Got paged early in the morning for a problem at work. I logged in to clear things up and while waiting for a job to finish, I figured I would check FaceBook. Surprise, surprise, Kohl’s had posted about their three day sale. They were opening up on New Years Day. Yeah, some surprise given that stores seem to open every day now except for Christmas and Kmart tried to do that a few years back. Well, I just had to respond and I wrote on Kohl’s page that they should be closed and allow families to be together. Boy, did that ignite a firestorm. There were many comments, some as sedate as “No one is forcing those employees to work at Kohls. I’ll bet they’re glad to have a job” and “Edward, you need to act a little bit more adult. In retail, nobody is FORCED to work unless they are management. Usually when management is forced to work, it is because their employees ELECTED NOT to work.” and “Seriously people, if retail stores didn’t stay open then they wouldn’t be able to pay thier employees. If they didn’t pay thier employees, then the employees would be out of a job. Therefore bringing the economy back down… Happy New Year to you all too… wow”.
Then there were the more serious ones “If you don’t like corporate greed, then you don’t like capitalism, and then you must hate “FREE” Enterprise. If that’s the case then you fit right in with Obama’s Socialist agenda. Stalin and Lenin are smiling somewhere right now.” and the personal attack, “Get a clue Edward White. How old are you, 12? Do you know how many stores — even NON-CORPORATE ONES that are open on New Years’ Eve. To make you look even more foolish, you’re a “fan” of a corporate retailer. Yeah, you’re starting off the year looking like a fool.”
Okay, the last two are some serious points. If you don’t like stores being open on holidays then you are a commie pinko and twelve year old. Hmmm. Let’s look first at the holidays. There are seven National Holidays, President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. I know New Years is the beginning of the order, but we usually clump it with Christmas because they are within a week. Out of these seven, the only one we don’t open stores on is Christmas. Though I remember a big stink a number of years back when Kmart announced they were going to open Christmas day. They quickly backed down from that.
Seven days out of 365. Of course, if you live in Massachusetts and work for the government then you get Patriots Day too, though no one else does. Interesting how government employees get all the holidays off while many of the rest of us have to work. Our taxes paying their salary so they can get the day off. But that is another issue.
Okay, so now we know the holidays and I would like to respond to some of the points raised by the people who responded to my original post.
First off, the huge jump to me being a socialist or communist because I think that we ALL should have National Holidays off. What kind of sense does that make? How am I anti-capitalism for simply stating that a holiday is a holiday and should be a day off for all people. Okay, unfortunately, health care, fire and police, aka emergency services would have to be staffed, but why, oh why, do retail stores have to be open? The idea that if they aren’t they can’t pay their employees, they economy will suffer, etc, is pure garbage. Many stores did just fine back in the days of “blue laws” and the economy was robust. Stores were closed not only on holidays but also on Sundays. Families could get together on holidays and celebrate together. If taking seven days off a year and just closing everything down is going to bring down the economy, then we are in more dire trouble than has ever been reported. It would also stand as proof that capitalism doesn’t work.
Now, let’s look at the remark that people aren’t forced to work. I beg to differ. Many know that it is implied that if you do not work, then your hours will get cut, or they will find a reason to let you go. Granted some do work, because they need the money and put aside family in order to get money to survive. The thing is, why do they have to be there in the first place. Well, like this person said, “alot of us prefer to shop new year’s day rather than sit and watch football all day. my daughters and i usually go shopping while the guys watch the games. guess you could call it family tradition lol.” So basically, people are bored and have nothing better to do, so rather than get together with family and friends they want to go shopping. So they demand the stores be open, so stores push to be open and then compel their workers to come in.
So all those people who did get the day off, decide that they want to spend it shopping so that others can’t have the day off. The real question is why? Why do we feel the need to go shopping all the time? This year, New Years fell on a Friday and many of the people who responded to my remarks said something akin to what this last quote said. Many of them were going shopping because they had nothing better to do. I had asked, tomorrow is Saturday, you can’t wait one day? Nope, sales are on, got to go! Have we bought so deeply into the material world that we are now subjugated by it and are compelled to shop every single day? I would like all those people who felt they just had to shop, to stop when you are in that check-out line and look that person in the face. That is another human being that YOU are forcing to work because you are addicted to material goods and can’t go one day without shopping.
So have we become more like India with a class system with those who work retail as the lowest class? All these other people get the day off and because they are bored, they force all the people who work retail to leave their families, some of whom would have liked to spend time with their families.
Seven days folks. Seven days out of 365. Are you really that addicted to shopping? You can’t take seven days off so that people in retail can actually spend the holidays with their families? As to the person above who said that they didn’t want to sit and watch a football game so all the women go shopping, hey, you tell me you don’t have any imagination to think of anything else to do? How about playing a game? Playing cards? Doing arts and crafts? Gardening in the summer? Volunteering somewhere so that someone who does want to be with their family can.
As far as me being a commie socialist pinko, well if that equates to me putting my family before a corporate entity, then yup, guilty as charged. If stores are going to go under because of being closed for these seven days, then maybe those corporate execs could kick in some of their big paychecks and bonuses to save the economy. When we are reading of corporate handouts in order to save the companies and at the same time they continue to pay out their big bonuses, because hey, they were contracted to do so, I think closing retail stores for seven days a year is not the problem with the economy.
I make a motion that a law be passed that returns holidays to the people. Close all retail outlets on National holidays, those seven days. If that cannot be done, then do away with holidays all together and make all those people who had the day off and chose to force others to work, have to go in to work too. Maybe if we did that, and people started losing their holidays, it would mean more to them.
Just had to get that off my chest.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.