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Daughter Fights KMart So Her Mom Doesn't Have to Work Thanksgiving

Illustration for article titled Daughter Fights KMart So Her Mom Doesnt Have to Work Thanksgiving

Black Friday fucking sucks. It's bad enough that it attempts to commercialize a holiday meant to make people be thankful for what you already have, but now it's also begun to spill over into Thanksgiving Day itself, with many big box retailers now opening on Thursday and robbing their employees of time with their families.

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Jillian Fisher, the daughter of a long-time KMart employee, has decided to launch a petition asking the chain to give employees the option of having Thanksgiving Day off.

Via ThinkProgress:

Last year, Fisher's mother called her daughter nearly in tears because she was told she would have to work what is called a "split shift" on Thanksgiving Day, meaning she had to spend two chunks of time at work. "She was not going to be able to spend any real time with our family," Fisher said. "To hear her on the verge of tears really infuriated me, to think why are they doing this to people, they need time to be with their families." This is the one holiday where the whole family gets together: her mother's brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces. "Thanksgiving is pretty much the one time of year we all get together," she said.

It's that frustration that sparked the petition.

As of now, Fisher says, employees at her mother's KMart branch haven't even been told of the store's extended holiday hours and have only heard about it through the news. "[My mother] could be hearing about it as soon as tomorrow or she could be hearing about it in a week," Fisher said. "She doesn't know and nobody knows."

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KMart claims that special holiday hours are staffed by volunteers, but Fisher says the reality is very different. She also tells ThinkProgress that her mother will likely have to do a split shift (working for two separate blocks) if she's called in on Thanksgiving Day.

To all you good consumers out there: A discounted video game console is not worth these poor employees' stress. Stay home and get your Black Friday deals online like the rest of us.

Image via Getty.

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DISCUSSION

arischwartz
Ari Schwartz: Dark Lord of the Snark

My wife and I have discussed this in the past when it comes to "what should be open" on these days.

Only essential services? What's "essential?" Utility workers, police, hospitals, trains, gas stations, airports, etc. Plenty of people working those jobs don't get paid much more than retail, so... it's not the pay per se, right?

My wife has yet to have Thanksgiving off three years in a row. We just deal. But it's not like anyone would sympathize anyway since she's a doctor. But what about orderlies? Hospitals don't run without them. Sick people don't stop being sick just because of a holiday.

So is it because we see consumption as anathema to the spirit of the day? But then what about eating out? Should people without proper kitchens just not have access to good meals? Do journalists take the day off even if events keep happening?

My opinion? Retailers SHOULD stay closed. But I can't say WHY. Just because isn't good enough.