I have worked many years in the retail industry. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest day of the year in retail. It's dreaded because of all the prep and hard work that is crammed into one day, but it is anticipated because, if you're working on commission, it's the day where you make bank! That commission check is awesome to get. But it is always nice to know that you get Thanksgiving to be with your families before the really busy season begins. After Thanksgiving, you know that you have to work Black Friday, early mornings and late nights for months, AND Christmas Eve (which I like to thank men for because they are the ones typically out that night doing last minute shopping.)
So, here's the kicker. This year, large retailers have announced that they are pushing the limits of Black Friday from midnight all the way into Thursday. These large retailers do not pay their employees commission for their sales. Most of these employees get a low hourly wage. Some employers will pay up to 50% more for working on a holiday, but not all of them. Some of the retailers say that their employees know what they are getting into when they apply for the job, but if you have worked at these places for more than 6 months, you wouldn't have known that they were planning to do this. It's not like working in the casino industry or a hospital when you know that they are open 24/7 every single day of the year, never closing, and that working holidays is part of the job. Retail employees work late hours and some holidays, and most of them work for very poor wages.
I think it is absolutely disheartening that these retailers think that it's okay to do that to their employees. Black Friday weekend is stressful enough. Extending into the ONE holiday that they get to have just before a crazy busy two months of holiday shopping is just inexcusable. And the worst part is, these retail stores are doing it because they think they can make an extra buck off of you.
So, don't be tempted by the super "sales" and the added "coupons" or "money back". Don't be tempted by the promise of less stressful shopping and smaller crowds. If you shop on Thanksgiving, then they will continue to open on Thanksgiving. They will continue to push that time back until it reaches midnight on Thanksgiving and start trickling into Wednesday, Tuesday or even Monday.
Don't let the consumerism beast take over what you all know in your heart to be fair. Let these employees enjoy their day with their family, just like you. Let's keep Thanksgiving where we are thankful for the bounty that we have, instead of making into a way to get things we don't immediately need at the expense of others.