Where I discuss Black Thursday and Friday, and all of the words I have for those who hate it and those who LOVE it.
On the spectrum of those who have to work Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday in the retail industry: It is stupid. I get Black Friday, obviously. I worked three of them myself when I was in the retail environment. I am grateful I never encountered the crazies, who trampled upon fellow shoppers, or beat the crap out of them for a great deal. But having to work on Thanksgiving, which used to be a sacred holiday, is just effing stupid. It’s a well-known fact I despise Thanksgiving, but even I wouldn’t work it. There are just some things people shouldn’t trample upon. It’s my theory that this period, the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving and abyss that in the official beginning of the very short Holiday Shopping Season, is the time where you can still keep a level head and not lose your mind. Because after Thanksgiving, you don’t get a sense of calm until at least January 11.
After Thanksgiving, it’s endless cycles of the same holidays sung by six different people on an endless 12-hour loop, endless people being Scrooges and Grinches; bitching and moaning about missed deals or losing their tempers because you’re out of stock on some items that “Was supposed to be here. I drove two hours because you told me it was at your store.” Christmastime in retail is a relentlessly thankless time of year, where people would rather spit on you than treat you with dignity. And believe me, I realize Christmas is stressful. When you have five people to buy for, who are choosy about what they want, and you’re on a budget or limited time schedule, you have a short fuse. But, consumers have to realize that the sales associates are merely just people who get paid meager amounts of money to listen to crappy Christmas music and angry shoppers.
I have also met the nice shoppers, who are understanding that they missed out on a deal, and treat you nicely. I still vividly remember working Christmas Eves’ at TJ Maxx, where I was in the Jewelry Department throughout the holidays. I was my happiest, because I got off of work at six o’clock. I wore my nicest sweater and pants, and was just so wonderful. At 5:30, I was like an elf, because I was going home to have dinner, sit by the fire, open a gift with my family, and play in the snow with my sisters. I often miss that spirit, although I know it lurks within me. I wasn’t worried about possibly having to work Christmas night, or dealing with Day After Christmas returns and shoppers. I was just allowed to bask in the holiday spirit.
And for the heinous people who look forward to Black Thursday (as I call it), you ought to be ashamed. I know that once the turkey is eaten, the football is over, and the nausea that overcomes you after eating Stovetop Stuffing and pumpkin pie subsides, it’s boring. But what about those people who want ONE day off before they get to see their families for all of an hour during the holidays? Do they have rights, or are they just your slaves? Is a 62-inch LCD (I don’t know what passes for awesome anymore) TV that amazing? Even at $99, is it that spectacular? Is it worth knocking over children and elderly persons? You’ll be up at 3 am Friday anyway to stand outside of Macy’s or JC Penney for more Christmas stuff anyway.
Also, if you’re one of those people who decries the opening of Target, Walmart, Macy’s, and Target on Thanksgiving night:
DO NOT SHOP!
The only way corporations stop this ridiculousness is if no one patronizes their stores on those days. And obviously there are enough bored people who want to shop Thanksgiving night (which they receive through emails, suggestions in surveys conducted, and through customer service calls to Corporate Headquarters) that gave them the idea to do this. I might be bored Thanksgiving night, but I will stay in and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. I don’t even shop on Black Friday any more. I like to go into the mall, and see Santa or how they’ve decorated. I can’t do the crowds any more, it causes my vertigo to flare up in a bad way. I still remember waiting twenty minutes to be able to move across a store called the Imaginarium so I could buy my then-3/4-year-old sister a VHS copy of Return to Oz (she loved anything Wizard of Oz-related when she was three or four), which then took me 30-45 minutes to buy. I was something like sixteen-years-old, and quite impatient. Was it worth it? Yes. She was VERY excited, but I can’t do that any longer.
On another note, I am now in Season Two of Game of Thrones. All I can say so far is: Joffrey is a bastard.
One final thing on the shopping is, try and be nice to your fellow shoppers. Everyone is under the same amount of stress.