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Barbara Lombardo of Saratoga Springs, NY, is a journalism adjunct at University at Albany and retired executive editor of The Saratogian, The Record and the Community News. Follow her on Twitter @Barb_Lombardo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Black Friday: You may love shopping, but that means someone else has to work

I'll confess to having gone once with my father-in-law to Wal-Mart on a Black Friday morning out in Geneseo, when he wanted to buy a flat-screen TV, but it was at the relatively civilized hour of 7 a.m., still in plenty of time to get a bargain for a mere 32-inch set but not so early as to be labeled crazy.
Shopping before dawn, now that's crazy.
I'm in a business that never closes, so I know what it's like for myself and my staff to have to work before, during and after holidays, sometimes days and sometimes nights, when most people are enjoying long weekends. There are many other fields when we expect people to be there when we need them -- police, fire, medical. Somebody's monitoring the water and sewer plants, somebody's selling gas, somebody's fixing a power line.
What bothers me is that in order for people to be able to shop, other people have to work. Yeah, we are all happy to have jobs. But there's something wrong when we can't declare that places that don't HAVE to be opened will let their staffs have the time off -- to be with their families, to travel, or to just sleep through the night.


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