MOBILE, AL - Gordon Baker, the store manager for MayDay Groceries, is finding himself suspicious of the many holidays that his Jewish employees are taking time off for. In fact, Baker is even beginning to suspect that some of the holidays are fictional.
Baker, who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and had little contact with Jews prior to his working at MayDay Groceries, has become concerned since hiring two devout Jewish employees in 2008. His first conflict came when he tried to shift their schedules to work on Sunday. Baker was told by both employees that they could not work on Sunday for religious reasons.
“They said it was somethin’ called the Sabbath,” said Baker. “That God said they couldn’t work on Sundays, ‘cause that’s a sacred day or what-not. Well, I think Sundays a sacred day, too. I go to church every Sunday, but I never have to take the whole day off. Made me suspicious, like they were looking for a way to ditch working weekends. But I let that one pass.”
Conflict came up again when the employees requested time off during Christmas. Baker said, “One of ‘em claimed she had take a few days off for something called ‘Hanukkah.’ Well, I saw right through that. I told her that there was already a holiday around that time; Christmas. She tried to say Hanukkah’s a holiday that only Jews observed, and that Jews don’t celebrate Christmas. I’m not sure I believed that, but I let that one go, too. But now it seems like they’re coming up with all sorts of new holidays. Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur. It never ends with these people.”
Baker plans to go on the Internet or consult with a rabbi to verify the existence of all Jewish holidays from now on.
He added, “We just hired a Muslim, and I think I need to keep an eye on them, too. There’s something called Ramadan that he keeps going on about.”