Richard Saintvilus in Forbes:
Who died and made you the authority on business principles? This was my response in a recent discussion with a family member in discussing the state of retail giant Walmart. It seems although I have no personal interest in the company, I continue to come to its defense. As far as I’m concerned, the company has become too easy of a target.
What bothers me is the idea that a scarlet letter has to be immediately attached to anyone with enough audacity to publicly say anything positive about the company. It’s beginning to get old. When Walmart is not being attacked for claims over low wages, it is being punished for what is perceived as undermining U.S. manufacturing – It all depends on what day it is. Walmart does not kill off “mom and pop” shops – they kill themselves. Anyone with enough business sense should understand this. However, why let a good opportunity for some “righteous anger” slip away.
However, aside from the fact that these arguments often get stale, over and over again, they are grossly based on hypocrisy. The same people that toss insults at Walmart can’t stay out of its stores for the convenience it brings. Still, this time around the company is being loathed and finds itself on the receiving end of increased backlash for its decision to open its doors on Thanksgiving. At the risk of sounding insensitive – so what! I don’t see what the big deal is.
However, over 30,000 people do as they have all signed an online petition asking the company to reverse its decision and close on Thanksgiving. However, Walmart’s plan is to open after 8PM – long after every one has eaten and certainly after second and third portions have had enough time to be digested. Still this is nothing new as the company also opened on Thanksgiving of last year – except this time it wants to open two hours earlier. Again, I ask where is the crime?
The petition asserts that Walmart is disregarding the needs of its employees and that the company can afford to allow them the time to be spend with their families. But does this make Walmart evil for providing employment in an economy already ravaged by lost jobs. What’s more, Walmart is not the only retailer that plans to open on thanksgiving in preparation for Black Friday. Other retailers such as Target, Kmart as well as Toy R Us also plan to take advantage of early shoppers. Yet it is Walmart that is considered evil for this decision.
If you are on the schedule but you don’t want to work tomorrow, quit. There are lots of people out there that would be grateful to take your place.
What’s that? You can’t afford to quit? You need your job?
Well you know what your priorities are then.
Personally, I have never really cared for Thanksgiving anyway. It’s a “secular holiday” (which is an oxymoron because “holiday” means “holy day”) that is allegedly based on an alleged historical incident that is mostly fiction.
When I was a kid it meant spending hours of traveling to go visit my step-dad’s family. We would eat breakfast and jump in the car for 3 hours and then we didn’t eat lunch at the normal time because dinner was at 2:00 or 3:00 pm, then about our regular dinner time we would get back in the car to drive 3 hours to go home. I was hungry again by bedtime but got in trouble if I asked for a snack. (“Why didn’t you eat your dinner?“) Good times.
If you are single and aren’t spending Thanksgiving with your family, the whole day sucks. There is nothing good to watch on television and almost everything is closed. So you sit alone and eat your Swanson’s Hungry Man TV dinner with turkey and mashed potatoes while watching lousy football games.
Lot’s of people have to work on holidays. I have often been one of them. Beside cops and hospital workers, there are security guards, gas station attendants, motel clerks and convenience store employees. Why should Walmart employees be special?
Here’s the naked truth: If people didn’t shop on Thanksgiving, all the stores would be closed. So put your money where your mouth is and stay home tomorrow. And be thankful for what you have.