It is that time of year again! As soon as we revel in the sentiment of how thankful we are for everything we have and share a beautiful meal with our loved ones, we wake up in the middle of the night with a bunch of other crazy people and fight one another for toys and electronics. Irony, anyone?
After doing a little research, I learned that Black Friday isn't really even on Friday anymore:
At least we can sleep in, right?
Lucky for these stores that my judgemental self doesn't find anything particularly sacred about Thanksgiving, so if people want to shop, by all means go for it. I do find it a personally boycottable offense to be open on Christmas or Easter (looking at you, Starbucks.) not just because of my beliefs, but I am certain that no one wants to be working that day regardless of what you believe. And people need to take a break from being able to shop for a day. Especially the people who work retail and movie theaters. Can we stop making insane amounts of money for 5 minutes and let your employees have a break?
Black Friday has always left a bad taste in my mouth because when I became a person with a job and money, I was 16 and working at the typical crappy jobs of a teenager. I spent a few Black Fridays as a cashier at Target, and a few as a Barista at a bookstore coffee shop at the mall.
So first of all, you were not even allowed to ask for the day off on Black Friday. If you work there, or want to continue working there you are scheduled to work on this day. So too bad if you were planning to spend the weekend with Aunt Millie in the next town over. Shove that turkey down your gullet and get to work. We sell five hour energy here, don't fret.
If the retailers and their brain powers have you pegged (and teams of them work year round to make sure they do) you won't be saving much money over all. Evil corporations are sneaky and they lure you into their gingerbread house with the promise of $50 laptops, then they throw you into the oven when you pick up the stocking stuffers, and that new sweater, and a few video games. They use science and trickery to take as much money from you as they can, even if only to keep it out of the cash registers of their competitors.
The point can also be made that when you are so concerned about getting the most for the cheapest, you wind up getting gifts that the box stores choose, not something from the heart. For example, while I was looking through these ads of low low prices, I saw that I could get American Pie AND Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu Ray for Aaron for $9.99. Two presents for $20 would be a good deal, and I am sure Aaron would enjoy having them and pretending it is 1998 again, but the more thoughtful choice would be the $25.99 Moonrise Kingdom which he totally loved, and we saw it in NYC when we were on our Honeymoon. I'd rather give quality over quantity any day.
So yeah, working on Black Friday is totally cray. If you are at a mall, good luck finding a parking spot so you can even go to work. Then prepare for super long shifts with no breaks, lines of customers that don't end. People will yell at you even when you are really nice and helpful. Most likely just because we are all sleep deprived. It sucks. I almost go into a panic attack when I think back to those times, lol.
I guess I don't understand why things can't just be reasonable. Can we not just all agree to open at 8AM and stop trying to one-up the other one. It isn't like anyone gets ahead with this mentality. You both are opening Thursday evening, right? I mean, you set up these scenarios and of course people are going to get trampled and punched in the face over 'stuff'. These stores should be held 100% liable/responsible for the harm of their shoppers if you ask me.
The kicker is, these people who work at these Black Friday sale having stores are probably getting $7 whatever an hour to work really stinkin hard. It is almost criminal that I work a professional job that requires no overtime, weekends, or stress, pays me over triple what a retail person gets per hour plus benefits and I spend half the day reading and writing blogs. They need the opportunity to buy a $50 laptop waaaaaay more than I do.
And my own personal reasons are that I hate crowds. I don't even like shopping that much. I would gladly pay double to shop in an empty quiet store. Also, internet shopping is my bff, and the best deals to be had online were actually on black friday, and not on cyber Monday. So if you plan on internet shopping for presents this year you might want to keep that in mind!
In closing, if you are going Black Friday shopping this year I hope you stay safe, get the great deal you are after, and are nice to all the people at the store who are helping you!