Our kitchen table is covered with various ads from various stores all trying to convince my family to abandon our Thanksgiving plans and head on out to all the stores for their pre-Black Friday stores or what should be called black Thursday. The ads contain sales that are awfully enticing, but do you know what isn’t enticing? Lining up for hours and missing my Thanksgiving dinner while waiting for the store to open so I can save a few bucks on a few items. That’s not enticing at all.
Many years ago I was an employee on the other end of the whole Black Friday mess. The Wednesday before Black Friday all the employees would gather after closing the store so that all the toys and hot selling items could be put out on display and marked with their appropriate sales tags. Thanksgiving day would come and the evening would bring an early nights rest so that I could get up at 4 a.m. and head off to the store for the 5 a.m. opening.
I hate working in the early morning hours. I guess I should rephrase that, I hate waking up in the early morning hours. That was really the only aspect of Black Friday I didn’t like as an employee. The rest of the day was filled with the challenge of coping with the mad rush of usually mad people. Commissions for the day were always fantastic and a good healthy competition bloomed between my boss and me on who could sell the most stuff on Black Friday–uh, hem, which I won. But never did those Black Friday sales encroach on Thanksgiving. The store was always closed on Thanksgiving and we never contemplated the possibility that the store could choose to open on Thanksgiving instead of the Friday after.
The thought of shopping all day long makes me want to cover my head with a blanket and pretend it’s summer. As a shopper I prefer the calmer stores without all the lines and the hoopla. And I also don’t like the idea of rushing my holiday dinner so I can head out on my holiday evening to spend time with people who are really only interested in making a mad dash for hot selling items without a care in the world about anyone who happens to get in their way. I also don’t like the idea of forcing employees to give up half of their Thanksgiving Day so they can work Thanksgiving evening as many stores are doing this year. Who knows, maybe in the near future Thanksgiving will become the day when everyone takes a quick break from their non-stop shopping in order to have a cold turkey sandwich snack in between visits to RadioShack and Walmart.
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