I mean it, I really do. Its the time when I can go and see all my busy, old, far away relatives and catch up with their lives. I can get some fond memories of them while they are still around, and enjoy some seasonal food while it is fresh, and nostalgic.
Wait, I work in retail.
The retail store I work at is only closed 2 days a year, Christmas and Thanksgiving. It closes then so that its employees can go get some time with their families. But that rings just a little hollow when because of the days immediately after each one. I cannot go see my old, or far away relatives. I mean, its not like my grandparents are old or anything, I mean they're supposed to live forever right? Its not like people in their eighties are just dying off. Its not like people who are old and or fraile have a higher mortality rate in the winter because of the cold or anything.
But at least I can go see my parents this year, and go get some good food and entertainment before I work through 12 hours of angry guests. Wait, some of them are headed out to see the family thats far away, so I guess I can only see one small chunk of my family this year...
Wait, every major retail chain this year has announced that they will be opening their doors at 8 pm Thanksgiving night. So, it looks like I now get to run a shift from late Thanksgiving to early Black Friday.
So, in order to survive this shift, I will need to sleep while the family who is close enough to me for me to visit them is eating.
So my thanksgiving this year:
- Cannot see my aging grandparents who are too far away.
- Cannot see my sisters or their families, who are living close to the above.
- My dad is almost assuredly going out to see every one above, which leaves me out again.
- I have to sleep through the meal my mom is making this year, so I can:
- Say up over night and deal with customers who will be upset because we ran out of deal x
- or want us to honor coupon y, even though it doesn’t apply to what they want.
- or who are mad at me personally, that I made them get up and shop at the ridiculous hour of 11:45 PM on Thanksgiving evening.
Its true, I do. I can also chose to tell my boss “I quit” go and become a hobo. Its not like I need my pay to make ends meet. Or to feed myself or my wife. or for rent so I can stay warm and dry through the winter season.
Or I can work when I’m told too.
The simple fact is:
Companies know that they can open the doors whenever with an amazing sale to get more customers.
Customers know that Companies are going to put out the best sales on Black Weekend.
This vicious cycle of malignant consumerism has pushed my thanksgiving from a holiday where I get to see my family like my employer's “intended” by not being open that day. To a holiday where I have to not see anyone I really care about because I have to sleep through it. So I can work .
Some might ask, What about Labor Day? Well obviously leading question aside, it’s Monday. Really, its the day I go to work and do labor. I know it was intended to be a day where laborers get the day off, but I have somehow always been doing labor on labor day. Weird huh?
Now, before this grows much longer, Here’s the point.
Don’t feel sad about missing me. When you're passing the rolls around the table, eat one for me. I miss my family so much, but there’s really nothing I can do to see them right now. I know that they are missing me, and I am always welcome. But I need to keep working to survive, so its off to work I go. Until the vicious circle ends however, this is the way it will be.