The Problem with Black Friday

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Despite not being a huge shopper, and preferring local shops and handmade gifts to big box stores, I like going out on Black Friday. This is mostly for the time with my mom and aunt, although I often buy a few things that we need with the discounted products and even a few gifts. But this year, a lot of the fun seems to have gone out of the whole thing.Why, you ask? This thing where it starts the night before. Even though I like my sleep, there is something fun about getting up at a ridiculously early hour and going out to wait in the cold with a cup of coffee and a bunch of other early shoppers. I don’t mean the people who camp out–I can’t think of any deal that is worth that much of my time–I mean the people who get up at 4 AM and head out to get some serious shopping done. I have heard about people fighting over deals, but in my experience, there is usually some camaraderie among shoppers. But staying up all night? That’s just crazy. And if the deals are out there the night before, what is the point of getting up so early?

Plus, I hate that people have to work those times. I was listening to the Diane Rehm show today, and Ellen Davis, the Vice President of the National Retail Association insisted that the workers don’t mind, they like that they can work over night and then spend the next day with their families. What planet is she living on? Who wants to do Thanksgiving with family, then stay up all night, then do anything but sleep? When we live in a culture where people are fired for having bad attitudes, and a bad attitude roughly translates to complaining about anything at all, what else do you expect employees to say? “ Hey, how do you feel about working at midnight? And before you answer, don’t forget that there lots of unemployed people who would take your job in a heartbeat.” “I love the idea of coming in to work on Thanskgiving night!”

I guess I will still go, but probably not at midnight. Frankly, though, it is turning me off of the whole event. Even my mom and aunt are less excited than they have been in the past. I think reltailer’s may find this isn’t as good an idea as they thought. I know if we were to go at midnight, we would hit one place, and then we might not go the next morning. Usually, we go to 4 or 5 stores by lunch time! We’ll see what happens when we look over the ads.

5 responses »

  1. It is refreshing to see there are others that view Black Friday this way. It is sad that holidays are becoming less and less about family and celebration, and more about the $$. I suppose that is why I about internet shopping (not made for everyone, though). =)

  2. I will probably need to do my shopping via internet since I need to have things shipped here! And I probably better do it soon or I will run out of time. 🙂 I’m really more of a last-minute girl.

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