No family values

23 Nov

We Americans (well, some of us anyway) believe that “family values” are important. Voters often respond to politicians who claim to represent “family values.” Those politicians often get elected. No one goes around saying they are against family values, so we in the US must really be a nation that believes in family values.

Bull crap.

I sit here on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving, and I’m appalled at the “Black Friday” insanity. Some stores opened up at midnight last night. Other stores opened at 4 AM today. Which, of course, means the employees had to be there an hour or two ahead of time. People began lining up outside Best Buy at 9 AM on Wednesday morning, hoping to be one of the first in the store to take advantage of super special prices.

We aren’t a nation that believes in family values. We’re a nation that believes business comes first. Family values is just window dressing.

What kind of family values are served by encouraging people to skip Thanksgiving with their families and friends so they can be some of the first in the store?What kind of family values are served by requiring employees to show up in the middle of the night so a store can open early?

It goes beyond just “Black Friday.” How many stores will be open longer hours on Sundays between now and Christmas? Will employees be able to spend time with their families? Go to church services? Get a bit of extra sleep or snuggle with the kids on a Sunday morning?

My two retail heroes are Chik-Fil-A and Franklin Covey. They both close their stores on Sundays so that their employees can have a day of rest and spend time with their families. If we as a nation truly believe in “family values,” perhaps we should begin pushing other retailers to follow the lead of these two companies.  


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