November 25, 2012

A Pox On Thanksgiving Day MADNESS!

A pox on the move by retailers to push Black Friday into the waning hours of Thanksgiving Day.  A pox, I say!  I was comatose for 2 days. Completely wiped out.  If I'd spent another day in bed, I'd probably have bed sores.  Lost all track of time.  Today is Sunday?  What happened to Friday and Saturday?

You know that I am a Walmart employee so this post can be deemed the height of madness. Yep, I enjoy the benefits of working for the world's largest employer but that doesn't mean that I can't call a spade a spade.  And while my heart is with the striking workers, I punched in like a dutiful soldier. Hypocritical, you say?  Damn skippy!  I need the health care.

In reading the various blogs and public responses to the called-for work stoppage, the public appears to be focused on one issue:  Workers had to give up their Thanksgiving. "Get another job." "Nobody makes you work for Walmart." The move for a strike against Walmart has been building for years. It's a convoluted tale but the move of "Blitz," "The Big Event," or whatever it was called this year,  to Thursday evening was just the tip of the iceberg; the proverbial straw, if you will.  Hit them where it will hurt--on their busiest sales day.  Low wages; favoritism; scheduling concerns; safety issues; retaliation against workers; and other employment issues all are factors thrown into the brew.  Not the fact that a portion (or all) of the day had to be spent at work.

Walmart will say that the move was just giving the public what they want.  From the looks of my store on Thursday evening, every nook and cranny was jam-packed, they were right.  But several questions come to mind:
  •  What happened to those vaunted family values?  You know, the ones about spending quality time with family?  There were plenty of children in Walmart, that evening, even babies in carriers, so these are the memories of family that they will carry into adulthood?
  • Recession?  People are poor?  No money for discretionary spending?  R E A L LY?  You couldn't tell it on Thursday evening. 
  • What happened to the value of the family as listed in Walmart's creed?  Guess it doesn't matter when it comes to increasing the bottom line. 
  • What about federal labor laws?  Always a way around them. Schedule them to work until midnight and then schedule them to return at 5 a.m. Two separate days.  Doesn't matter that they don't have time to get home, rest, and return fully-charged.
In the years that I have worked for Walmart, the company has steadily pushed back Black Friday hours  from 5 a.m., to 12 midnight, to 10 p.m., and now we're at 8 p.m., on Thursday night.  A roaring success, financially.  The Walton family will increase their billions; Michael Duke will enjoy a significant bonus to add to his 16-million-salary.  The workers' won't see a dime of the additional revenue.

70% of the deals were for sale online...but then the excitement of standing in line, pushing and shoving, would not have been there.  How many of those people bailed out of the voting lines because it was too long? I saw folks hanging around from the time I got there until I left at 4:45 a.m.  Priorities?

Before we cavalierly dismiss the workers' issues, let's give them a fair review. And consider this:

Or This:

A POX on Thanksgiving Day Madness, I say!  Be Safe.  Be Blessed.

No comments: