Laura Clawson of Daily Kos contrasts retail stores that will be open on Thanksgiving and those that won’t. She quotes statements by an executive from Costco, who says that his company respects its employees, and an executive from Walmart, who says something about employees being excited to work on a “high energy day.”
While I think the companies are wrong to be open on this day, we as consumers bear guilt for this circumstance. If consumers valued the holiday over bargains, the stores would not be open. Corporations may be vile in their love of profit, but we are too often complicit in beating up our fellow workers.
The job market is seasonal – to a degree. Many companies slow down between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Many will put off hiring until the New Year. Job seekers notice that there are fewer and fewer open position, which motivates them to stop looking for work.
Try a different approach. Even though there are fewer job postings, there are also fewer people looking for work. If you make the effort to keep looking and applying during this holiday season, you might get an interview because you are still working to get a job while your competition is listening to Christmas carols while they shop. Be patient. Keep networking and applying. You never know when a door will open.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 1/3 of managers claim workers are less productive on the week before a major holiday. This claim is based on a national survey of 1,000 senior manager conducted by Accountemps. Five years ago, a similar poll found that 44% of managers held this view. It would seem that people are working harder.
How productive are senior (or middle) managers in the week before a major holiday? Generally speaking, managers get more time off and have better benefits than the people who work for them. My guess is that front line employees are less productive because their bosses are equally distracted by holidays.
We are becoming more and more a society that blames problems on working people. Former House Speaker New Gingrich recently called the unemployed “lazy.” Other conservative thinkers blame unemployment rates on high union wages (even though fewer than 10% of private sector workers are union members). We need to start questioning these claims. We need to call them what they are – lies.