HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Black Thursday: Thanksgiv...

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 11:52 AM

 

Black Thursday: Thanksgiving in the Consumer Wasteland



(Photo: Greg Sailor / The New York Times)

Black Thursday: Thanksgiving in the Consumer Wasteland
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 28 November 2013

Tony Rohr was the general manager of the Pizza Hut in Elkhart, Indiana, until just the other day, when the company decreed that his restaurant was to be open for business on Thanksgiving for the first time in Rohr's long experience. For the sake of his own family, who wanted him to be with them for the holiday, and for the sake of all the other employees and their families, Rohr refused to do as they said.

Of course he was fired, but he went down swinging. "I am not quitting. I do not resign, however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company," wrote Rohr in a scathing letter to his former employer. "I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible."

And so Tony - who started as a cook and worked his way up the ladder - will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with his family today not knowing where his next paycheck will be coming from. Mr. Rohr has become, in a uniquely American way, a martyr to the new normal in this country. Never mind the fact that Thanksgiving is probably the last day most people would think to frequent a fa-chrissakes Pizza Hut - the restaurant will spend more money having the lights and ovens on than they will make from customers, bank on it - and focus on the singularly vile practice of robbing workers of a long-cherished day with family in order to maybe make a few extra bucks.

It's happening all over the place. Turn on a television, wait for the commercial break, and in no time you will hear something along the lines of CAN'T WAIT FOR BLACK FRIDAY? GOOD, BECAUSE WE'RE ALSO OPEN ON THURSDAY WITH STUFF AND DOORBUSTERS AND MORE STUFF AND LOOK AT ALL THIS STUFF YOU HAVE TO HAVE THIS STUFF OH MY GOD SO MUCH STUFF WHAAAARGARBL AND P.S. BLACK FRIDAY TOO!!!

(snip)

Black Friday may be important to the retailers who depend upon the orgasmic gush of consumer spending to put their earnings for the year "in the black" - where the term came from, if you didn't know - but it has metastasized into perhaps the most gruesome display of everything that has gone sideways in American society.

Once upon a time, it was fun in its own odd way, I suppose, but now...now, people camp out for days in department store parking lots, risk stampedes, fist-fights and the occasional hail of gunfire in order to get their glutton on one day after a holiday dedicated to being thankful for what they have. Someone will die in a store on Friday over a flat-screen television or a power tool. That annual sacrifice upon the altar of More Stuff has become as predictable as the tides.

And now, that's not enough. Now, they are forcing workers to give up this cherished holiday - and yes, "forcing," because Tony Rohr can tell you everything you need to know about what happens when you refuse orders to work on Thanksgiving - in order to service the insatiable maw of American consumerism run amok. Dollars to doughnuts, the CEOs who are demanding their employees sacrifice their Thanksgiving celebrations with family are big "family values" guys. They will be with their families, you can sure-God count on it.

And yet, something to be thankful for: there is push-back...

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/20308-black-thursday-thanksgiving-in-the-consumer-wasteland

20 replies, 2083 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Black Thursday: Thanksgiving in the Consumer Wasteland (Original post)
WilliamPitt Nov 2013 OP
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #1
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #10
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #13
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #15
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #16
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #17
yuiyoshida Nov 2013 #19
Art_from_Ark Nov 2013 #20
WorseBeforeBetter Nov 2013 #2
backscatter712 Nov 2013 #3
BrotherIvan Nov 2013 #7
Logical Nov 2013 #9
99Forever Nov 2013 #4
Skink Nov 2013 #5
onethatcares Nov 2013 #6
WilliamPitt Nov 2013 #8
LisaLynne Nov 2013 #11
tavalon Nov 2013 #12
BlueJazz Nov 2013 #14
Berlum Nov 2013 #18

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 11:58 AM

1. Whats the point of having a black Friday if people

Are already shopping on Thursday. I would write more, but ...damn it, I have to get ready to work. 7:57am now... heading for the showers!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:37 PM

10. I never even knew there was a "Black Friday"

until I started reading about it on the Internet. And I can't even imagine going shopping on Thanksgiving, unless it is for an emergency. But when my grandmother was ill and no longer able to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, we did go out to eat at a restaurant once or twice. And I had Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant in Plymouth, Massachusetts once.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 12:53 AM

13. Cool, Art!

I hope it was yummy!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 01:06 AM

15. It was yummy

The cranberry sauce was made from locally-grown cranberries and the pumpkin pie was made from locally-grown pumpkins. At least, that's what the menu said. But the cranberry sauce was definitely not the canned type.

One thing about Plymouth that kind of surprised me-- I was imagining Plymouth Rock to be something like the Rock of Gibraltar, but instead it was just a small flat rock (stone, more like it) that was engraved with the date 1620 and kept under a glass case on the beach.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #15)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 05:06 AM

16. Rock of Gibralter?

So... You wanted something GOJIRA size! That would have been interesting... Pilgrims vs Gojira! an Epic battle!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #16)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 08:06 AM

17. Hasn't that movie already been made?

I thought I saw it at a matinee when I was a kid

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #17)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 10:16 AM

19. Gojira won!

Only a few pilgrims survived... than the Native Americans did a face palm saying ..oh no! Here we go again!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 12:56 AM

20. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

You saw that movie, too!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 12:12 PM

2. "Get their glutton on"...

exactly. This isn't about food, or medical services, or police/fire protection, this is about CheapShitFromChina. $7.99 coffee makers that probably won't last a year.

I forget the details, but a while back there was a story of a kid walking 10 miles in icy conditions to get to an interview for a minimum wage job. He was spotted, and ultimately hired, by a local restaurateur. Hope something similarly good happens to Mr. Rohr -- getting hired by a restaurant that treats its employees well, branching out on his own, something.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 12:23 PM

3. If I was working retail, I'd be at my most dickish and surly working Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Seriously. Within the rules of employment, as much as I can get away with without being called out or getting in trouble, I'd be rude, snippy, passive-aggressive, and give the slowest and most incompetent service possible while still keeping my job.

Because the nice, decent people of the world don't go shopping on Thanksgiving day. And would be seriously considering sitting out Black Friday.

Only the dickweeds, selfish scumfucks and hedonistic freaks would go shopping on Thanksgiving, and I have no respect for them. They're the ones who camp out for days, get in brawls over the best bargains, get aggressive and nasty with other customers and the workers, and they're enablers for this new trend of forcing retail workers to work holidays.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to backscatter712 (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 02:20 PM

7. I did the same on New Year's Day

When I worked in retail as a youngin, whenever I had to work New Year's Day it was always a debacle. It was hard to sober up in time to get to work so many times when all the fucking loons who had to be there at the crack of dawn, on New Year's Day fer chrissakes, got a rather surly stink eye from me. Who the hell needed STUFF so badly they had to rush in to go shopping on a holiday? Is it they want to get away from their family? Can't think of anything else to do?

And I gotta say, I never ever saw enough sales in the entire department store that justified paying us all time and a half and keeping the lights on. They were operating at a loss because their stupid management didn't have the guts to say no. Because that's what it is, their MBAs supposedly earn them gigantic salaries with bonuses but do not come with enough basic math to know they are not breaking even. But fear of losing even one sale is just too damned much. And the people who make the decision don't deal with payroll. They'll cut your salary to the bone to make up for all the money they lost later.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to backscatter712 (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:31 PM

9. LOL, I bet you are a real joy to work with. n-t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 12:23 PM

4. Superb piece, Mr Pitt.

As always.

No "shopping" today or tomorrow for us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:33 PM

5. Turkey is great on pizza

covered with sauce and cheese

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Skink (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 01:41 PM

6. homemade

dough, or store bought. I doesn't matter, Hmmmmmmmgoood.

Or you can try making a Bacon/Lettuce/Tomato pizza with murcal whip. Good tooo.

I like the way you think

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:28 PM

8. Up

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:45 PM

11. Great article, thanks!! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2013, 07:53 PM

12. I've followed Buy Nothing Day for years

This is the first time I've had to extend it to two days. Before my kiddo, I refused to join in the consumer madness that was this holiday season. I was an orphan so no family to deal with and happily sailed through these holidays while watching my fellow Americans fall apart in various ways.

I'm finished with my Christmas shopping for my child, so really, except for food and necessities, this is my happily fallow time, consumer wise.

BTW, the public shaming that Pizza Hut got, embarrassed them enough to offer him his job back. I hope he has a fall back so he can tell them to stick their offer up their collective asses.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 01:02 AM

14. What further love of humanity and country can a brave person do...

 

...but give their life for a Ronco Chop-O-Matic ?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Fri Nov 29, 2013, 09:27 AM

18. "I wonder what the proles are doing tonight?" - Corporate ExecuWankers, Inc. (R)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread