This year there will be a group of WalMart stores that when the others open after Thanksgiving dinner, they probably will not. It was big news in our area that workers in these stores will be the representatives protesting having to work Thanksgiving Day. It filled part of the front page and some minutes of on air news time on the days leading to Thanksgiving.
We were in a your basic average retail discount department store the night before Thanksgiving picking up some last minute items to make our feast festive when we found out that chain will open at 7am on Thanksgiving morning. It got us to thinking about how many people work on the holidays now. It wasn’t always and probably never really has to be. But even if you closed all of the stores and malls and outlets there would still be many at work. Last year we paid them our thanks. We can’t say it any better this year so we’re going to say it again.
Think way back, back to the day when all of those stores were closed on holidays, Sundays and most other days after 5. But even then there was a corps of people who knew that when the holidays came around they were just as likely to be at work as they were on any Tuesday afternoon. To these people we say, “Thank You!!!”
Thank you to… Firemen, policemen, paramedics, and ambulance drivers. First responders of every kind. The members of our armed forces. Hospital workers. Priests, ministers, rabbis, and other men and women “of the cloth.” Newspaper production and delivery people, reporters, television and radio engineers, producers, directors, and on-air personalities. Toll collectors, train engineers, pilots, co-pilots, flight attendants. Bus drivers and taxi drivers. Air traffic controllers, airport security, baggage handlers, and airplane maintenance. Train station and bus depot ticket sellers and collectors. Hotel receptionists and housekeepers. Restaurant cooks, servers, bus-people and hosts/hostesses. Bartenders. Electric company, gas company, telephone company, water company, sewage company, alarm company, and cable company repair and emergency service employees. Tow truck drivers, snow plow drivers, and street repair people on a moment’s notice. Commercial truck drivers and freight handlers. Couriers. Nursing home, personal care home, retirement home and home health care workers. Security guards. Heating and air-conditioning technicians, plumbers, and electricians when they least expect it. Gas station attendants and clerks at convenience stores with convenient hours (yes, retail stores but they have always been open).
Did we miss anybody? We’re sorry if we did. Please feel free to add them in a comment, extend the list, and keep the thanks going. We’re also sorry if we couldn’t come up with the official job title or this week’s most politically correct reference. In our experience, most of these people care more about the service they are providing than the name they are called. That’s why most of these people are in jobs that risk being scheduled or holidays, weekends, evenings, and nights. They are the ones likely to do something for you and then say thank you more than they expect to be told thank you.
Please, don’t forget these folks. Someday you’ll want to thank them. Now would be a good time.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?