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Only in America do we sit around the table on Thursday in recognition of all the things we are thankful for only to mob a Walmart that very same night to spend hundreds of dollars on new things.
I heard that last week and thought it warranted repeating. Just food for thought in case your stomach could take anything else after the long weekend.
I’m guilty of the same thing. I don’t make enough money writing these columns to not find the best bargains out there. But shouldn’t Black Friday actually be on Friday?
Last year was the first Black Friday experience for me and I was confused when my girlfriend (her name is Holly, by the way) told me we would be going at midnight Thursday. That is technically Friday, I guess. But this year when I was told when we were going (pick up on a pattern of who tells whom?) – 8 p.m. Thursday – I was even more perplexed. Black Friday is more like impatient Thursday.
Year by year we lose a little more family time for a little more shopping. Why can’t it wait?
A little patience sure would benefit those Walmart employees who have to leave their families to go to work. Even worse, it’s hard for them to shop while they are running the checkout register. I know, it’s their job, right? If they don’t like it then they should just get another one (I’ve actually heard someone make this argument). Yeah, just quit and go get another job. Why don’t they stop complaining about working the holidays and just do that. Why haven’t they thought of it? So simple.
Writing sarcastically isn’t the best idea I’ve been told, but sometimes I just can’t help it. I hope I laid it on thick enough as to avoid any confusion. In case I wasn’t clear: just quitting and finding another job isn’t so easy.
That made me look a little more into labor. Did you know that the United States is the only industrialized nation that doesn’t have mandated paid vacation time? Some countries in Europe mandate up to 20 days of paid vacation every year – including the UK. It is mandatory that a company offer them. We also don’t have mandatory paid holidays here – not a single one. No, not even Christmas. And certainly not Thanksgiving. Other countries offer between four and 13.
Just something else to think about next Black Friday when Walmart tells us when to go shopping and their employees work through miserably busy nights away from home and their families.
Just some food for thought.
-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He has won TPA awards for writing and photography. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29