Monday, 30 August 2010

Leading By Example

Over the course of this weekend, I have trodden a transgression triply. That is to say - I have patronised a retail establishment not twice but thrice over Sunday and today.

Shame, shame and double shame.

As a former retailer (yes, reader, I know I have said it before, just leave it - ok!) and now as a 'professional' Christian (...zippit) I have soiled the kitty-litter of Sabbath, the Seventh Day that the Adventists love so much. 

On Sunday I went to the shop. And I made a purchase. Of something. Did I need to? No, of course I didn't. I had white but fancied red and was 'out'. Did my very life depend on that purchase? No, of course it didn't. Could I have waited until the start of Tuesday to make my needful purchase? Of course I could've, (though not had I intended to consume said Rioja - makes a mockery of the staff meeting if I turn up kale-eyed). The thing is this - I went to a shop on a Sunday and bought something unimportant that could have waited and upon which the very fabric of my being did not depend. 

It's all well and good when twonks like me roll up at shops to buy things. Great for us. The Covention for Human Rights rejoices for me - but what about the people who are called to man their emporia on the off-chance that I might feel called to make a non-essential purchase? They have to abandon family, weekend, Bank Holiday, maybe even a little dignity - to open up the stall for my non-essential purchase of the non-essential. 

Seriously, as a retailer (and a member of Da Management very often during that time) I was placed under no illusion that my 'right' to opt out of Sundays was not compatible with my status as manager (sod going to church, Cloakey). Contracts are written in retail these days in such a way as speaks of a 'sixth day worked', and not a Sunday, a sabbath day, not a family day. Employees, especially in retail, don't really have a choice all the while pratts like me feels inclined to visit the shop on a day when I too should be enjoying life in the bosom of my family. Me wanting to shop means that ten others are required to work for businesses that regard Sunday as the 'new Saturday' and are too fearful to close.

I am going to try, and I mean this, to stop visiting shops on a Sunday. Sunday working is a curse to family life, to church life, to quality of life. B&Q shareholders love it, but the thousands of people who (wo)man our stores on days when they should be with their families, but are too salary-dependent to stand up and say 'no'; many of them, even after so many years of Sunday Opening, loathe working when the rest of their family get on without them.

If you have read this post and give a toss for family life and those who are denied it by Sunday working - do something about it and don't follow my poor example.


  1. I'm with you on this, but then where do you draw the line? Do you use electicity or watch live TV programmes on Sunday for example? A Christian friend once gave me a lift home on a Sunday during torrential rain. About 2 miles from my home (but near to hers) she realized her car was almost out of petrol. There was a petrol station in sight. What did she do? Dropped me off to walk home in the rain as she had only just enough petrol to get herself home and it was against her principles to buy petrol on Sundays!

  2. Me too, couldn't agree more. I try really hard not to shop on Sundays and usually its not to difficult. I run a shop and we don't open on Sundays because I refuse to, but I am losing the battle and my co-workers want to open on Sundays now. Not sure I will win this one but I will still refuse to work then!



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