You know, I hear a lot about Black Friday from my friends and on the news, and whatnot.
My friend Skwarl face booked the following, and I wholeheartedly agree: Holy Crap, I can’t believe the rampant consumerism that would make me leave my friends and family ( and leftovers, and wine) to buy shit at a discount…Seriously?
Getting up at 0-dark-thirty for retail therapy? No thank you. There is NOTHING therapeutic to me about getting up earlier than I would to go to the day job and fighting a mob of people to obtain items for my loved ones for Christmas (myself, included).
Before the day job decided to close for the day after Turducken Day, a few years ago, it was an all out battle for who got to take that day off. A few wanted it off so that they could get up early and hit the stores. Me? I just wanted a well-deserved four-day weekend with my family, kind of like the rest of the world not working retail at this time of year.
Now, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t EVER hit the stores on Black Friday. I did. Once. Under extenuating circumstances. No, really. I didn’t WANT to go, however, my eldest son was home on leave while he was stationed in Japan. He had become engaged to a beautiful Japanese girl, and he’d brought her home for the Thanksgiving holiday. She had never done Black Friday. I am fairly certain that this phenomenon/lunacy is strictly an American tradition. So in the interest of showing Meg what it was really all about in the States on the busiest (read: ugliest) shopping day of the year, I packed them and all the kids up and off to the mall we went. And then to the mini-malls around town.
Never. Again. EVER.
The two things I remember the most about that day were the rude crowds, and the fact that my eldest passed some post Thanksgiving dinner gas that cleared out half the men’s department at Belk that morning. THAT was great. I tried to get him to do it again at some of the other stores, but he refused.
Fast forward to the present. What is it about having to start Black Friday on Thanksgiving evening this year? Really? Target, Kohls, Macy’s open at midnight. WalMart open at ten pm? So we don’t have to wait outside? SERIOUSLY?
I get that retail establishments want and NEED to grab their share of our allotted holiday dollars or whatever, but is it SO important that we have to expect retail employees to have to lose valuable holiday time with there families ON the holiday? I mean I get having to work Black Friday, and pretty much every shopping day until Christmas, but is nothing sacred anymore? Can’t these people at least have Thanksgiving dinner with their families without having to work their dinners around when the employee has to get some sleep because now we have to be at work before the stores open that same night? IMHO? SO not cool.
Maybe I’m not one to talk. I own a small business. I ran a Black Friday offer in that I waived my sitting fee for portraits today, yes, Black Friday. I had FOUR available appointments. Four only. I filled two. By friends/peers. The first one is at noon. NOON, people…Not five a.m. Not ten p.m. Turducken evening. I like getting paid, too, but I’m not crazy.
Oh…and on a totally different train of thought: We did have turducken last night for dinner. With friends (not as sides, mind you, but as company). It was REALLY good. I would totally recommend turducken as a protein main course. It was like a tasty poultry three-way. YUM!
And as a post script, I feel I must add that Black Friday has invaded both of my in-boxes. I have gotten MORE junk email in two hours than I have in the last week or two combined!