Donate to musicians who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus

Many members have lost their income from playing and teaching. They run the risk of losing their homes or healthcare due to their inability to pay. If you have the means to help, please consider donating here. Your donations are not tax-deductible but they will be held in a special fund allocated to musicians in need. Thank you for your generosity.

Black Thursday? by Alex Walsh

Categories BlogPosted on

shopping-image-5-e1416516156258I love office supply stores. They give me that ‘I can do anything!’ feeling. I usually just walk out with a tiny pocket sized notebook to jot down ideas, but that’s okay. Music stores on the other hand, they make me nervous. Excited but nervous. Music stores are full of big decisions. Even the cheapest guitar can’t compete with a $.79 notebook.

But I would never shop for office supplies, or guitars, on Thanksgiving. Are you kidding? Who would do that? I guess the crazy frothing at the mouth shoppers would. I can usually barely move on Thanksgiving. I think you’d have to really plan your Thanksgiving around shopping to squeeze it in, though. Maybe if I needed an extra-large pair of pants? Probably not.

*   *   *

Here’s a list of 15 stores that are open on Thanksgiving.

I don’t want to pick on anyone here. The American landscape has become very confusing now that corporations are people. They have big hungry mouths to feed and the metaphorical turkey just won’t cut it anymore. But opening on Thanksgiving? It just smells desperate. And desperation is a buzz kill. I think if you’re a big box store and you’re that desperate you should just go out of business or merge or whatever corporation business-speak calls it.

shopping-image-3I’m not trying to defend Thanksgiving like it’s some sacred religious holiday or something. But maybe giving thanks, or at least overeating with friends and family, should be more important than a sale in aisle 3?

And what about the little people? The little people with their little lives and their little traditions and their tiny little hopes and dreams, the one’s who are called from their tables to stock the shelves and run the cash registers. What about them?

First of all, they’re not called “little people” anymore. They’re called “associates”.

shopping-image-5Ah yes, the associate. Not employee, not worker; but associate. From an inside-out perspective the word associate makes it seem like each individual is running
their own small business, and the store is one of their clients. Sort of like independent contractors. But they’re not really. Legally they’re employees, which means they’re being told when to work.

Some of the stores are saying their associates are “volunteering to serve on Thanksgiving”, which makes it sound like they’re part of a noble cause, like volunteering in a soup kitchen. I’ve worked in retail before. In my experience, if someone says they’ll work on a holiday it’s because they either really need the money, or they don’t want to lose their job.

On the flip side, there are big stores that won’t be opening on Thanksgiving.

I like what Costco spokeswoman Bev A Akada recently told The Huffington Post: “Our employees work especially hard during the holiday season and we simply believe that they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with their families. Nothing more complicated than that.”

*  *  *

For myself, I won’t be shopping on Black Thursday, or Black Friday. I won’t have the energy because in my family we also celebrate “2nd Thanksgiving”. Which is exactly what it sounds like, a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, the day after Thanksgiving.

It’s a long story.