With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there’s a surge of online outrage at the Walmart corporation: apparently the benevolent overlords at Walmart have deigned to allow the creation of a special holiday food drive to encourage their cruelly-exploited, poverty-level employees to cough up a few extra bucks to donate food items so that some of Walmart’s OTHER cruelly-exploited, poverty-level employees will actually get a decent holiday meal. And no, I’m not kidding. Walmart management can’t understand why anyone would take offense at the gesture— another example of someone wealthy attempting to do something charitable but using other people’s money to do it. Like when a celebrity offers a “special concert” or “collectible gift item” to benefit some cause, “selflessly” offering to divert some portion of the money spent by their fans… yet NEVER considers supporting that cause by writing a personal check drafted from their own bank account. And YES: there is a difference.
Asking one’s starving employees to feed one’s OTHER starving employees out of their own pockets is seriously ironic when it happens in a company owned by one of the richest families in the world, who literally dwell in a partly-underground hundred-million-dollar multiple-mansion complex in Arkansas, hardened and shielded to resist a direct nuclear strike (again: not kidding).
Additional Thanksgiving outrage boiling over since several big box retail stores initiated a policy demanding their employees work on Thanksgiving, since Black Friday is being co-opted into Turkey Thursday to form the mega shopping holiday “BlaFriTurkThurs.” Granted, some of the complaints are just whining. I mean, EVERYBODY wants everyone else to have the holidays off… UNTIL they need to buy something on a holiday, that is. Then it’s bitch, bitch, bitch about inconvenient store hours.
I have no real objections to businesses requiring employees to work holidays, so long as the employee gets double-time-and-a-half for doing so. That should be expected. If you don’t like crass commercialism, just don’t shop on Thanksgiving or the day after. If everybody does that, the Black Friday nonsense will fade back down to a less obnoxious level. But if people are upset because other people have to work at stores on Thanksgiving and the day after, yet aren’t willing to refrain from shopping on those days to relieve the demand on stores so they can run with skeleton crews and send everyone else home— then maybe those upset people need to realize that they themselves are part of the problem.
Each year the holiday shopping season creeps in a bit earlier, until now it’s bumping up against Halloween (and even before). Because retail corporations want holiday shopping profits extended as long as possible; and think by getting to it sooner they’ll grab a bigger portion of that action.
If you don’t like it (I certainly don’t) then don’t support it. Don’t watch holiday shows until after Thanksgiving, don’t listen to radio stations playing holiday music until December. And don’t ruin your Thanksgiving just so the retailers can get their mitts into your wallet. If enough people did that, they’d stop pulling that crap. Because instead of making the retailers money, it would COST them money. There’s nothing worse to a retailer than staging a sale where nobody shows up.
The great irony of course is that by making the holidays less special (with everyone still at work and keeping everything open), you make them no different than any other day of the year. And people stop caring about them, and stop paying as much to celebrate them.
But keep it up, stupid corporations. You’ll find out.