Tag Archives: family

Thanksgiving Boycott

What does Thanksgiving mean to you? To me, it’s a day to eat a lot of food. I have some good memories around Thanksgiving and some that aren’t awesome, but overall I look forward to the holiday. After all, the most important part of celebrating the holidays is getting to spend time with your family. I don’t know about everyone else, but I love my family. And it doesn’t hurt that the Crazy Lady cooks like no other. It’s easy to overeat when the food is that good.

Lately however, it seems like Thanksgiving is becoming less about spending time with your family and more about shopping. And I don’t get it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shopping – especially when there are great sales going on and even more so when books are involved. What I don’t like is missing out on spending time with my family because of shopping. This happened to me once, back when I was working retail. As far as I can remember, it was the first year that stores were opening before midnight on Thanksgiving. So I had to be there early, so early that I was unable to attend Thanksgiving dinner with my family.

It wasn’t like I had a choice either. Everyone had to be there. And why was that? Because of you. Yes, I’m calling out everyone that goes shopping on Black Friday and especially those that go shopping on Thanksgiving. It has gotten out of hand. Stay home and spend time with your family! It’s precious. The year I missed was one year that I didn’t get to spend with my Grandma. She’s gone now and I’ll never get that time back. And why? So that you could get a good deal on some fucking merchandise that probably was poor quality and unnecessary. Was it worth it?

Maybe before going shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, you should stop and think about what that means. First of all, you personally are missing out on time with your family. Secondly, you are forcing other people to work. The unlucky retail workers, the ones you barely see when you are shopping. They’re real people with real families and they are missing out on the holidays and everything that goes with them. They’re being forced to work at ungodly hours when they should be sleeping. So that you can get some crap at discount.

How do we stop this? More and more stores are opening their doors on Thanksgiving. This is because they know people will show up. The more people that venture out to get the deals, the more stores will open. And more employees are forced to miss out on time with their families. My advice? BOYCOTT!! The ONLY way that this madness will stop is if everyone stops shopping on Thanksgiving! If you don’t show up, the stores will end up losing money because they are paying workers to be there and not selling anything. So do me a favor, do all retail workers – past and present – a favor and boycott shopping on Thanksgiving. It’s the decent thing to do and the only way we can stop this trend. We need to take Thanksgiving back and remember that it is a time when we are supposed to be reflecting on what we are thankful for. I’m thankful for my family and I intend to spend the day with them eating way too much food and relaxing. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about. Well that, and a ritual sacrifice.


Working Retail on Black Friday: I Stay Home and So Should You!

It was three years ago. I was working a retail job and had been told I would be working on Black Friday. The store was going to be opening on Thanksgiving at 11pm. Since I was working as one of the admins, I had to get there even earlier to get the cash counted and out in the registers before the madness began. What did this mean for me? Certainly no Thanksgiving dinner with my family. That year, I ate a sandwich from Wawa as my Thanksgiving meal. Just like the pilgrims did.

When I showed up to work, there already was a line circling the building. I looked at these people wondering why they thought standing in line outside a store was more important than celebrating Thanksgiving with their families. I certainly would rather have been anywhere but there. But it was my job, so I ignored the dirty looks I was getting from people that must have assumed I was trying to cut the line and went into the store.

The atmosphere was of somber anticipation in the store. We all knew the next few hours were going to be crazy but no one wanted to be there. The big ‘deal’ that year was a 52” television being sold dirt-cheap and we only had a certain number available. Some employees were instructed to hand out tickets to those looking to score big on Black Friday with the television. Why was it being sold so cheaply? Because it was not a good quality television and made for a great way to bring in the crowds and yet people who didn’t make it to the line in time to get a ticket for the TV were PISSED. All that anticipation, and the poor-quality televisions were gone. That is the secret that stores won’t tell you. Most of the great deals are cheap products that will not last. You spent $5 on a waffle maker? Good for you, it will break the second time you use it. Was it really worth it? Think about how many people had to miss time with their families so you could get a good deal on a crappy product.

As I helped prepare the store for the craze of Black Friday, I felt my heart begin to pound the closer we got to the doors opening. There was a certain amount of excitement being involved in such an anticipated event. Although the excitement wore off very quickly once the mobs pushed their way into the store. It was a mad house. Working retail is almost always loud, but this was deafening. This did put a bit of a mute on the Christmas music that had been playing already for weeks, so silver lining?

Working on Black Friday was awful. I don’t know what was worse when it came to customers. There were those who were stereotypically rude, chatting on their cell phones and getting pissed off that I wasn’t moving fast enough or that I dared stop to check certain items for shrink. Sorry, that was my job. If we could trust customers to not steal, we wouldn’t have to do this. (Side note: I did receive awards during my time in retail for stopping shrink. Woo hoo). Then there were customers that weren’t rude, but instead they had the nerve to say things like, “Oh, they’re making you work on Black Friday? That sucks!” It took all my willpower to not respond with more than a smile and a shrug. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, No, you idiot, you are making me work on Black Friday. People like you that spend hours camping outside the store create the demand for Black Friday workers. YOU are ruining Thanksgiving. Jerk. Then there were a select few that worked at the same store as I did and they came in on Black Friday to torment us. Thanks guys.

Did I mention that I had to work a split shift? I had to come in on Thanksgiving and stay for an eight-hour shift, then go home for a few hours and come back in the afternoon. One of the most awesome things ever, I got home and passed out only to have to wake up again and drive back to the store and deal with the general public. I did fare better than some others. The year before, a guy died on his way home because he fell asleep at the wheel. He took a bunch of those energy shots to get him through his shift and then his body crashed, which caused him to get into a car accident and die. Happy Thanksgiving.

Although working on Black Friday was an awful experience for me, I consider myself lucky. I no longer work in retail and the whole Black Friday craze has gotten even worse since I left. There are some stores that are opening at 6am on Thanksgiving. What is wrong with people? The CEO and everyone else involved with this terrible decision should have to work in the stores on Black Friday so they can understand what they are asking people to do. They should miss celebrating the holiday with their families. Then there are stores that are opening for a few hours on Thanksgiving and then will close for a few hours before opening again on Black Friday. You may think this is more humane, but it isn’t. Most workers will not have a chance to go home in between and they are STILL missing out on Thanksgiving with their families.

To all those people that are looking forward to the great deals on Black Friday, maybe you should stop and think about what you are doing. By shopping on Black Friday at crazy hours that start on Thanksgiving, you are taking away the holiday from all the employees that are there. You are also missing out on at least part of Thanksgiving yourselves. Why has shopping taken over Thanksgiving? Before pointing the fingers at the companies that are opening on Thanksgiving and saying that they are the ones ruining it, keep in mind that without a customer base coming in they wouldn’t be opening their doors that early. The problem starts with the customers. Don’t shop on Black Friday. Stay home; enjoy the time with your family or the day off from work if you have it. Maybe if enough people boycott this madness, Black Friday can go back to being on Friday alone and people can refresh their memories about what the holidays are really about.

The Ruse

It was Thursday, June 19th, 2014. I was looking forward to seeing all my friends and celebrating The Boyfriend’s birthday but at the same time I wasn’t looking forward to spending any time walking around because of my injured knee. I knew this wasn’t something I could bail on though, so I got ready to go to the party.

It had been a frustrating morning, the dress that I wanted to wear didn’t fit right and I ended up wearing capris instead. Once I got to the train station I realized it was cooler out than I had initially thought and wished I had worn pants instead. Then I noticed that my nails were all chipped. I complained to The Boyfriend because I had just done them myself a few days beforehand. Grudgingly I got out of the car to head into work, a black cloud over my head.

At work I got a text from The Boyfriend. He told me that I should get my nails done on my lunch break to cheer myself up – his treat. I thought it was super sweet of him but declined his offer since I never get my nails done in the city and wouldn’t want to miss eating lunch. Upon reflecting on his generosity I thought could this be it? Is he planning on proposing? This being the day of his party I knew it wouldn’t be today. Maybe he has something planned over the weekend? I couldn’t pinpoint when he would do it, so I decided to indulge in gels – it was his treat after all. I still thought that paying $40 for a manicure was excessive; especially since a regular non-gel one is $14 at the place I wanted to go. But, I wanted my nails to look nice for two weeks (as is the promise with gel manicures) so I decided it was worth the indulgence. Luckily, I got off work early and called Uber for a ride to the place.

I got in the Uber car and my heart was pounding. Could it really be happening? Maybe I should tell the Uber guy? I decided against it, after all, I didn’t want to jinx anything and there have been plenty of times that I thought it was going to happen and it didn’t. So I keep my mouth shut. I get to the salon and sit down to be pampered. Maybe I should tell the manicurist. After all, I’m here because it might be happening soon. But again, I decide to keep my mouth shut. No point in getting all excited about something that could be happening in the next few days. Plus the woman I got only spoke snippets of English and I didn’t want to get into it. My mind was racing the whole time the manicurist was working. Still, I didn’t let my hopes get up too high.

When my nails are done I text The Boyfriend to pick me up. Once in the car, we head over to the vet to pick up Dib-Kitty who had to have his teeth cleaned. Poor kitty was not happy with us. On our way to pick him up The Boyfriend informs me that Dib-Kitty needs to stay in isolation for 24 hours to keep track of how he is recovering. So I suggest that we stop at the store to pick up a disposable litter box. The Boyfriend gives me a look, but stops anyway and I tell him he should pick up Gatorade as well. After all, it’s his birthday party and overindulgence in drinks is a very likely situation. I wanted him to have something to help with his likely hangover tomorrow morning.

We get home and The Boyfriend sets up Dib-Kitty’s isolation in my library while I get changed. I give Zim-Kitty his medication (that is supposed to make him less of a jerk but isn’t working as of yet) and prepare all the kitty food with Gir-Kitty meowing obnoxiously loud. I feed everyone and at this point my parents have arrived. I ask Crazy Lady to help me move the books on the floor of the library onto the shelves. After all – Dib-Kitty just had his teeth cleaned and a possible side effect of this is vomiting. I don’t want cat vomit on my books. Books are precious. So Crazy Lady and I work on putting the books on the shelves as quickly as possible. The Boyfriend shouts up the stairs to tell us that it is time to go. I hurriedly put the last few books on the shelf and hobble down the stairs.

We get to Murphy’s, our favorite bar, and settle in. I decide that I am up to the challenge of an open bar ($25 for four hours) and get started off the bat with vodka tonic. We order food and dig in as our friends continue to spill into the bar. At one point, The Boyfriend tells me that our friend lost his keys on the walk to the bar and he would have to go help look for them. At another point, I go sit near my friend (previously referred to as The Bride) and she tells me that her man stepped out for a minute. These two incidents are connected but I didn’t notice at the time.  

Then, with 2.5 vodka tonics in my system plus some pig wings, The Boyfriend stands in front of all our friends and asks for everyone’s attention. He starts off by thanking everyone for coming. I start clapping and yell “Yay, Happy Birthday!” Then he asks if everyone can go outside for a minute. Confused, I get up and follow everyone out. When I get outside, I see a keyboard set up and a chair near it. I’m told to sit in the chair because of my knee. At this point, I still don’t really know what is going on.

I sit in the chair. The Boyfriend sits at the keyboard. He starts to play a song that sounds familiar but I don’t know the name of (later I found out he played the first bit of “Still D.R.E.”). Then, he starts to play “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney. It is only when he is playing our song that I realize that it’s really happening. The Boyfriend, who does not know how to play piano, has learned how to play our song in secret. He plays part of it, his hands shaking the whole time. Then he gets down on his knee and asks me to marry him. Tears streaming down my face, I say yes.

It was a week ago today that he asked me. I still can’t stop gazing at my ring. I still can’t stop thinking about how he did it. How amazing he is. How surprised I was. And how ready I am to call myself his wife. I need to give him a new nickname; he is no longer The Boyfriend. I now dub him Future Husband with a smile on my face.