Happy 4th of July 2018; or, Don’t Tell Us You’re Sorry We’re Open Today

Phone Call #1 (Completed)

Usually, like 99.99% of the time, if we answer the phone, it means we’re open. Don’t ask the dumb question.

I’ve been busier recently than I’d hoped I would be, so there will be no holiday comic for the Fourth this year. Sorry about that, comrades. In lieu of that, here’s a throwback to the first Phone Call comic I published. Why this one, exactly?

Because there are many businesses open today, and that’s pretty shitty, honestly.

Thankfully, my job is not one of them, but I have had a job that has stayed open on the Fourth. When I used to sell liquor retail, we were open today. I spent two Fourths working the drive-thru, filling orders for thirsty revelers. Gas stations are also open today. I was saddened to find that my local pet supply store is open until 5 pm today. Even trash is being collected from my house today. It’s just kind of sad that, as a country, we don’t allow all of our citizens to celebrate one of the most important holidays on the calendar.

I understand that there’s a reason for this: There’s money to be made. That’s right; YOU are the reason they’re open. Not you specifically, but you, the public. If there’s a buck to be made, the store will be open. Thankfully, in recent years, there has been a sentiment of moving away from this type of rampant commercialism. Part of that is a direct result of online retailers, like Amazon, rising up and taking over the world, but that’s not the whole story. Unfortunately, family always comes second in retail and service industry work (and any company that says to you otherwise is lying to you), and there are many businesses who remain open today.

I’m not saying to avoid patronizing them. Hell, you may need more ground beef or beer or firecrackers or beer or sausages or beer, and need to go to one of these stores. If you need to or choose to, that’s your choice, and that’s fine. Just promise me one thing: Don’t say anything along the lines of: “It sucks that you’re open today.”

Seriously, don’t.

It’s a harmless enough thing that seemingly presents sympathy and concern. However, to a person who is ringing up your purchases, hearing I’m sorry that you’re open from the person who is a directly contributing factor to them being stuck there ringing up your purchases on a national holiday is like a slap in the face. We know you really don’t feel bad for us, because you’re in here buying from us. On the contrary, you’re glad we’re open on a national holiday to cover up for your poor planning skills. All of your words ring hollow in the ears of someone forced to work while everyone else is off and relaxing and celebrating. It’s salt in a wound. While it might soothe your conscience a little, it does the exact opposite to them. I  know this has become a more selfish world, and that needs to change, but have a little consideration for your service industry workers today.

People have been asking me this week what my plans are for today. I told them, “as little as humanly possible.” Because I’m afforded that incredible luxury. But just keep in mind as you’re avoiding blowing off your fingers with Black Cats or burning off your eyebrows over a grill, that not everyone is that lucky. So, please, don’t remind them that they’re stuck there for the day. It’s just mean.

Anyway, have a happy 4th of July to my fellow Americans at home and abroad. Don’t drown or blow yourself up.

-The Retail Explorer

P.S. Don’t anyone start with the tired, old “Well, they chose this profession, so…” That’s just as harmful and callous. More often than not, it’s not a matter of choosing, but more a matter of being stuck with it. This is a thing for a much longer post for a much different day. Thank you. Hugs and kisses.

11 thoughts on “Happy 4th of July 2018; or, Don’t Tell Us You’re Sorry We’re Open Today

  1. I love living in Germany and the message in this post is one of the reasons. The only places open on a Sunday are restaurants, bars and some gas stations. This also holds true for holidays. (Of course medical workers, firemen, and police are 24/7 no matter what). So, no excuses for those who are not capable of planing, if you run out, you run out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hm. I may not be the popular commenter, but I see it as a possible win-win situation. Maybe not so much for people who work for big brick and mortar businesses and have no choice in their schedule, but for a small business owner I see the potential for accommodating customers while increasing their profits. Businesses in our tiny little town opened their doors and reaped the benefits of having a holiday parade marching down their Main Avenue. Everyone was is a fantastic mood and it was a win-win. Of course it might be easier for me to say seeing as I had the day off. I enjoyed reading your perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, Ellen. It absolutely could be a win-win in the right circumstances. I understand exactly why they open on a national holiday; there’s money to be made there. As a service industry worker, we just don’t like to be reminded of the fact that we can’t enjoy the holiday as well. But as long as there’s a buck to be made, businesses will stay open. I pray this doesn’t bleed into Christmas as well.


  3. I spent 25 years working in Customer Service at a cell company. We were open every holiday. It’s understandable if people have emergencies, but people would call to go over bills. Worse though, would be during a blizzard. Our customers would be safe at home and we’d be working on a skeleton staff and customers would complain that it took too long to get a hold of anyone in customer service.

    Liked by 1 person

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