For many of us, the holiday season means a time of jubilation with family and food. For others, it’s just another work day.
“Pretty much just another day in paradise,” Jesse Cadaret said to describe his workday on Thanksgiving.
“I don’t get to eat a big turkey dinner,” he said.
Jesse instead spent his holiday making customers’ food orders and cleaning the restaurant. Jesse works at a McDonald’s located inside of a Pilot Truck Stop. He received his normal wages, even though he was working on a national holiday. Retail stores are not the only businesses cashing in on the holiday. Select locations of Applebees, McDonalds, Burger King, and Pizza Hut were all open for the holiday. Black Friday has become widely known as the official start to the holiday shopping season, and retailers have noticed.
The new tradition of Black Friday shopping means that businesses are opening earlier to maximize their profit, encroaching on the Thanksgiving holiday. Major corporations like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy opened their doors as early as 5 p.m on Thanksgiving night. Black Friday shoppers and holiday traditionalists alike have come together in a rather loud public outcry, claiming that Black Friday should stay on Friday and back off their holiday. Many are upset at the notion of a company “forcing” their employees to work on a national holiday.
"For me, it is a mandatory shift, but I do also get paid holiday pay so I don’t mind,” said student Drake Pillette.
Pillette currently works at a Floral City Beverage plant, but he remembers his previous Black Friday experience working retail. “Working behind a counter ringing people out all day long, with lines that you can’t even see the end of, is terrible,” he said.
“It definitely made me realize I did not want to work retail, on that day, ever again.”
Though Pillette doesn’t mind working the holiday, he feels sympathy for those do.
“I don’t believe it’s fair for employees to have to work on Thanksgiving, more so for the employees that have to cut back on enjoying this holiday with their family because they have a 6 p.m shift,” Pillette said.
Former MCCC student David Rousello thinks that if shoppers communicate to the stores that they don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving, the stores will hear them.
“If the companies make a ton of extra money, then it will assuredly become a thing for years to come. If nobody goes and shops and it flops, then the companies will probably back off for awhile.”
Rousello worked on Thanksgiving as part of Walmart’s security detail.
“I don’t mind that Walmart is open, because it gives an opportunity to workers that don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or don’t have families to pick up hours, but I disagree with it being touted as Black Friday, because now it’s all-hands-on-deck regardless of if you have family or not.”
Though growth had been predicted, retail sales for the four-day weekend dropped 11 percent from last year, according to the New York Times. It is unclear whether the drop was due to social protest or economic status, according to the Times. The Times also speculated that since retailers are starting their sales earlier than ever and extending them into the holiday season, consumers are not tempted to shop the holiday weekend for the discounts. With decreasing sales and bad publicity surrounding the infamous shopping day, Black Friday may prove to be just a passing trend.