This weekend is a big one for retailers – the holiday season officially kicks off, and the countdown to Christmas begins. As I look forward to my long weekend, I can’t help but think about the days I worked retail, and the people who still do.
I worked for Wal-Mart during my breaks from college – summer, winter, and spring break every year. When I worked there, not every store was a supercenter, and mine wasn’t – meaning the hours were 7am-11pm and we were closed on Thanksgiving.
Not anymore. That store is now a supercenter and will be open Thanksgiving day, and my sister works there now. Of course, that means she has to work on Thanksgiving Day… right when we normally have dinner. She’s going to miss Thanksgiving dinner with us for the first time since she’ll be at work.
We’re a family that truly enjoys Thanksgiving – everything from the parade to the food. It’s the one holiday that’s usually drama-free in our house, and I hate that my sister is going to miss being at home for the meal this year. She goes in at 5pm, and we’ll be bringing her dinner to her for her first break. We all hate it, but there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it.
As much as I hate it, I’m a realist. Nowadays, retailers are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving, with many even staying open the entire day. Me protesting and and trying to get other people to isn’t going to do a damn thing. The stores are going to do what they want, and honestly? People are going to go shop. It’s just how it is. I really believe there’s no stopping the trend, and that means people are going to have to work on a day that should be spent at home, with family.
So if you’re shopping on Thanksgiving? I really can’t blame you – the deals are pretty good. I’m not going to sit here and tell you not to go. But if you do? Please be kind, especially to the people working. Smile at the sales associates on the floor. Say hello. Wish every person working a Happy Thanksgiving and ask about the part of the holiday they did get.
And if you find yourself at the Wal-Mart in Stafford, Virginia, be kind to my sister.