Yes, Retail Workers Get to Complain About Working on Thanksgiving



It’s Thanksgiving day; you’re sitting around the table with your family, drinking wine, eating turkey, enjoying the day.

A mile away, there is a shopping mall full of people away from their families.  Ripping open boxes, hanging signage, calling in other people away from their families.  Why are these people toiling instead of spending time with their families?

Because in a few short hours, you will show up.

You’ll clear your table, bid your farewells, and drive to the mall to ruin the day.

You’ll press against the doors of the mall like wild animals until the mall opens; then you will run through like kindergartners at recess–all to take advantage of a few mediocre sales.  You will throw merchandise on the floor, race with other customers to get the “best” things, yell at overwhelmed employees when they count your change wrong or don’t ring you out fast enough.

In your wake you’ll leave a mess of trash, merchandise, and a slew of irritable retail workers. Workers who get to clean up after you, only to return the next day and do it again.

So yes, retail workers get to complain about working on Thanksgiving.

Retail workers get to complain about missing time with their family, all so that customers can come in and be hateful to them.

I’ve worked Thanksgiving every year since I started working in retail. I’m not saying that it’s the end of the world that I have to work on Thanksgiving, because it isn’t.  I’m still getting paid to be there, and I know I can’t stop people from shopping on Thanksgiving.

However, if you find yourself out on the night of Thanksgiving, I ask you to be mindful.

Don’t be hateful.

Don’t yell at employees because you can’t find something, if they’ve sold out of what you came for, or if they’re busy and the line is moving slow.

Don’t trash the stores you shop in, and don’t fight with other customers.

Retail workers are entitled to complain about working on Thanksgiving.

Try not to give us something to complain about.

–Rowan Seets


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