Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving Shopping

Many complain about stores being open on Thanksgiving, and I get it. Largely, I agree.


We all know the drill. A place like, say, Kohl's opens. A line forms before the store does. So, in a simple-minded way (I know no other style) doesn't it figure that, if nobody shows, then the store won't open? The company will eventually get the hint and stop?

After calling yesterday's off-the-charts Darien/New Canaan FCIAC Championship football game*, I moved onto my sister's place in Fairfield.

* Side note: I don't think I've ever called a longer turkey game. I didn't leave until well after 2:30, having arrived at Boyle Stadium just after 7:30.

The topic of Thanksgiving shopping came up, and I admit that I completely understand and agree with place like CVS, Walgreens, grocery stores, and a few other places being open. Do I think Target should be open? Not really, but then my sister piped up to see if I would go with her to Kohl's.

I'm a sport, and I like seeing the madness, so why not? I'm not going there with a goal, so I can be an observer, and I'm still getting family time.

We pulled into the lot just before six, and there was already a line out front. While we both agreed that it isn't cool to be open on Thanksgiving, well, there we were anyway.

I would be OK with stores being open on this night, if the staff working was OK with it. What I don't like - where I really object - is stores that mark Thanksgiving as a "blackout date," meaning to not work is a no-no or, even a fireable offense.

However, say you're in your mid-40s and you don't have much going on for you. Say you're single and with no children or family. Then what's the harm of working for some extra scratch?

In my case, I had my family to be with. Still, beyond that, I get it.

Yet let's go further. Say a person is struggling to make ends meet. They want to get their child something for Christmas and the store has something at a price that person can afford. How do you begrudge them?

Again, I don't think such places should be open on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but if the staff is OK, and the people come out (present company included), then so it goes. I'm just saying maybe we should think it all through before we condemn.

So we did the Kohl's thing. The story will be the story of the TV that at first required a coupon, then didn't, then suddenly did. A Kohl's employee screwed up. That's it. Period.

I saw tempers flare but, overall, I didn't see those images that come from, say, a Wal-Mart in Houston or something like that.

The cheesecake still tasted good later.

**A clarification: For the record, I don't think that these stores generally get volunteers. If anything, those people are the exception. The norm are people who are told to work "or else." That part, bluntly, sickens me. Thus I go back to me original statement of "I don't think such places should be open on Thanksgiving or Christmas." In fact, I listened to a woman in a Walgreen's recently who said she had a choice: Thanksgiving or Christmas. One or the other. So, again, I don't like it.

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