Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Have Respect For Your Fellow Working People Who Must Labor On A Holiday—So Many Ways To Ask If Burger King Is Open On Christmas

Last year I wrote a post about a Burger King in Houston being open on Christmas Day. The post was prompted by the picture you see above. I took that picture last December on a very rare snowy day in Houston.

(Picture copyright Neil Aquino.)

My feeling was that Burger King did not need to be open on Christmas Day. The employees would want to be at home with family and Burger King on Christmas Day seemed depressing. I realize  many folks eat at Burger King and I pass no judgment on that fact. I’m simply not certain that Burger King on Christmas Day is needed by anybody if only for the reason that the staff would be forced to be work.

I can recall growing up in New England in the 1970’s when many business places were not open on Sunday.  I don’t know if that was for the best or not, but it was at least a day of rest to a greater extent than we see today. On the other hand, more hours open means more hours for staff to be employed.

On the Christmas Day just past, I did in fact visit a local convenience store/gas station. So you can say I’m a hyprocrite. I walked over to the store to buy an early edition of the Sunday Houston Chronicle. I get the final edition delivered to my door. I did not need to buy the early edition.

However, I also bought two $1 instant lottery tickets and gave them to the clerk. I thanked him for working the holiday. It is up to you to judge if these facts exonerate me.

Burger King stays open on Christmas Day and on other holidays for a very good reason. Many people want to spend money to eat at Burger King on Christmas Day.  At the end of this post are just some of the search terms that internet users wrote on or around Christmas Day 2010 to see if Burger King would be open Christmas Day. There is something like 65 different versions of the question listed below. That is not all of the listings. My blog got more than 900 page views on this topic alone for a post over a year old. (I guess that is some assurance that Texas Liberal has at least a little pull on Google.)

(Above–A Whopper. Here is nutritional information on Whoppers. A Whopper will meet almost all your daily saturated fat needs. Here is nutritional infromation for all Burger King menu offerings.)

Business places have plenty of profit motive to be open on holidays. So I suppose the question is what can we do as working people to acknowledge the fact that some folks must work holidays for non-essential reasons. And ,of course, the same consideration must be accorded to people who must work for the public safety or in any type of business that cannot shut down for a day.

Here are some possibilities for us to act in a respectful way that asserts that value and dignity of all labor—

1. In jobs where tipping is customary, we could tip at the time-and-a-half rate that all workers should expect on a holiday.  If you normally tip 15% for good service, than you could tip 22.5% instead on holidays. If you normally tip close to 20%, as you should consider doing if you have the resources, than a tip near 30% would be fair. This may seem high, but the fact is that your waiter is working a holiday and working people should be mindful of the needs of other working people.

2. We could thank the person for working the holiday. How hard is that?

3. We could tip well and acknowledge the fact someone is working a holiday even if we feel somehow mistreated at our own work. Part of the respect we can show for fellow working people is not to spread around the misery we may feel simply because we lack the personal discipline to care about others.

4. We could advocate year-round for better treatment for working people. All work has value. It is a measure of our own self-respect that we see value and commonality in the circumstances of people who also give the hours of their lives to earn a living. All too often in our nation we have put aside our own best interests and the best interests of fellow working people so we can focus on hating people not like ourselves.

New Year’s Day 2011 is coming up. There is always some holiday on the horizon. Let’s treat people well.

Here is a series of articles from the public policy magazine The American Prospect dealing with how the rights of labor could be improved right now.

We all have the ability to make life better for ourselves and for others. This ability to make life better never takes a holiday.

Here are but some of many ways people inquired as to the availability of a Whopper on Christmas Day—

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December 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I agree with you whole heartilly, but I see another side of that also, aftrer talking to some of the employees. They do trade around a lot to allow the ones that want to work,or stay home do. Many need the money, one my collage student granddaughter. Even some single mothers. But your point well taken. i watched the Republicians suffering on the floor of congress, fussing about having to work. Well I feel sorry for them, my daughter is back in the Middle East and she had to work on x-mas day/Thanksgiving day also. On her last tour she had to work the same hrs, only they were mortored on xmas day. My son-in-law went throught the same experiences on the 4 tours he spent in Iraqi and Afgan. I sent cards to all of those that were crying on the floor, giving them this same story. I hasve not recerived a reply.

    Comment by PHYLLIS RADFORD | December 27, 2010

  2. What did the Burger King employees say when you asked them about their “forced” labor?

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | December 29, 2010

  3. Ms. Radford—You are always fighting the good fight. Thanks so much for your support of the blog in 2010. I hope you and yours have a great 2011.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 29, 2010

  4. Matt–In the end people pretty much have to take the shifts they are given. Without forgetting at all that people need the money they earn in private employ, on Christmas Day that may be a measure of cold comfort.

    Thanks for your comment here. Please remember to tell all your right-wing blogger friends that I’m a terrible person and a raging socialist who should be criticized online at every possible juncture. My name is spelled N-E-I-L A-Q-U-I-N-O.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 29, 2010

  5. Matt, I didn’t get any comments about forced labor. I’m not aware of that, but if so, I will certainly address that to the manager, as I know her. You have to keep in mind I’m down here in the Mountains of Va, close to Virginia Tech and our small communities are more social and sensitive to their few employees’ needs. I like this environment and we are very vocal and supportive of each other. You have a nice new year. My daughter returns again from the Middle East in Feb., we hope. My son-in-law just retired, 25, yeasrs of ARMY STRONG. She has 3 more years, and we know she will have do another tour in Afgan. GOD, when will this end, but GOD why did it start. Peace to all.

    Comment by PHYLLIS RADFORD | January 4, 2011

  6. Phyllis, sorry for the confusion. My question was directed at Neil, who said their labor was forced.

    Best of luck to your daughter. I’m sure you’re very proud.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | January 5, 2011

  7. Ms. Radford—It would be interesting to see how life is different where you live. i’ve never lived anyplace but a city.

    Thanks to your whole family for the shared sacrifices involved in serving abroad during a time of war.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | January 5, 2011

  8. Sorry Matt for the confusion, my husband says I’m good at that.
    Neil our lives here on the Mountail is very nice and peaceful. We just had a big snow, 12 in., and you get out the four wheeler, with the snow plow, to scrape so you can get up to the outside woodstove and fill it up with wood you cut this summer. In the summer you fight the deer to raise a garden, but eat them in the winter. I can venison, after a kill, along with greenbeans, tomatoes, etc. Sometimes we have a bear run through the yard, and they are destructive if anything is left out.We raised three children here, as I and 5 siblings were before mine. All here on the same property. They are all in N. Mexico now, so we are there every summer. All the men served in military, US Army/Marines. Basicaslly most of the girls also, my youngest is finishing her 18 th. year. These wars have been very distressful. Wars are not good for mothers. Our nearest town is 15 miles, and the next largest is Blacksburg, Va, where we have VPI. You learn to stay prepared and keep gas for the generator, when the electric is off. We all love it here and hope to stay as long as possible. Presently we are preparing another WELCOME HOME party, from War. hopefully she will return home last of Feb. or the 1st, of March. This will be our 6-7th WELCOME HOME. Thats hard for me think of.I love this blog, and the postive people on it, although we can be some negative, we aren’t nasty. Blessed

    Comment by PHYLLIS RADFORD | January 5, 2011


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