Working Over the Holidays Horror Stories

while you were sleeping sandra bullockAs you may have noticed, I messed up by suggesting that not having a homemade, wholesome, Norman Rockwell-style extended family Thanksgiving at home was “cheating.” Though I apologized for it in the comments section, I wanted to tack an I’M SORRY here too. I do not myself have that kind of Thanksgiving. My mom used to do it up when I was a kid and I still have that image in my head, but I am not my mother and I can’t do what she does. No one else should be held to that ridiculous standard either. Anyway, that’s my own baggage. I’m sorry to have thrown it around and made other people feel bad.

I also neglected to make any mention of the many many people who have to work on Thanksgiving and other holidays. I have had to do that; other people have to do that regularly including, as Nicole wrote, employees at K-Mart. The Times recently reported that Wal-Mart too is not content to wait until Black Friday to lure shoppers in with deals; it now stays open on Thanksgiving day itself. Other stores, though, are taking a stand.

Costco, Marshalls, GameStop and T. J. Maxx are riding the backlash against holiday commerce by boasting that they will not relent: They will remain closed that day to show that they are family-friendly and honoring the holiday. But even as retailers vie for every dollar during a very competitive season, Tony Bartel, the president of GameStop, views this debate as open-and-shut. “For us, it’s a matter of principle,” said Mr. Bartel, whose company has 4,600 stores nationwide. “We have a phrase around here that we use a lot — it’s called ‘protecting the family.’ We want our associates to enjoy their complete holidays.”

Thank goodness for small mercies. Do you have to work over the holidays? Do you have working-over-the-holidays horror stories, or ones that perhaps end in true love?

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