A brief history of Thanksgiving Day:
The first thanksgiving was celebrated in October 1621. 53 Pilgrims were joined by 90 Native Americans for a feast that lasted 3 days.
In 1789, Congress urged George Washington to issue a proclamation about the celebration of this new Holiday.
In 1864, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
In 2003, Andy Livengood started working the butcher's counter on Thanksgiving Day.
For 153 years, Thanksgiving has been the last Thursday of every November. For Despite this fact, there seems to be a growing number of people who Thanksgiving manages to sneak up on.
It should be a simple process. Drive to the store on Thanksgiving, select a turkey from the thousands they have, take said turkey home, cook, and serve while discussing why you should be thankful this year.
Unfortunately, turkeys do not magically appear at the butcher’s counter. Most stores, at some point, run out of this finite resource.
It used to blow my mind when people showed up on Thanksgiving and freaked out when I revealed the store ran out of turkeys. (or hams, or oysters or really anything). Now, I see it as a holiday tradition.
Every year, I am treated to wave after wave of customers who have been utterly defeated by this 153 year old holiday.
The following is a section of 100% true interactions I’ve had while fending off customers that missed the memo that President Lincoln put out.
Customer: Hey, chief. Where are your fresh turkeys?
Me: I'm all out. I'm sorry, sir.
Customer: Did you idiots forget Thanksgiving is tomorrow?
Customer: Last year we bought 43 hams from you. I'd like to do that again.
Me: when did you want to pick them up?
Customer: Right now.
Me: Um.... did you place an order?
Me: I have like 6 hams in the entire store.
Customer: What? !?! How is that possible? !
Me: We're almost sold out this year.
Customer: Well what the hell am I supposed to give my employees? I'm going to look like an asshole. Thanks a lot!
Customer: What type of heartless corporation would make you work on Thanksgiving?
Me: Well, they want us to be here if someone needs to buy something.
Customer: What's this country coming to?
(He looks at the counter for a few seconds)
Customer: Can I have half a pound of this shrimp?
Me: Yes, sir.
Customer: Why can't I cook the turkey while is frozen?
Me: Well, if you cook it in the oven, it will come out undercooked and you could get sick.
Customer: I was gonna fry it.
Me: Oh. In that case, you run the risk of it exploding.
Customer: Ah. I see. Would you put this turkey back for me?
Me: Yes, sir.
Customer: Do you have any turkey wings?
Me: No, sir. I'm sold out. I'm sorry.
Customer: That's fucking great! (To wife, but clearly loud enough that he wants me to hear it) sorry honey. It's possibly your father's last thanksgiving and he won't have any turkey wings!
Wife: Dad's not eating with us.
Me : Um.... anything else I can help you with?
Customer: No. You've done enough.
Customer: Is it possible for me to thaw this turkey quickly.
Me: Not that big one. You could do a smaller one in maybe 2 hours. You have to put it in water and completely change out the water every 15 minutes.
Customer: (Throwing a peace sign) Forget that! I don't have that kind of time! We getting pizza today!!
Customer: Yo! Turkeys!
Me: Sorry. I'm all out.
Customer: Yo! For real?
Me: Yeah. Sorry.
Customer: (sadly almost to himself) Yo.
(This is legit, my favorite interaction I’ve ever had with a customer)
Customer: This is bullshit!
Me: I'm sorry?
Customer: They make you work on Thanksgiving! You got family in town.
Me: I do.
Customer: That's fucked up. You should be there! Corporations have too much power. They shouldn't get in between you and your family.
Me: Thanks. It's not that bad. I get off around 2. Then I get to go to my family's place.
Customer: Fucked up, man.
(We stand in silence for a few seconds)
Me: Um....anything else?
Customer: Yeah. Can I get half a pound of salmon?
Customer: Hey, dude. I don't see any fresh turkeys. What do you have in the back?
Me: I'm sorry, sir. I don't have anything in the back. I'm all sold out.
Customer: Look, man. I get it. I used to work at Walmart when I was in high school. What do you really have in the back?
Me: I promise you, there's nothing in the back. I'm sold completely out.
Customer: (gives me a wink) Alright. Alright. I get it. (He pulls out a $20 bill and does that snap thing with it) What do you have in the back now?
Me: Still nothing.
Customer: Oh, you are good. (He pulls out a $10 bill and adds it to the $20) Eh?
Me: I'd love to take your money, but I really don't have anything to sell you.
Customer: Damn. I really thought that would work.
Customer: I'm looking for a turkey.
Me: I've got a couple left.
Customer: Oh, thank god. Wait. Is this raw?
Me: Uh....yes, sir. If you got one of the cooked meals, they're in the deli.
Customer: I just came from there. APPARENTLY you have to ORDER those AHEAD OF TIME! So, you don't have anything that's cooked?
Me: No sir. I'm sorry.
Customer: Great! Wish someone would have told me before I volunteered my house this year. I've got people coming in 1 hour.
Intercom: ATTENTION CUSTOMERS! WE WILL BE CLOSING IN 20 MINUTES! PLEASE MAKE YOUR FINAL SELECTIONS AND COME UP FRONT!
Customer: Wait. This store is 24 hours.
Me: Yes sir, but we close early on Thanksgiving.
Customer: Oh, god. I have to go get a turkey, some oysters, and some smoked neck bones!
Me: Um...I've got some bad news.