I've gotta find some other things to post about, because I'm not all rant and doom and gloom. Really. But... Black Friday is evil. But it's not the source of the evil. Bear with me on this one.
Taking a family holiday, like Thanksgiving, and lure people to mob stores at 6am, 5am, 4am, 3am even, to find the couple of bargain priced items before they run out -- it's just mean. Mean to the employees. Mean to those storming the doors. Mean to all those who would never subject themselves to such a crowded circus (me! me!) or can't.
But wait, there's more.
This year Black Friday is expanding into Black Four-Day Weekend. What sick pervert makes people work and shop on Thanksgiving itself? There was a time nothing was open on Thanksgiving, which did inconvenience some people and made it difficult for those living alone or on the road and can't or are unable to cook. But shopping? You stayed home, you drove to grandmother's house, you watched the Big Balloon Parade, you watched football, you snacked, you ate, you napped. Sorry kids, mommy doesn't have time to do a traditional feast -- mommy has to go to work. Or worse, go out and shop.
Black Friday specials are loss leaders. They don't make money for the stores and most people won't get the deals. So why do "we" participate? Because in 2009 we're Two Incomes No Vacation Overworking Scared People -- and we don't really have the time anymore to do the holidays right. We keep on "improving" our worker productivity and efficiency, and the workers pitch in because they are afraid they'll lose their jobs, and now everyone is tired. We are working ourselves to death -- worrying about our jobs or job searches or about losing our health insurance. So we've got to get Big Stuff to show our children and family that we really love them and that all this working is really worth it.
There's a 24-hour McDonald's in Kalamazoo that'll close at 2pm on Thursday and re-open at 10pm. Gosh, the crews and managers can be home for the holidays. Thank you!
And for you who actually scored a $200 laptop or $500 HDTV for yourself, I hope you choke on it. (grin)
Dr. Phil (who really doesn't want to be a Grinch, but Black Friday behavior isn't very spiritual or friendly and makes me bitter)