The cries are all over social media. Everyone lamenting the plight of the put-upon retail employees being robbed of their time with their families. Consumerism run rampant. And indeed, it reeks of greed and conspicuous consumption without care for ones fellow man. It is bad enough that so many abandon their families to camp out for that deal at 12:01 on Friday morning, but shouldn’t the employees have chance to take their time in thanks for all they have before being shuffled away to facilitate their greed?
Black Friday has long been an ugly spectacle. Why then should we allow the injustice of its growing incursion on Thanksgiving Day?
Why should we be even be surprised? Retailers don’t even wait for Halloween’s ghouls to be pulled from the shelves anymore before launching into their Christmas campaigns. What profit is there in reminding people to be thankful for what they have? Let’s start the countdown to when the magnitude of your love is measured in trinkets that you might just be able to procure on sale!
The retailer is not the problem here. It’s the consumer. The market is only responding to market forces. The retailer need only be available to receive them.
Are you sickened by the commercialization and consumerism? Don’t play the game. If there were no profit in it, the retailers wouldn’t do it. It’s not a moral play by the retailer, it’s a cold hard economic one. Don’t be disgusted by them, be disgusted by your fellow man that has enabled it. Your fellow man that makes it profitable.
You know what, back when it was an option, I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I was a waitress and our tables were always full. You had to make your reservations a month in advance if you hoped to get a table without waiting more than an hour. I worked those days because I’m a greedy capitalist and knew that I would make serious money off the tips. Maybe I should call the restaurant up this year and see if they need an extra hand…
If the plight of the employees truly moves you, do something for them. Take them a plate so they don’t miss out on the meal. Make them cookies or pie. At the very least, be kind. Tell them ‘thank you.’ They don’t hear it much particularly this time of the year.
And while you are preparing those meals for the put-upon cashiers and bag boys, think about the emergency personnel that have to work the holiday too. Police, ambulance, and fire departments are still there to respond while you are enjoying the game. Or those families with an empty chair because their loved one is deployed, their prayers being that next Thanksgiving they can be thankful for a safe return.
The world keeps spinning no matter what the date on the calendar. Don’t be swept up, and don’t let it pass you by.