Have you heard? The Christmas creep has inched its way back from the wee hours of Black Friday morn' to the night before. Yup, all over the country, people will be working on Thanksgiving. And they want us to feel sorry for them. Have they actually watched the news in the past three years?
To the 145,000+ people moaning on Change.org petitions that it's not fair to take the average joe away from his turkey and football, a word. According to last month's figures from the Department of Labor, 13.9 million Americans remained unemployed. Nearly half (42 percent) of whom had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer. I'm betting a good number of those folks would be pleased as punch to be punching a clock on Thanksgiving Day.
Go ahead and call me the Grinch. People love to support companies like Nordstrom that promise not to throw up their Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. But to borrow a phrase from former President Bill Clinton, "It's the economy, stupid."
Consumer spending represents some 70 percent of the economy. Encouraging people to spend on the holidays -- opening stores, pulling them in -- in turn boosts the economy. And what comes of a boosted economy? More jobs. Less unemployment.
And let's talk about the people who are working on the holiday. Many of them are getting time and a half for doing it -- a nice paycheck that will in turn boost their holiday spending, which ... say it with me now ... helps the economy.
That's not a guess. That's a fact. Because I know plenty of people who are stuck working on holidays: convenience store clerks who work the morning shift so folks can sneak in to grab that extra gallon of milk to make the mashed potatoes, nurses who are on hand in the ER when your husband's deep fried turkey adventures go topsy turvy, toll booth clerks who take your change as you venture over the river and through the woods to granny's house. Not to mention police, firemen, paramedics.
Some are forced into that position because someone has to answer domestic violence calls when your aunt decides to criticize your uncle while he's holding the carving knife. But there are plenty of folks out there who snag the Thanksgiving shift for the much needed cash boost right before the spend, spendiest season of the year.
You can call it cruel to make people work on Thanksgiving. I call those workers darn lucky to have a job to work at this holiday.
What do you think? Have you ever had to work on a holiday?
Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr