Black Friday at Westfield San Francisco Centre 2009

There’s been a strong backlash among retail employees who are being asked to open stores for Black Friday at midnight this year instead of five a.m. Retail trade groups are as perplexed as Marie Antoinette over their unreasonable employees.

Ellen Davis, a vice president for the National Retail Federation, pointed out that other workers – including movie theater and some restaurant employees – already work that holiday.

“Their employees aren’t up in arms about it,” she said. “It’s almost ironic that on Thanksgiving, people are complaining about having a job.”

No doubt such ingrates neglected to say last Thanksgiving, ‘Thank goodness I don’t have to be at work until five a.m. tomorrow.’

Carl Peterson would recognize Davis’ Let Them Eat Cake attitude. People like her tsked when his grandfather committed suicide:

Fifty years ago this January, my grandfather took his life.

He was a poor share-cropping farmer barely eking out a subsistence living on a hilly 120 acres. He labored long, back-breaking hours for less than minimum wage.

At 72, Grandpa was still farming the land, but a cancer operation had taken his life savings. With no money for an extra operation and in a time before Medicare, he chose a 12-gauge rather than beg for charity.

Too many Americans have no empathy for those like my grandfather. They choose to blame the poor rather than help them.

Peterson’s grandfather wasn’t some lazy, no account. And neither are these retail employees, They have a right to bitch that they would have to quit the Thanksgiving Day celebration by two p.m. if they hope to get some decent sleep before starting work.  Some of them think the family stuff matters as much as the shopping stuff.