I can remember when we CNY UPS’ers were first granted a holiday for the Friday after Thanksgiving, not yet known as Black Friday. The holiday season is one long grind for package delivery people from the influx of holiday goods into the stores in mid-fall to the last minute Christmas Eve deliveries.
Forget about family time, kids Holiday Pageants, band performances etc. Everyone from Management to temporary worker puts in long hours to get the goods where you want them to go, and pride themselves on a job well done.
For many years now that holiday has been chipped away by premium service delivery choices like Next Day and 2nd Day Air services. Up until now that kink has been handled by volunteer (?) employees.
Up until now.
In many circles, especially small businesses, Amazon is un-affectionately known as the Evil Empire for its trade practices and economic advantages (such as not paying sales tax), that give it an unfair competitive edge. A whole other dark side is the way it treats it’s employees and suppliers.
Well now the Evil Behemoth has actually brought both Big Brown and the Teamsters Union to it’s knees. All drivers are working Black Friday for the delivery and pickup of Ground as well as premium service packages.
So what I am asking you dear reader, is to take a little time before you eat that second piece of leftover pie to stop and think about all the people whose lives are complicated by our holiday materialism, and procrastination.
The retail worker who will be in the stores on Thanksgiving, through the night, and on Black Friday. The delivery people, from the Post Office delivering 7 days, to the UPS’er and FedEx’er pulling extra long hours. The people in the background pulling stock, packaging, loading and unloading. And all those people working the call centers so we can shop at home in our jammies.
The only way to stop the madness is for each and every one of us to stop the madness. Buy less, buy sooner, ship earlier and remember that the holidays are about friends and family and whatever spiritual contemplation you subscribe to. It’s not about feeding the Empire.