Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving change of heart

I was definitely in the "just say no" to shopping on Thanksgiving day camp until my MIL asked me to place an internet order for her. Something went awry and the confirmation showed it was being shipped to my house instead of hers. I called the 800 number to change the shipping instructions and a live person answered on the first ring.

After she corrected the shipping address, I wished her a happy Thanksgiving and said that I was sorry that she had to work on Thanksgiving.

She replied that she was not sorry.

Huh?

She explained that, because she was working today, she got out of cooking and cleanup. Answering the customer service line was definitely easier and better paid than staying home today.

Hmm. She's right. Until we do something about unequal division of labor at home, going to work for pay, aka market work, can be preferable to working for free, aka family work. In my perfect world, we'd be cooking and breaking bread with our loved ones today and sharing the work equitably. But, as long as workers are able to freely choose their work schedule on generally celebrated holidays, I'm fine with that.

After talking to her, I decided that Bad Dad was handling the cooking admirably on his own. I did help with the clean up though.

Andrew Sullivan posted some other opinions and links.

A friend said that his dad, a doctor, shared his practice with two Jews. His dad always got both Christmas Eve and Christmas day off. Bad Dad, a Jew, says he always volunteered to work those two days so Christians could take those days off. How about you? Do you have sacred days which you preserve for noncommercial activity?

1 comment:

  1. I am all in favor of people working any day they choose. Non-wage workers forget that hourly workers only get paid when they work. No paid holiday for them. Also just picking on retail is silly. Who do they think is keeping the TV stations, electric and gas companies and other places going? Not elves. I always volunteered to work holidays so that people who wanted time off could take it. What we need to fix is this inequality between workers. Everyone deserves paid sick
    days, paid holidays and health care. Not just salaried workers.

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