Archive News: Thanksgiving Wishes and Blessings From The Agent

So, as I’m sure many of you may have guessed, I’ll be off with family tomorrow for Thanksgiving meaning that I won’t have new material for you this week. That said, I do want to share some brief thoughts with you before I head out.

Thanksgiving is notorious among families as the day when, while trying to enjoy our day, someone will often pipe up with some sort of opinion or religious/political view that starts a HUGE argument that puts everyone off the meal. And given the tumultuous and nerve-racking events of the past year, especially in the past few weeks, that tradition not only seems much more likely to happen but seems likely to be more heated than usual. And that’s an even bigger problem for those who already don’t feel welcome in their own families (seriously, who’s the genetic defective that thought it would be a good idea to place Election Day so close to a day of family gatherings ?).

I feel that’s part of the reason the recent ‘Friendsgiving’ trend has gotten so big; I already know a lot of people who are much closer to their friends than their blood relations. Hell, even I refer to one of my best friends as ‘my little sister.’

But, in regards to the topic of uncomfortable conversations at dinner this year, I want to urge you to not diffuse or distract from those dialogs. Instead, encourage civil discussion on the topic. Encourage free-thinking from all parties involved (that means you as well) and try to clear the air. Turn the heated debate into a friendly problem-solving session.

And just to be clear, I’m not saying you should LOOK to start something. But, if something comes up, be the one to defend yourself IN A CIVIL MANNER and try to make peace while working out your differences.

Say what you will about this year, but everything that has happened so far has made for fertile grounds for a new golden age of pride, discourse, and activism. In other words, this could be a world where people like me who thrive on civil debate and discussion can be at our best. Go out, be proud, say your peace with grace, and stuff your face in joy and self-respect.

Archive News: Thanksgiving Break

Mellow greetings, Field Operatives!

As you may have guessed from the title, I’m taking a week off from writing for Thanksgiving. It’s rare that I get to spend time with my family now that I live so far from them, so I wanted to take what little time I had this week and spend it with some of the people I love.

Naturally, I’ll be back before too long and writing again. See you all soon!

Reader Request: Thanksgiving, Shopping, and The ‘Black Thursday’ Push-back

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My feelings on Thanksgiving shopping summed up in a quick drawing. (side note holidays were REAL interesting back on campus).

A reader requested last week that I take some time to discuss the current climate of the retail sector and it’s attitude towards Thanksgiving in a, “fact-based article.” I couldn’t deny that it was a topic that fell in several of my wheel houses, so I agreed to give it a go.

For those not in the know, several big name stores started moving up their Black Friday sales to Thanksgiving Day. The logic of this change is that retailers are afraid that most of the spending cash that people have will be gone by Friday.

But this movement has been met with quite a bit of disgust by employees and consumers alike who believe that holidays like Thanksgiving should be spent with family according to interviews by WCPO.

Of course, it seems that many stores share the sentiment. As a result, the list of retailers that refuse to open on Thanksgiving Day trump the list that will and continues to grow. Even GameStop, a retailer that I despise as a gamer (note to self: consider writing a take-down article on GameStop in the future), earned some respect from me by giving their workers the day to stay with their families.

The fact of the matter is this; the entire concept of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sale is antiquated and obsolete. The advent of modern telecommunications and online shopping renders the need to camp outside of stores for hours and trample people to death (Seriously, check out the stories. It’s a damn horror show) completely unnecessary.

And what about the fears of people running out of disposable income before the sales? Well, most Americans tend to get paid biweekly on a Friday. So, wouldn’t you think that the best time to go for someone’s wallet would be that coming Saturday – usually the second or fourth one of the month? That’s when people have the most cash to spend AND when they are actively looking to spend it.

Now, I am willing to give a few businesses a pass on staying open on Thanksgiving and other holidays. After all, the grocery stores need to provide those last minute fixings for the family dinner they forgot about. Also, speaking as someone who works in the hospitality industry at a local inn/spa, families rejoining across states or even countries need a place to stay. That being said, there are ways to give everyone what they want.

Using myself as an example, everyone has to work on thanksgiving at the inn. However, we are given the opportunity to choose when we would like to come in (seniority has first dibs, naturally) and we all only have to work for half of our normal shift. What’s more, we earn double our normal rate of pay for our trouble.

So, in terms of the counter-response to this ‘Black Thursday’, I’m glad to see so many people joining in on the movement. Many of us do the work we do to support our families to begin with, so it stands that we should be given time to enjoy the company of the people we work for on the days when it matters most.

Don’t forget; you can submit your own Reader Request ideas on my Twitter and Facebook pages. Just send your topic to one of them with the hashtag #AARequest. If I like it, I’ll be sure to use it.