Thanksgiving and Green Friday, and a Sales Point of View

It’s that time of year, for many Americans in less than 24 hours – we will be sitting down to eat one of the largest meals we’ve had all year and spending time with our families.  However, for many other misguided individuals, they will be spending their time standing outside or running around buying things they do not need, manufactured under slave labor, and sold by corporations that scream “more more more!” when it comes to money.  These people are the anti-thesis of Thanksgiving.

Those of you who have read this blog know my stance on Green (as in greed) Friday – so my facepalming shouldn’t be any surprise to you.  I mean isn’t Green Friday (and Greedgiving) great?  Only in America will you have a day that between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was about being thankful for what someone has, followed immediately about getting more stuff.  There’s nothing else to this phenomena than greed.  You can sugarcoat it however you’d like in order to live with yourself, but truth is truth and facts are facts.

I also don’t want to hear people complaining about how associates get paid holiday pay on Thanksgiving.  Time and a half is standard overtime in retail, they’re not getting as much as you think they’re getting.  Many of them were given the choice of working, but the alternative was reduced hours later on, or termination.  That’s one of the reasons I refused employment at Best Buy, as I was told I had to work Thanksgiving or I’d be terminated.  No amount of money is worth selling out my family or the idea that encompassed post-modern Thanksgiving to me.

The arguments I’ve heard thus far to justify working on Thanksgiving are extremely stag and weak.  I have no intention point them out because quite honestly…anyone with common sense and a brain should be able to piece together the moral problems with working on a national holiday.  This is sales for non-essential items and services guys, it’s not like getting that new TV is going to save your life.  Getting the newest video game isn’t going to keep you from getting mugged or stabbed.  That awesome deal on a washing machine is not going to put a fire out.  Comparing sales to essential public services is like saying that you can effectively use gasoline or orange juice to fuel your car.  Pause for the slow, blind and ignorant to catch up…

Okay…

I’ve said my piece on Greed…I mean Green Friday…now lets move onto something else that’s spurred my irritation in the last few weeks – since I haven’t updated in so long.

What makes a person logical?  Is it the possession of critical thinking skills?; The ability to problem solve a multitude of problems?; The ability to think independently?  What about the ability to use common sense to deal with real world problems and a kind, professional and effective way?  Well, honestly…all of these are true.  All of these things make a person logical – in addition to being able to understand basic things and communicate.

However, simply sitting in a class room does not give someone – anyone – the ability to use any of those skills effectively and to hone them.  It doesn’t provide the environment to troubleshoot and problem solve something that is happening to them.  It also doesn’t help them communicate with a regular person.  That’s something that only work can provide – particularly sales.  We are dealing with a new breed of lazy individuals that are out of touch with reality, simply because they are not interested in the job of sales.  The majority of college students are more interested in “hanging out” and getting money from their parents.  Newsflash…I was working a 43 hour job while I was a full time student at one time, and still managed a 3.5 GPA.  Trust me, you can do it.

Those students who sit on the tassels of their parents success and use them in order to ensure the only jobs they have to work are the ones that are in direct relation to their jobs are the same that eventually go on to be totally out of touch with reality.  Case in point, a student that goes to school and does nothing to deal with the public is damned to become a worst nightmare to the general public from a social standpoint.  They lack the ability to communicate problems in the way the real world works – then they freak out when their bosses get angry with them in how they handled a situation.

Others will insist that sitting in an office and answering phone calls does enough.  There’s a big difference between looking someone in the eyes and talking to them, than sitting behind the safety of a desk and pretending you’re listening.  Those same people usually end up with a work study position at school and also call it work, when the majority of those jobs does not entail any real work at all (majority, not all).

Then there’s the students that work, study, and slave – yet somehow we have the ability to have fun quite often.  Those are the people who are in touch with reality…know how to problem solve just about anything, can handle attitudes and give it right back if the situation calls for it.  They can deal with difficult issues and people like a cake walk, and as a result…they aren’t dependent on anyone but themselves.  They support themselves as well as others, and do so with ease – these are the people that society lacks due to  the constant pampering of national youth.  They’re the ones most likely to make it through hard economic times, they’re the ones who are most likely able to speak out when there is injustice and make things happen.  They’re also the most resilient and strong individuals that makeup society (those of you thinking “military!” need to remember what training in the military is like and use *common sense* to understand why I’m not referring to them).

I know people of all of these categories.  I know people who used to be in one but then decided to go back to working with people in order to prevent their disconnection from reality.  The fact is…working with people is necessary.  You need to get yelled at.  You need to be roughed up a little.  Life is mean and nasty.  Those of you who are not taking the initiative to work in school are in for a really scary surprise in the real world – that goes double if the economy starts to go down the crapper again too.  I have news for you all who think you’d be alright:

Employers in retail – which is arguably one of the safer jobs…look for experience.  But they don’t look at experience like “graphic designer” or “avionic engineer” or even “chemist” – what sells in that environment is your experience working with the general public – sales.

With that, I end this rant.

To everyone out there, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Be sure to actually celebrate it the way its name implies, and not in opposite.

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