Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How to Ruin Thanksgiving

*IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERThe views expressed in this blog DO NOT reflect the views of my employer, nor do they reflect the views of any other employer anywhere in the world, or of any people who happen to be employed anywhere (additionally, to cover all of my bases, it's entirely likely that all self-employed, unemployed, retired, imprisoned, institutionalized and/or dead people also do not share my views, and this should take care of just about everyone).  Whatever insanity may follow, it will be mine and mine alone and IN NO WAY affiliated with my employer and/or how my employer feels about life in general.  Furthermore, I would like to officially say that my employer is Totes The Bestest and I agree 100% with everything they doIf anyone from Corporate is reading--


Now that my official statement is out of the way, let's get on with it.

We're going to talk about Thanksgiving.  Eventually.  First, let's talk about some other stuff.

I work in retail management.  More specifically, I am or have been one version or another of a "Visual-Merchandising-Operations-Logistics Manager/Supervisor" (some companies enjoy changing my title every few months because meh, why not) for nearly twenty years now and I am wearily familiar with the insanity that is The Holiday Season and yes, I mean the HOLIDAY season because (and I can't believe this explanation is still necessary) CHRISTMAS ISN'T THE ONLY HOLIDAY.  No matter how hard the big, blubbering vaginas on Fox News try to convince you otherwise, there is no such thing as A WAR ON CHRISTMAS.

Just STFU.

Oh, hey there, people living in a bubble-- there are some other holidays people actually celebrate this time of year.  Some people celebrate Christmas, some celebrate Hanukkah, some celebrate Kwanzaa, some celebrate the Winter Solstice, and the best people celebrate Festivus.  Any which way you look at it, THERE ARE SEVERAL HOLIDAYS TAKING PLACE THIS TIME OF YEAR, HENCE THE POPULAR EXPRESSION, "HAPPY HOLIDAYS."  Did you think "Happy Holidays" was just recently invented by atheist-homo-commi-heathens who totes hate Jesus?  Guess again.  Here's an ad from the Philadelphia Enquirer from 1863:

Here's one from the Duluth News-Tribune from 1890:
And here's one from Georgia's own Macon Telegraph, also from 1890:

And this was before Festivus.

The only war taking place is the imaginary one between Closed-Minded-Assholes-Who-Think-Christmas-Is-The-Only-Holiday and this thing called The Rest Of The World.

So, yeah.  That's a thing.

Now, let's talk about Black Friday for a minute.  Black Friday used to be the least favorite day of the year for anyone in retail.  Black Friday used to be the day all of you assholes turned into your own real-life version of The Purge.  You would literally kill one another while stampeding into stores.  There's an actual website dedicated to tracking Black Friday deaths and injuries.  In the minutes leading up to Black Friday openings, the cheery, motivational speech I would give to my employees would go something like--

--and when I finally opened the doors, all of you lunatics would just lose it and do this--

--quickly followed by--
--because all of you are completely insane.

Fine.  Whatever.  Black Friday.  It was a thing.  I would go into work with the mindset of a soldier going into battle:  I might die today.  This, sadly, was an actual possibility, and something for which I realistically had to mentally prepare, because again, you people are out of your goddamned minds.  I was okay with this.  I had this.

Ah, memories. 

Black Friday sucked hard.  Still, I managed to salvage some humor out of the day.  Sometimes I would interpret the dress code in my own way--

"Wear ALL BLACK, and also these fingerless gloves."
"Wear something festive!"
Loopholes, man.  Loopholes.  I took advantage.
Sometimes I would express my pre-work enthusiasm by posting my thoughts about the day on FB--

And I started my own holiday tradition of posting photos of the aftermath every year, captioned, "This is why I hate you."

I did my best to hold onto my sanity, man.  I did my best.

And here's when I finally get to the point, because Black Friday is no longer a thing, and neither is Thanksgiving.

2014 was The Year Thanksgiving Died.

2014 was the year when CEOs decided, "You know what?  Fuck everybody."



Good job, everybody.  Good job understanding Thanksgiving, except the opposite of that.

You're probably thinking that now is when I'm going to go Full Charlie Brown and emotionally explain the True Meaning of Thanksgiving, and that's where you'd be wrong.  I don't give even half a fuck about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, mostly because the history of Thanksgiving is actually sort of awful and involves a lot of genocide, and also because the reason I love Thanksgiving has relatively nothing to do with Thanksgiving. 

Just for giggles, though, let's briefly review the origin of Thanksgiving.

Back in old, old, old-timey-times, a bunch of white people came to America and they didn't know fuck-all about anything.  Shortly after landing in America, they were pretty much starving to death because they were incapable of doing anything right, and some well-meaning Native Americans were all, "We should help these idiots.  What could go wrong?"

Oh, white people!
 The first Thanksgiving happened after the Native Americans taught the white idiots how to survive, and then the white people were all, "We're totes gonna make dinner for everybody; bring everyone."  Then everyone showed up and the white people were suddenly, "Um, yeah, we don't have enough, maybe you should go," and that's when the Native Americans were all, "No, we got this," went back to their village and brought back a crap-ton of food and everybody had a great time.  This is like if you invited a whole mess of people over for Thanksgiving dinner and then admitted, "Uh, I only have napkins."
Anyway. I won't get into the whole story; I'll skip right to the conclusion.  Everybody had dinner and then white people pretty much annihilated an entire race of people.  HAPPY FUCKING THANKSGIVING, EVERYBODY!
Let's get to the point.
The reason I used to love Thanksgiving is because it was a guaranteed day off before the shit hit the retail fan.  It was a day for retail employees to spend precious time with our family and friends one last time before we disappeared into retail hell for the following several weeks, reappearing in early January, haggard and with the thousand-yard-stare.  Thanksgiving was OUR DAY.
Not anymore.  We don't even get one fucking day.
I have to be at work at 1:30 in the afternoon on Thanksgiving and I won't get off until the middle of the night.  THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS "THANKSGIVING BREAKFAST."  My entire holiday is fucked.  As an extra added bonus, my birthday happens to land on Thanksgiving this year, and I'm sure going to enjoy spending it at work watching all of you people act like wild animals and then having to listen to you complain about *having to wait in line* because you genuinely thought you'd be the only person shopping.  IT'S GONNA BE AWESOME.
You know, maybe it's just a vicious rumor, but I swear I've heard that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day for a celebration of gratitude.  It's a day when you take inventory of all of the things and people you have in your life and feel grateful for everything and everyone you have, or at least that's how I would be spending my Thanksgiving if I got to have one.  I'm pretty sure going shopping on this day is pretty much the opposite of what you're supposed to be doing, but what the hell do I know.  But hey, do your thing, people.  Thanks for not caring about any of us or our families.  Mighty swell of you.
For all of you who plan on shopping tomorrow, YOU'RE THANKSGIVING-ING WRONG.