Keep employees home for the holidays

Stephanie Hays, Opinion Editor

As the holiday season approaches, the twinkling Christmas lights go up, carolers begin caroling, and stores extend their hours in order to attract more customers and increase sales. But extended hours mean longer hours for the student workers, taking precious time away from relaxation, the holiday spirit and time with their family. As consumers, we should make sure to be mindful of those working in the stores, and instead spend time at home, building meaningful relationships.

Being a new member of the working force I know firsthand exactly how exhausting working during the holiday season can be. I work longer hours, during busier holiday weeks, only to finish work after an eight hour shift and collapse on the couch. I never feel like I have time to relax on weekends, and am constantly stressed about how much time is being taken away from homework and other chores.

While the holidays are the time to increase store sales, it’s not reasonable to overwork student employees with ridiculous amounts of hours. The more time spent at work, though adding to the paycheck, the less time they are spending on more quality activities like homework, sports, and family. Is it reasonable to allow stores to be open from 7AM until 12PM? Not at all.

But, just in case someone wants to go shopping on a holiday, more and more stores are opening up on huge holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. People are forced to work on days that are meant to be spent at home or on vacation.

It doesn’t help that customers come in, mess up stacks unreasonably, and simply assume that no matter how poorly behaved they are, the store employees will come around and clean up their half spilled caramel macchiato that they carelessly left oozing all over the ground.

At Liberty, are we thinking about the people who give us movie tickets on thanksgiving, or check us out at the supermarket when we forget to pick up enough eggs for Christmas dessert? We should be. As students and consumers, we should be conscientious in stores during the season. We should realize that the people working there aren’t meant to cater to our every whim, instead, they are there to generally keep the store neat, and attend to concerns regarding store material. Besides, during the holidays, it’s a time to spend with friends and family, so instead of indulging that consumer urge within you, stay at home and spend some quality face to face time with other human beings.