Complaining About Working on Thanksgiving Is for Whiners


Black fridayHave 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 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

economy, protests, corporations


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Total... Totallysmitten

I have worked at a restaurant on Thanksgiving. Some of the customers have no other family, and would have been devastated if we would have been closed.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Companies typically offer time and a half or double time on holidays, some even offer triple time like fancier restaurants (there was one offering almost $100 an hour plus tips on Xmas day when I was in college) and other businesses. I'd be happy to work a waitressing shift on Xmas day for $1000 easy money. It's hard work but if you are willing to do it you can rake in the dough.

fraoch fraoch

My Dad work at a county jail and mum at an ER. We don't do Thanksgiving the way the rest of the US's called adaption. It's not hard. People whining about working on Thanksgiving are beyond selfish. Quit. Let someone who needs a job have the job you don't appreciate.

Kritika Kritika

I'm sorry I have to disagree with this article.

You can have one night off to spend time with your family for the holidays and still be thankful for your job. No one NEEDS to buy cashmere sweaters at 2am (and quite frankly I think the entire custom is embarassing). I think it's tough times such as now when we should cherish our families and what really matters in life the most because those holiday/temp jobs come and go quickly. 

And to answer your question, yes, I managed an A&F store during Christmas 08 with the flu. I worked all day and folded clothes all night. It was awful and I got no reward or ribbon at the end of it and in fact was paid only half time past 40 hours. Thank God I'm no longer in retail.

On the flipside, police officers, ER staff, etc. all I know what they're getting into the minute they sign up for the job. I feel bad for them but that comes with the territory.

honky... honkytonk_kid

The first year we were married my husband worked Thanksgiving and the day after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day, both our birthdays... you get the picture. Now I'm an RN and am guaranteed to work at LEAST half of all holidays in a given year. This year it's my baby's first Christmas, and I'll be working. I'm not saying it's not hard/rotten/annoying/whatever. But, at some point, a job is a job, and a holiday is just a day. You can celebrate any day.

Lulu_B Lulu_B

Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and be unhappy about having to work on Thanksgiving, and you're not going to make me feel bad about it. And, no I don't get time and a half or any other special anything. I hate missing time with my family--it's rare that we can all get together. It doesn't mean that I'm ungrateful for my job, but thanks for judging.

Bryan Levandowski

I see your point, in light of the current economic crisis and all, but you can't use the "beggars can't be choosers" logic here because no one here--in America--should beg for a job. Being able to work, live and pursue happiness defines the American Dream--these things shouldn't be compromised and later counted as blessings or luck. Unfortunately, an enemy of the American Dream, known as Capitalism, has caused things to go awry, and there's been a major shift in priorities. Instead of working for "the common good" we're working for cold, hard cash and that breeds greed and steps on family time, happiness and fulfillment, replacing the American Dream with a real life game of Monopoly. I just hope it's not too late to fix.

Lulu_B Lulu_B

**Let me sound a little less grumpy--my family is literally scattered around the world, and holidays are pretty much the only time we get to all be together. It's not like we can just call each other up and get dinner on a random night. THAT's why I'm so unhappy about working holidays. Also, I was not informed that I would be working holidays when I got this job.

Lucre... LucretiaMcEvil

I have worked holidays at a fast food restaurant. It's hard for me to feel like I'm doing anyone any good working somewhere like that on Thanksgiving.

Just because someone else doesn't have anything better to do on Thanksgiving, doesn't mean that I don't either.

I do think it's great that we have public servants, doctors and nurses available everyday.

But, it was already hard enough to feel good about myself when I served fast food, and working holidays made me feel even worse.

Some places just need to close on Thanksgiving.

mom2m... mom2monsterboys

My husband works every holiday except Thanksgiving. He always has and always will. If they started to make Thanksgiving a mandatory work day we would be really upset. Just because he'd like to have some quality time with myself, our boys, and our extended family in no way means he's ungrateful to have a job. So I cherish this one day where we can spend the day as a family and I don't have to cart my kids around by myself like I'm a single mom. Oh and fyi, his oh so wonderful time and a half you speak of? It just gets ate up by taxes because we are in a high tax bracket. So time and a hlf with holiday pay is a non-factor for us. Ughh why are people on this website always so judgmental? Its really not a good look.

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