Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Working holidays should be choice

Working holidays should be choice

(My Clovis News Journal column for November 29, 2013)

To shop, or not to shop. That was the question.

Did you go shopping for early "Black Friday" specials on Thanksgiving Day? If so, what brought you to the stores? The deals or something else? Perhaps your family is unbearable and you'd prefer the company of strangers. Or perhaps they would prefer you find something to keep you out of their hair for a few hours. Or, maybe your family, like mine, sometimes finds another day to be more convenient for the celebration, leaving the official holiday open.

Many people got very upset over stores being open this year. What bothers me about stores deciding to open on Thanksgiving Day isn't that management chooses to open; it's that the employees of those stores usually didn't sign up for this and have other, more important, obligations to fulfill.

Sure, they knew they would have to work according to their boss' wishes, rather than their own preferences, when they accepted the job, but take a job with the knowledge that it is going to be closed on certain days, and when the boss changes his mind, you might not be happy. For good reason.

A business owner should be free to decide how to run the business and when to be open- although that isn't usually the case anymore, anyway. Plus, in a free society there would be plenty of jobs available, and stiff competition for workers, so people would never feel trapped in a job where they feel exploited.

But America is not a free society; it is a society burdened with crony corporatism- "fascism" is the proper term. The arrangement they have entered into with the State allows "bad actors" to escape the consequences of their actions.

In the past, when I wasn't able to be with friends or family, I have chosen to work on holidays. It was better than sitting around feeling lonely. My preference would be to see stores offer employees the same opportunity to choose- or close for the holiday. I doubt anyone would need a fully staffed store on a major holiday, and letting people sign up to voluntarily work that day- perhaps with a financial incentive- would be enough to get things done.

Personally, I probably wouldn't choose to go shopping on either Christmas or Thanksgiving; I have better things to do. If I didn't, I still doubt I would go shopping because I don't want to encourage stores to force employees to work major holidays against their will. I hope people will consider where their choices lead.


Happy New Year 2014

Happy 2014, folks.

It has been a year since I made my computer "standing room, only".  I think that was a very positive thing.  My lack of resolutions otherwise has gone about as expected.  Almost everything is just as it was a year ago.  I'm not sure I can take that being the case a year from now.

I have some wishes for the coming year, but no concrete ideas of how to make those wishes reality. Nor any way of knowing if those wishes are even a good idea, or whether they would end up ruining what is good in my life.  Not sure if I need to find a way to tolerate the intolerable, or smash it.

I'm not really feeling very positive about the coming year this morning, for a few different reasons.  I'm not sure how to fix those areas I feel need to be fixed.  As is often the case, I think I may be backed into a corner where anything I do- or don't do- may cause disaster.

I apologize for the downer post.  I did enjoy last night (no drinking involved), except for the one glaring shortcoming.

May my outlook improve soon, and I hope you are in a better place, mentally, than I am today.