of apathetic, arrogant, narcissistic, sadistic excuses may be offered by disgusting people attempting to justify their materialistic greed. I have heard every single contrived statement you can make by other cloned, indoctrinated, Xerox copied, stereotyped, sociopathic slugs that crawled out from under their rocks to spew their disease. You don’t need to say anything because you are nothing original. Just another asshole.

Your shopping can wait just a few hours to make Thanksgiving and/or Christmas less profitable for these employers. Just enough to make it more expensive to open their doors than to let their employees have two specific days of the year off to spend with families.

For the rest of you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

I’m going to start off with a list of things I am thankful for. None of this indicates a religious leaning, just an appreciation for what I have. I’ve been through times in my life that were far less secure than this moment.

I am thankful for my wonderful daughter. She is intelligent, beautiful, talented, well behaved and has a huge heart. I am thankful she is healthy and appears to be happy. She has a sense of humor which is sometimes dark and sometimes silly but smiles a lot, which is rare for a teenager.

I am thankful for my girlfriend, who is also intelligent, beautiful, sexy, talented in many ways, has a huge heart and a strong spirit. She is the first and only woman I have ever felt I can truly be myself with. I feel like I have waited my entire life for her and it was well worth the wait. I know what else is out there and what she is worth, so I’ll never take her for granted.

I am thankful for my health. I’m not doing badly at all for my age of 56 years. I still run circles often around people much younger than myself. My blood pressure is good without medication. I do have some minor health issues I will not go into but compared to many with the same condition, which I had my whole life before learning of it a few short years ago. So I am thankful for my own condition.

I am thankful for being employed and know my position is far more secure than most jobs these days. It may have ups and downs but that’s no different from other jobs.

I am thankful for a car, roof over my head, heat, water and food in my house. I am as safe from harm as I can expect to be.

That list can go on and on. I realize I have things better than many. I empathize for the sick, the homeless, the abused, the oppressed, those living in war zones, the lonely, depressed…

I find it ironic and ridiculous that so many Americans take what they have for granted. Thanksgiving is no longer about being thankful. It is a sign of excess.

Too many people will spend today eating large amounts of food, having time off from their jobs to spend with their families. Then they will go shopping either today or on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Claiming to be thankful for what they have but having an emotional need for more, more, more. Victims of marketing and the American ideal to never be happy with what you have, you must have more.

These people will blind themselves to the fact that so many other Americans, their own neighbors, will be forced to work for the alleged “holiday”. In the last few days I have seen ads for places that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. McDonald’s open 24 hours. Hardee’s, Burger King. And Dollar Tree. Is Dollar Tree having a sale on Thanksgiving? Will they have specials which charge customers less than $1? Will McDonald’s be serving turkey dinners?

Is it really so worth it to keep businesses open on a day which was once reserved for family gatherings? To sell cheap burgers and plastic crap? To keep parents from their children?

I work in a field where I work most Thanksgivings. The medical field. If I have to work, there is a reason. I have no qualms with it and everyone that has ever been in my life has had to accept this for decades. They understand my presence is needed and this is who I am. Though I am not selling cheap shit for the profit of some CEO or shareholders who care about nothing but money, stock dividends, share prices. Give no thought to what this does to this country over time.

I tend to urge people to not shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday if they can avoid it. If you must, then just the basics or necessities. It is we, the consumers, who cause and perpetuate this system which victimizes and deprives our own neighbors.

If you have today off, when you drive past these open businesses, keep driving. Maybe next year your neighbors and even family members will have Thanksgiving off as well. Maybe it is only tradition but tradition does count for something. It counts for far more than corporate profits.