From a store’s point:
“Hey Bill, you know sales have been dropping off. This thing they call hardship people are going through is just a bunch of crap. We all know everyone needs clothes, groceries, gas and all the other things in between. Isn’t anything that is ever going to stop that. What do you suggest we do?”
” Well Ted, you know I have a heart at Christmas just like everyone else; but the facts are stamped black and white. Do you want to be able to fly you and your family to the Islands next summer like we talked about? I’m sure your wife doesn’t want to give up the Nanny and the Housekeeper she has had for a few years now. We have to protect everyone up here on this floor. We have an obligation don’t we?”
Bill nods his head in agreement. A slight silence falls around them before Bill speaks once again. ” We don’t have much of a choice when you really think about it. We will have to keep our stores open on Thanksgiving and Christmas; but we will give something back to the employees. We will keep our regular hours 7a-9p on Thanksgiving, and we won’t reopen on Christmas day until one. I guess if the employees want to bitch, they can always leave. After all, we know employees are a dime a dozen.”
With that the two shake hands and walk out the office to let the others know of their decision.
From an employee’s point:
“Jeez Sue, I am really tired. We have all been working for days with only one day off a week for the last few weeks. This holiday shopping season sure puts a damper on my sore feet and back. What about you Mary, are you feeling it too?”
” I sure am feeling it Sue, in more ways than one. My grandson was over last evening. I really wanted to visit with him; but all I could think of was my aching feet and how I wanted to soak them. I have blisters on my feet. If only I could afford to buy an extra pair of shoes to trade-off and on while we work these long days. Well, Timmy asked me why we didn’t have our Christmas tree up like down at the job. I smiled and told him Grandma has been so busy, but I gave him a hug and promised him I would get it up soon and he could help.”
Both ladies smiled as they stood in silence understanding the unspoken words.
” Yes, I understand where you are coming from. Holiday decorations go up so early, kids just don’t understand all the work that goes into getting the stores ready; but you know we have to listen to our boss. Without them we wouldn’t have a job and jobs are hard to find.”
Sue continued, ” Of course there is more than the work at the store. There is a big dinner to plan, groceries to buy, then it seems I make the biggest portion of the meal. Then there is the Christmas shopping and gift wrapping. Wow, just thinking about it makes me worn out.”
Mary states,” Well the one good thing that keeps me going is that we at least get part of Thanksgiving Day off and all of Christmas. Even though we have to do a lot to get to it, just seeing the smiles on the grandkids faces and everyone talking and enjoying the meal is worth it all. This is what keeps me pushing forward.”
Sue replies, ” Oh Mary, haven’t you seen the paper posted on the employee board in the break room?” Mary shakes her head no and places her hands on her hips. ” The notice says we are all working the entire day on Thanksgiving. They let us off Christmas morning, but we have to be back at one to reopen.”
Mary puts her hands over her eyes and weeps. Sue places her arms around Mary and gives her a hug. ” It’s going to be alright. Our families will understand. We will get through this.”
” That isn’t the point Sue. They will understand but it isn’t fair. The store just doesn’t care about us. They only want to make sure they get every penny.”