Suddenly there is outrage at the fact that Walmart and a bunch of other stores are planning on opening on Thursday in order to further their “Black Friday” sales. The outrage is over the fact that the employees of these companies are being “forced” to work on what should be a holiday and a time for people to spend with their families.
Putting aside the fact that some people might want to work overtime and may not have/want to see their family, or celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to mention the hypocrisy of this outrage.
Last Thanksgiving we went to see a movie after the meal. Prior to the movie we stopped at a grocery store for a snack and then a Starbucks for a coffee. Every year people go out to their local bars after the requisite “family time” is over. Some people go out to restaurants to eat because they can’t be bothered to/are unable to cook. This means that the majority of movie theaters, supermarkets, bars, and restaurants are all open on Thanksgiving. They have been open on Thanksgiving for years. I am not talking about essential jobs like hospital workers, police, firefighters, etc. These men and women all have to work too, but their jobs are more vital to society. Or even pilots, train drivers, taxis, etc. It is not vital that we be able to travel on Thanksgiving (which is what I am used to, in England there were no trains running on Christmas day).
How is it vital to society that movie theaters, Starbucks, and bars be open on Thanksgiving? We can go without these things for one day.
What I can’t understand here is why we are suddenly getting so upset over a few more stores being open on Thanksgiving when we’ve been utilizing the services of plenty of other nonessential establishments for years now. What is the difference? Is it just that we have grown used to having these “necessities” available so we think that it’s okay to make those employees work on Thanksgiving? Are we so insincere that because we don’t care about those particular stores we get outraged that they are open on Thanksgiving, while ignoring the intense hypocrisy surrounding the fact that we then go out to our local Starbucks to grab a coffee before picking up supplies at our local supermarket and spending the evening at a bar?