Oh, Poor Baby!

Pity the poor corporate CEO. After all he needs to make his profits and this is the time of the year when he makes the most. Why shouldn’t he insist that his employees work on Thanksgiving? He is planning to take the kids out of private school early this year and fly them to Switzerland for a skiing vacation.  After all, they  went to Mexico last year and there’s no need to repeat the same old thing. And he wants to fly his family from Geneva down to Rome for Christmas day and have a nice meal. Those private jets don’t fly themselves and pilots don’t come cheap! Poor guy: all he wants to do is make sure this year his family has a REAL vacation! Those damned employees have signed another petition to put pressure on him to let them have Thanksgiving day off. What do they think this is, anyway?

Target is one of the larger chains to ignore the pleas and petitions of its employees, as this story in the Orlando Business Journal tells us:

A Target employee launched an online petition drive asking the company to push back opening hours and let workers spend Thanksgiving with their families, after the retailer announced it would open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving for Black Friday shopping.

The petition has garnered more than 211,000 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon, the South Florida Business Journal reports.

It happened last year as well. The story has been repeated again this year as the Consumerist also tells us:

For the second year in a row, a Target employee has managed to secure hundreds of thousands of names on a petition asking Target to rethink its pans to start its Black Friday sale on Thanksgiving night. And for the second year in a row, Target is politely declining the suggestion and moving ahead as planned.

Target thus will demand that their employees work on turkey day again. This is the American way. The period from Thanksgiving until Christmas is the portion of the year when the businesses make the majority of their annual profits so the idea is to extend that period as much as possible in order to increase profits. If this means keeping the stores open on Thanksgiving Day, so be it!  As we have seen, it doesn’t stop here: the pre-Christmas sales now start before Halloween. It’s never too early to make a buck! This is not brain surgery. It’s not ethical, either. But we have long since given up on letting ethics stand in the way of Big Business.

There are companies, and especially small businesses, that care about their employees and attempt to work out some sort of compromise between the employees’ reasonable desire to spend time with their families during the holidays and the need to make sure the bottom line is black instead of red at year’s end. But the large corporations must answer to their stockholders and they tend to be heartless and unfeeling in the manner of Scrooge at this time of the year. But unlike Dickens’ wonderful tale, there’s no one person the ghosts can visit in order to activate a dormant conscience and make them realize what this season is supposed to be about. The Supreme Court has determined that corporations are persons. That’s absurd on its face, but even if it were true, it is a certainty that they don’t have a conscience.

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5 thoughts on “Oh, Poor Baby!

  1. Even as a child, I was never impressed with the idea of receiving gifts on christmas. i saw how much those gifts meant to my sisters, but for some strange reason, I was always happy with little and preferred to be outside immersed in nature and not inside and wondering what might be in the fancy-wrapped box. I see how much gift giving and receiving means to so many people, and though I don’t judge them, I remain baffled about the materialism of the Christmas holidays.

    I am so glad that I live in a culture where Christmas is a religious holiday, and gift giving usually focuses on needs and not wants.

    It would be great if Target opened its doors at 9 p.m and found no one waiting to go inside and shop!

    • You dreamer you! They will be lined up in the streets to get the biggest bargain. Last year a women pepper sprayed 20 customers to get at the electronic deals at Walmart. It’s a Zoo! Your attitude is the healthy one and this idea that Christmas is a religious holiday is of course correct. But in this country things are in the saddle and riding mankind!

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  2. It’s rotten, but it’s also America — for a supposedly Christian nation, we keep piling on the commercialization of Christmas, pushing up the shopping dates, etc.

    But you know, I worked more than 20 Thanksgivings and nearly as many Christmas Days in my years in the newspaper industry. People wanted their daily papers no matter what. At some papers I worked at, we did not publish on the holiday (meaning we might get Christmas Eve or or Thanksgiving Eve off) but there would dang sure be a paper on Dec. 26. Dec. 26 was not a holiday, but someone had to be in the office on the night of the 25th to get the paper out for the 26th. So the retailer employees won’t get much sympathy from journalists 🙂

    That’s part of the complexity of it all, or maybe the simplicity of it: In a consumer society, we want what we want, and most often don’t care what it costs someone else to give it to us (whether it be pre-teen kids in southeast Asia making our tennis shoes, Target employees, snowplow drivers who have to give up their Christmas Day to keep the roads open — well maybe not anymore if climate change keeps accelerating like it is — or even the football and basketball players who go on the road for bowl games, Thanksgiving Day NFL games or Christmas afternoon NBA games so we can have some TV entertainment after our meals and presents).

    I wish it was different or better, but we are a 24/7 nation and someone always is on duty, alas.

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