Saturday, November 26, 2011
Black Friday: Going to Hell in a Deeply-Discounted Hand Basket
This year, the Black Friday sales concept and rugby scrum shopping experience reached an all time low when many major retailers extended Black Friday by starting it on midnight or during Thanksgiving.
It's been a tough few years on everyone. Even if you are lucky enough to have job, your paycheck doesn't buy what it used to.
Understandably, many will do whatever it takes to buy as much holiday cheer for their families as possible, including sleeping on a lawn chair in a Best Buy parking lot.
On the other side of the counter, many retail employees were asked to cut their Thanksgiving short to work these new Black Friday store hours.
Most sucked it up, because jobs are hard to come by. Nobody knows this more than the legions of retail clerks who wound up wearing a brightly-colored vest and name tag after losing a job in their chosen career.
Some petitioned their employers to no avail.
There's certainly enough economic angst to go around and the result were outbreaks of violence and pandemonium that the rest of the world views with typical "stupid Americans" disdain according to this Reuters report.
In my opinion, consumers and retail employees are being played against each other and American family traditions are being caught in the cross-fire. What's more, volatile crowd situations are being artificially-created, putting shoppers at risk.
Is it really worth it? Especially when equal or better bargains are available online?
We can maintain the quality of our family life and our dignity by not buying into the Black Friday hysteria and thus forcing retailers to think of better, less degrading ways to earn our business.
Oh, and perhaps it high time we re-examine the true meaning of the holidays we are shopping for.