Thanksgiving for my family, as I am sure for many of yours, is a very special holiday. It’s a sleepy day in which everyone eats too much turkey (thank you Tryptophan) and too many carbohydrates. The day before Thanksgiving is historically the biggest travel day of the year demonstrating that extended families will go to extreme measures to see each other.
I can distinctly remember one Thanksgiving when my father was asked to work on Thanksgiving Day. He felt pretty bad about it as did we all. It put a pall over the holiday as the cares of the rest of the year shouldered their way through the front door and into our holiday.
It was for that reason that I became concerned after reading that Wal-Mart was planning to open 10:00 PM Thanksgiving night. Toys R Us has subsequently announced a 9:00 PM opening.
As of this moment it is unclear whether these other retailers will follow Wal-Mart and Toys R Us in moving up the start time. I just hope that the retailers who do plan these openings take some time to consider the impact that these early openings have on their workers and their families.
What complicates my concern is that there are a great number of people who are out of work, and if employed, could use the overtime pay (they are getting overtime aren’t they?). So what is more important on one of our most important holidays; being open a few extra hours and providing work for the un or underemployed or allowing families to have a peaceful day?
I can’t answer for others. I just know that in a time in which family is one of the few soft spots for people in a tough world, it might be wise for employers to consider their employee’s time investment against the company’s projected financial ROI.
What do you think?