Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful To Have A TV Without Having To Shank Anyone

Tomorrow, families all over the country will be getting together to remember how blessed they are. Millions of people will sit down at tables surrounded by family and piled high with a feast that usually lasts for days.

Plus, as someone who normally just shows up without bringing anything, this year may be the only year in history where I will be considered a hero for bringing Ding Dongs to Thanksgiving..

People will slip into Tryptophanic comas, watch football, play cards, get drunk, or do whatever their family tradition entails. At least, most people will. Many will not get to participate because the events of the next day have started to creep into Thanksgiving.
Black Friday  /blak ˈfrīdā/  (noun) 
The annual event when people flock to retail outlets to fight complete strangers for unneeded merchandise exactly one day after gathering to express how thankful they are for the things they have been blessed with.
I am not much of a shopper, so this is not something I would ever be into, but I can understand why some people would take advantage of being together and wanting to go do some shopping. If you like shopping, then it seems completely logical. However, over the years it has grown into something that makes me wonder why anyone is still interested in participating.

Looks like fun, doesn't it?
This weekend, we will all start hearing the reports of the people that were killed in the shopping melee that happened on Black Friday. Yes, KILLED!  People die because of Black Friday madness every year. Usually, the first reports of death are of some elderly man who did the unspeakable act of unlocking the doors of the store only to be trampled to death by the salivating shoppers eager to save forty percent on a big screen television.

I personally know people who have gotten a concussion or broken nose because they made the mistake of picking up a piece of merchandise that someone else wanted enough to attack them for it. I really don't understand why this is considered fun.

Unfortunately, we have a growing percentage of people who have no choice in the matter. Retail giant Wal-Mart has decided to open its store at 8 o' clock Thursday evening starting the 'festivities' early. Best Buy, Target and several other retailers are making similar decisions. Not only is the greed for money depressing to watch, but telling employees that they cannot spend that day with their family is unfair. Many who have family out of town cannot go to their family dinner because they can't make it back to work on time.

Retail workers all over the country (Wal-Mart, especially, is making the news) are threatening a Black Friday walk out if these new hours are not revoked. The lawsuits are flying and this holiday season is growing dismal for a lot of people. A cashier at our local Wal-Mart told me that a special employee meeting was held there about this issue and the employees were told that it would not be in their best interests to participate in any of the turmoil popping up around the country. Basically, they were given a subtle threat to keep their mouths shut.

I am so thankful that I do not work in retail and really feel sorry for those people who do. They are about to be put through hell for a few days and will not receive extra compensation for most of it. Holiday pay is for Thanksgiving only and does not cover Black Friday. Some employees will get a few hours of extra pay, but most would surely be willing to give it up and go back home to their families.

As in past years, I will not be setting foot in any store from now until Christmas except to get groceries. For those of you willing to go brave the crowds, please be careful, treat others with respect even if they don't, and remember that there is no Black Friday deal at the emergency room if you do get injured.

10 comments:

  1. Only in America can we celebrate and give thanks for what we have and later that same day, fight to the death over a cheap 60 inch flat screen tv with a brand name you've never heard of because the 50 inch(that you were so thank of earlier that day) isn't good enough

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    1. This entire practice just sickens me. People die all the time, but when I hear of deaths at Target or Wal Mart during Black Friday events, it hits me hard because it is so meaningless. And it WILL happen again this year.

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  2. I don't understand why Black Friday even exists. It's horrible and it's dangerous and it's scary. My boyfriend works in WalMart and he told me that today marks day one of working for the next seven days. I feel so bad for him because people are so crazy and greedy and they're rude enough on a regular day.

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    1. I get why it's there. Families are together. Stores have sales to encourage shopping. Many families enjoy spending there time that way.

      What I don't get is what it has turned in to. It's crazy and almost seems to be encouraged.

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  3. For many years I managed a mall jewelry store and I hated the day after Thanksgiving. Now that same store is open on Thanksgiving day itself. This is too much and I doubt it even helps sell more goods. People will buy when they're ready; they don't need to be tricked into going to the stores early.

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    1. I have read that Thanksgiving weekend may be the busiest shopping days of the year, but it is not the weekend when the most money is spent. People are hitting the stores, but not making a lot of purchases. The most money is spent on the two weekends right before Christmas.

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  4. This is the first Black Friday in 14 years that I will not be working. The earliest I ever worked was 3am. It's not so bad working in an outlet store or, presumably, a smaller store.

    You could not PAY me enough to shop it.

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    1. Last year, I had to run to Wal-Mart late in the afternoon and was able to get away unscathed. Typically, I won't be caught anywhere near a store.

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  5. I adore the holiday season, but mostly in a pagan manner - I love the whole winter solstice and nature going to sleep kind of thing, I love my (immediate) family, and bunking down in hoodies and sweats to watch Elf 100 times and laugh like a loon every single time Buddy whispers 'He's an angry elf...' and that's it. i think this whole shopping insanity is so gross I can't even take it. It's like The Hunger Games, but for greedy grown ups staged by merchandisers...

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    1. I love the Hunger Games analogy. That is exactly right.

      I just can't do the shopping. I stock up an groceries the week before Black Friday and do my best to not have to go back until after Christmas.

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