It used to be that Thanksgiving and Christmas were sacred to businesses. Nobody worked. No stores were open. Nothing. Just imagine that. Malls closed. Grocery stores empty. Streets blowing with snow or filled with people just out walking. Not buying anything. Just enjoying the day, being together or alone or whatever you wanted.
Now I know that some places are always open. Hospitals. Emergency rooms. Fire stations. Police. Sheriffs.
I'm talking about retail. About people being so incredibly insane that they just have to go buy something on those days. So what happened? Once upon a time . . . one store owner, for whatever reason, decides that he wants to keep his store open on Thanksgiving. Perhaps his family is out of town, or he's recently divorced, or orphaned or just fucking crazy. We'll never know. But he stays open. And some other person notices. And buys something from him. Food? Clothes? Medicine? It didn't matter. It started a chain reaction. Because Owner B noticed that Owner A was open and making money on a day when everyone else in town was closed. So guess what? Owner B decides that his store must stay open that day also. Then Owner C and owner D and so on and so on and so on. Until every fucking store is open. At first, just for a few hours. So the Owners can feel good that they are letting their people go home to spend, well, a few hours with their families on this *special* day. Then, of course, it starts again. Owner A stays open later, to catch those still mentally challenged people that haven't bought that one thing they must have. So owner B matches his hours. Or, perhaps, does him one better.
The upshot of this is? There are no such things as holidays. Because people have been trained that there will always be someone there to wait on them whenever the mood strikes them to buy that tub of sour cream or can of green beans or fill up their car's gas tank. And you know? They could have done that the day before. Or it could wait until the day after.
When I ran the gas station and people would come in on Thanksgiving or Christmas and look at me, behind the counter . . . they invariably said
"Wow. You have to work on *insert holiday here*? That sucks."
and I would answer . . .
"I'm here, because you are here. If you stayed home? I would not have to be here."
I'm not customer bashing. Don't get me wrong. I've worked retail my entire life. I love customers. Customers are who keep my kids fed, my car paid for, my house warm in the winter. But shouldn't there be a day or two once a freakin' year where everyone gets to stay home. Shouldn't there be just one day when you don't need to go out and spend money on something you don't need?
This year our departments are staying open until 5 pm on Thanksgiving. It will be busy. It will be insane. All day long. And all because Owner A wants your five dollars. The five dollars you could've waited til the next day to spend. Or you could have spent the day before.
No religious offence meant here. Remember, this is all coming from the girl most destined for Hell's seventh circle.