DEAR HARRIETTE: My company has informed its employees that the store will open at 6:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving because it is anticipating a large crowd for the Black Friday sales. I am not too happy because I was looking forward to spending time with my family. Now I have to cut my night short because I have to work. I am upset with the decision to open, and I am wondering if there is a way I can protest this plan to have the doors open on Thanksgiving. -- Not Thankful, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR NOT THANKFUL: This is a new trend among retailers that has a lot of employees up in arms. As you know, retailers are doing all that they can to get customers in the stores spending money, especially since for many stores sales have been in a slump of late.
I also know that this is not your problem -- in a way. What can you do? You can speak privately with your direct supervisor and request that you be allowed to come in later than has been scheduled. You can explain your personal situation and plead for mercy, although it's not likely that this will yield the desired results. If so moved, you could also gather a coalition of employees to protest.
A more practical recommendation for the future would be that you request that day off as a vacation day as early as possible, so that you skip the need to fret over this. Sadly, the new goal of opening on Thanksgiving Day is gaining ground, so this is a fight you can easily lose.