“You are open on Christmas?!”

C'mon "Grinds My Gears Template." Annoyance level 3.

C’mon “Grinds My Gears Template.” Annoyance level: 3. Image: FOX.

The retail world knows no boundaries of pushing employees during the holiday season. This much I have learned in my short time of working during the 2013 holiday time. While my time in retail has been short, I have come to realize it has always been like this for companies. That, my friends, really grinds my gears.

I have had a handful of jobs in my 22 years of life. Most of which have been in a store or restaurant of some sort. In each instance, it still astonishes me that places stay open on Christmas.*

(*This also applies to Thanksgiving.)

I understand first responders, hospitals, etc. have a niche to stay open 24/7 — to which, I thank those who work holidays. It is difficult to spend important days away from family. It is especially difficult if it is one of the only days of the year relatives can spend together.  However, retail and the food industry don’t have any need to stay open 365 days a year.

Although there is no need for a business to be open all year, it is first and foremost about making money. Not staying open means no customers; no customers means no money, which means less revenue. This could lead to less employees working for a company. I understand this chain of actions is all connected. But, why the hell do people have to work on two of the most cherished days of the year?

Explaining to customers all throughout November that my place of employment (that shall remain anonymous because I like my job) was open on Thanksgiving day was exasperating. “You’re actually open on Thanksgiving?” was the immediate response. Yes, most stores took to being open on the all-American holiday this year. Many Americans were in disbelief as to why stores would tarnish Turkey day. I’m looking at you, Macy’s.

The same goes for Christmas. This month, I’ve been telling people about deals happening on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas. People are appalled a store would be open those days. So am I.

Like I said before, I understand a business is all about making money. But why must people work when they could be spending a day with their family? Hell, how much are big-name corporations going to lose if they close for two days in a row?

Then we come to the varieties of religions in our country. Citizens witnessed Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlapping this year. Easter tends to change days (and months) yearly. My suggestion to retailers is perhaps having people who don’t mind working holidays work those days or have non-religious folks — or even those of different religions — work on Christmas.

This so-called “free” country, was founded on the concept of freedom of religion. )Not to mention speech, as I couldn’t be writing this for all of you if the U.S.A. weren’t based on that freedom.) With the freedom of religion why don’t we allow those of one religious belief to work on a day that is a holiday to those of another belief? For example, someone who does not celebrate Hanukkah could work during those days, while someone who does celebrate Hanukkah could work on Christmas. So on and so on.

This is just a thought of mine that would need many people on board to get it in motion.

Again, I understand the need of a business is to make money. However, it grinds my gears how corporations in the retail and food industries go about making money during the holiday season. Hopefully companies can get on board on not being open on celebrated holidays or create a schedule that is friendly to who celebrates what holidays.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, working on a day that is meant to be spent with family truly grinds my gears.


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