Hardly A Target
Anthony Hardwick is a worker at a Target store in Omaha, Nebraska. Target announced that it would be opening its doors for Black Friday, the big shopping day that has become part of the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday ritual, at midnight Thursday night. And Mr. Hardwick is one of the many Target workers who will be there to assist the shoppers hyped up on turkey and all the trimmings of the holiday feast. Target will be paying all of its employees at a holiday rate which is sure to be at least time and a half.
Thanksgiving Day has a special meaning for Mr. Hardwick. Unlike the rest of people who celebrate the holiday with family and friends in a traditional manner of special meaning, Mr. Hardwick’s special meaning is special. In front of family and friends, he asked his fiancé to marry him on Thanksgiving Day last year and wants to honor the anniversary of that event by spending time with her and anyone else who wants to share the meaning of their extra special Thanksgiving Day. But in order to work the shift starting at 10 PM, Mr. Hardwick will have to spend the majority of the day sleeping.
Mr. Hardwick feels like he’s getting a raw deal. So to voice his displeasure, he went to the advocacy website Change.org and has supposedly collected more the eighty thousand signatures in order to convince his employer to scrap their plans to try and stay competitive in the bloody, bare knuckled brawl that more and more retailers find themselves in to attract customers. Best Buy, Macy’s, and Kohl’s will be opening at midnight as well. Walmart will be opening at 10 PM Thursday night. Toys ‘R’ Us will be opening at 9 PM in an attempt to jump ahead of everybody. Without a doubt, it is a highly competitive Black Friday market and retailers are doing everything they can to do as much business as they can during this holiday season. The sales during this time of year are crucial to a retailer’s bottom line.
But Mr. Hardwick doesn’t care about that. He wants his Thanksgiving back and doesn’t feel like it is fair for him to make a sacrifice for his employer. Target could keep its doors closed. I’m sure many people will appreciate that gesture. But with little doubt, the same people who say that Black Friday is getting crazy with stores opening as early as 9 PM Friday will be at those open stores fighting for markdowns and won’t give Target a second thought. That’s just one less store to zoom to during this over the top shopping frenzy.
If Mr. Hardwick doesn’t want to work that day he really doesn’t have to go to any advocacy website to get people to sign a petition. If he really feels so strongly that he is being unfairly treated all he has to do is tell his managers that he won’t be available and his problem is solved. More than likely Target will find someone else to work his shift. Mr. Hardwick can have his Thanksgiving and give thanks that he has family and friends that come first in his life or at the minimum rank higher than his job. Target will open its doors as scheduled. People will shop who want to shop and people will stay home who want to stay home.
But on the other hand, when Target finds itself in a position to layoff workers for whatever reason, Mr. Hardwick shouldn’t be too surprised to see himself at the top of that list. When Target is looking to promote or to recognize employees that go above and beyond, Mr. Hardwick shouldn’t be too surprised to not see his name on those lists. Essentially, Mr. Hardwick has told his employer that his needs, goals, and desires don’t run in the same vein as Target’s. It’s just a job. No offense but he only wants to work when it’s convenient for him and doesn’t impact his life that much.
Business is very competitive right now. Everyone is looking for a competitive advantage. Many are looking just to stay even competitively speaking. Yes it would be nice if Target shuttered its doors for the entire Thanksgiving Day weekend so its employees can spend as much time as possible with their loved ones. But the retail business doesn’t look too favorably on companies that don’t put the needs and wants of their customers above just about everything else. If Target doesn’t do it, somebody else will.
So Target, like all the other retailers, has to do what it takes to keep its customers satisfied. That means the Target employees need to do what they have to in order to keep customers satisfied. If Mr. Hardwick doesn’t feel committed to Target’s success he needs to find another job and let someone else do what he may not be so willing to do. There are so many people out of work and looking for jobs they’d be more than happy to work that midnight shift. They’ll be there at noon if necessary.
A lot of people will give thanks on Thanksgiving Day for having a job. But if that same job says you need to be there when they need you there, then people need be thankful that they have a job when that job says they need you to work.
A lot of people will be working on Thanksgiving Day. Police, hospital workers, firemen and firewomen, hotel workers, transportation workers, people who work in broadcasting, communication workers, utility workers, people trying to meet a crucial deadline coming after the holidays, restaurant workers, people who work in the entertainment industry, truckers, and a shit load of other people. Mr. Hardwick is hardly being singled out for a raw deal or treated unfairly. He’s hardly a target. Didn’t he know he was going to work at a retailer when he signed on?