I May Shop On Thanksgiving

not-shop-on-thanksgiving-300x300How many friends will I lose over this one? What kind of a backlash will I receive by people that have followed my blog for years?

Don’t know. Don’t care. Seriously – don’t wear underwear.

You see the thing is, I may shop on Thanksgiving.

And I’m getting sick and goddamned tired of hearing about how you won’t.

I used to work in retail. When I was in high school, I worked at Burger King and then Wendy’s. Then when I moved to California, I got a job at the mall in a department store that no longer exists (talk about making me feel ancient). Then I landed a position in a local pharmacy, where I worked for a whopping seven years.

The company that was that chain of drugstores no longer exists either, having been bought out by CVS a few years ago. I’m going to go dig my grave now.

I always wanted to work on holidays. I requested to work on holidays. A lot of people that work in retail do.

Holidays – for me – were a time to make extra money. We always got off or closed in time to do family stuff. And if – by some odd chance, we didn’t – family stuff was scheduled around my work schedule.

Because what the more privileged people of this nation don’t realize, or are so far removed from their own experiences, is that people that work in retail don’t make shit for salary. Holidays may be family time, but your family ain’t eatin’ shit because you make minimum wage, which is not – in any city or state in this, our United States – a livable wage.

So when I hear people talk about how Thanksgiving is a day for family, and people shouldn’t have to work… And how they will be boycotting shopping on Thanksgiving because of the sanctity of the holiday, I often think to myself wow, these people must have no idea what it’s like to be hungry. And surely they don’t know what it’s like to be unable to buy Motrin for their baby, or pay for their son or daughter to participate in a school field trip.

And I also think that they’re hypocrites. Because for every Kmart that is open on Thanksgiving day, and every Walmart that opens at 6 pm on the blessed holiday of shoving as much turkey down your gullet as you can, there is a restaurant open that no one gives a fuck about being open. Oh Thanksgiving is a time for family? But you want to go to Burger King for breakfast, or Marie Callendar’s for a light lunch before your big family feast. So it’s OK for those people to work, because you need to stuff your face even more that day than you already planned to.

But if someone wants to go to Kmart to get Christmas gifts because they can’t afford to shop at Neiman Marcus, or they don’t have the luxury of free time to stand in lines at Best Buy to get good deals because they have to work two full-time jobs just to pay the rent…HOW DARE THEY TARNISH THE SANCTITY OF MY THANKSGIVING!!!!!

Now I don’t shop on Thanksgiving normally. And I never go to Black Friday sales. The truth is, I’m already done with my Christmas shopping. But allow me to just say a few things about all this ignorance going around about shit being open, and people having to work on Thanksgiving day:

1. Some people can’t afford to not work on holidays. If you don’t understand that, you have some serious learning to do, and it will be done off your pedestal this time.

2. Other people have had hardships, or they don’t have families, or the holidays are really tough for them – for whatever reason. So they like to work to keep their minds off things, and they do it by going to work. Only a total dickweed thinks they have the right to tell others how to cope with their life’s problems.

3. A lot of people that work on holidays want to. I might go as far as to say that everyone I know of that works on holidays, or have ever talked to working on a holiday, has said that they enjoy it and the extra money, and that they wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I would go as far as to say that.

4. Thanksgiving is celebrating the genocide of an entire nation of people anyway. And gluttony. It’s not like we’re talking about the baby Jesus here or anything, which incidentally I also don’t see people railing against stores being open on Christmas Eve or for a short time Christmas morning.

Because you’ve gotta’ get those last minute gifts, right?

In a nutshell, I think the majority of you people are privileged hypocrites.

Now we can still be friends. I promise. You don’t have to be really mad at me for saying all of this, because really I just have a much different opinion. I happen to know that my opinion is the right one, but we won’t get into that.

All we really need to do is accept that not everyone in this world is living the same life as we are. That’s it! Then we can still be friends, and wield our shared misanthropy around the Internet together. Because in accepting that not everyone in this world is living the same life as we are, we maybe stop making ignorant comments about people that work on holidays, or even that shop and eat out on your blessed Stuff Your Face With Turkey Day. So you hate Kmart for being open all day on Thanksgiving. Fine! You do that! And it’s true that a lot of people there that day will just be shopping to screw the pooch and get a good deal.

But instead of hating on the company for being open, why not turn your hatred into compassion for the employees that probably are thanking their lucky stars that Kmart is open that day. It’s an extra day they get to work and put food on the table. Instead of being such a jerk, why not drop $5 Starbucks cards off to all the employees, or embrace the needs of fast food workers to work on the holiday by stopping by on your way to your Thanksgiving feast to get a soda and just wish the workers a happy holiday.

Maybe – just maybe – then this country would be a better place. If instead of screaming from our Facebooks and Twitter pages how much we want to boycott companies and how morally wrong this or that is, we just love each other and act with everlasting compassion.


The Burger Queen

For a very brief stint in high school, I worked as a fast food harlot.  Okay, I wasn’t so much a “harlot” as I was a queen, but you get the point.  I was that girl that you can never understand in the drive thru intercom, who chomps her gum in your face and picks at her nail polish, as if you would have no issue with such a food safety standard.  That was me.  I was the girl who would sit in the office, eating my salad, while taking your order and entering nothing into the computer.  “I’ll have your total at the window.”

But I was in high school, so we can all assume that if I worked in fast food now, I may not be quite so obnoxious.  For one, I would likely empathize with the general public more; for two, if I’m working in fast food at this stage in the game, I’m in no position to walk the line between ’employed’ and ‘fired,’ which I was most certainly doing when acting the way I did at my job in high school.  As time goes on, though, I realize that maybe I wasn’t.

Because I would consider myself to be a better employee in a fast food job, I generally expect others to do the same.  When I pull up to the window of McDonalds to get my daily Diet Coke (I’m addicted, and it has to be fountain DC), and the kid looks like he may not even be old enough to work, legally, I am in no way surprised by incompetence.  But when I pull up and see a woman in her mid- to late-40s, I expect better than that.

Now here’s the thing:  my father loves Burger King.  It’s a horrible habit; and I can’t stand the place myself.  But as he says, when you get to a certain age, you should be able to have the few things you truly enjoy without judgment.  Okay, fine – fair enough Papoo.  Although it would seem that service would be important, especially when he frequents the same Burger King so often.  And yet, time and time again, he returns with a story about something going wrong, always at the hands of the real Burger Queen – a woman quite obviously in (at least) her 40s.  Her name is Deloras, and even when it is sweltering hot out, she wears this long, dirty black cardigan sweater over her uniform.  She is constantly annoyed with my father, a sigh and extra chomp of her gum is standard when he pulls up to the window.  Her hair is generally disheveled, and if I ate the food I am certain there would be some of it in there.

I think, pulling up to the window, my father would get the best of service from this woman, the Burger Queen.  For one, he is a “regular” and in the fast food world, that means a lot.  But more than anything, his orders are generally simple.  It seems insane for him to order a medium Sprite and receive a King sized fry.  It seems ludicrous for him to clearly say “bacon croissant” only to receive a sausage breakfast scramble bowl.   Still, these mishaps go by every time he goes.

The ultimate in insults came the other day when he was given his food and the Burger Queen said to him “please leave the drive thru line, sir.”  I was there, he had been polite.  He asked how she was doing.  He paid, collected his food – and was then ushered out before she had even finished handing him his items.  No time to even put the food down and she was asking him to leave.  It was then that I realized, the horrible service would never end; my father will just put up with it, as all fast food patrons do.  The moral of the story?  Don’t eat fast food if you expect good service.  The real moral of the story?  No matter how bad the service, the Burger Queen seems to always prevail.