The capitalist society we live in depends on treating workers like cogs in a machine instead of actual human beings. This especially comes up around Black Friday, a retail celebration of deals right after Thanksgiving that has literally lead to workers being stampeded to death as they open the doors to shoppers. Retail workers are treated terribly enough by customers, but they’re often getting it from their managers and employers, too.
Writer @runolgarun on Twitter shared a story about how she used to work at Old Navy and on a Black Friday she was sick with a fever of 103. She was told she’d be fired if she left, so she stayed. And much, much worse, her co-worker was also forced to stay, even though she’d just found out her sister had been murdered.
happy black friday! when i worked at old navy on this date almost 10 years ago i had a 103 fever and they said i would be fired if i left so i had to stand there with my co-worker who they wouldn't let go home either, after she found out her sister had been murdered
— i send you the smile of goodwill (@runolgarun) November 27, 2020
There are some people in the replies asking why she didn’t just quit under the circumstances, but there are far, far more people who understand that quitting isn’t an option for everybody. In fact, most people had a story about working through illness, unreasonable expectations, and being punished for normal human frailty. The reality is, massive corporations don’t care about you or your health. If that doesn’t make you angry, maybe these stories will:
I could barely breathe. After that , the next day I messaged and apologized to her but she didn’t respond. I worked after that and put in my request to get winter break off because I was traveling to see family. I come back and I see that I got removed from the schedule.
— Pri (@Priussssss) November 28, 2020
When I worked at Subway my manager made me work with food poisoning and I repeatedly threw up infront of customers while making their food and everyone still ate their subs after. I eventually passed out on a table. Yay capitalism.
— Robert Kennedy (@85roblems) November 28, 2020
Like, they tell you to let them know if you have a fever (cos of covid) but telling them means you get cut loose, so… if you need the job/money, you’re not talking.
This is US Costco, for the record.
— fluff (@FluffLingering) November 28, 2020
Walmart fired me for needing to use the bathroom after being on register for 6 hours no break because I ran to the bathroom. I was on my period. They gave me "d day". I was bleeding.
— tate.hugh.jass (@tillerlindemann) November 28, 2020
I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager. They threatened to fire me the one time I called in sick. After that they let me work while I would throw up between taking orders.
I worked while having the swine flu and the manager who didn’t want to send me home caught it and died.
— Blotchkat (@blotchkat) November 28, 2020
In 2014, my then husband had to work back to back, till midnight thursday and open at 6 am Friday, so we slept in our unheated camper in the mall parking lot so he wouldn’t be late
— Moose Friend (@sarahthemoose) November 28, 2020
I had a boss once who threw a fit if you called in sick, but if you came in and looked sick he would boast to everyone about how nice he was for sending you home.
— Camryn (@CamrynDaytona) November 28, 2020
same manager DID fire a girl for going to the hospital bc she had a miscarriage in the employee bathroom. same manager looked me in my eyes & told me she was going to kill herself if I didn’t come in the next day (I was scheduled for my wisdoms) my dad had just killed himself :/
— aunt acid (@tinymoonbather) November 28, 2020
I had a terrible stomach virus and couldn’t stop vomiting. My boss wouldn’t let me go home and told the other assistant “just see if you can keep her here a few more hours.” I puked into my trash can until I could leave. After work, I somehow managed to drive myself to the ER.
— the red menace (@erinsearcy) November 29, 2020