It’s upon us again. The most wonderful time of the year…if you’re a CEO bigwig running a retail store chain. For almost everyone else it’s the time to willingly wake up earlier than you would for any non-graveyard-shift job ever, go out in the cold (which will actually probably help you wake up) and walk around or stand in line for HOURS to get the perfect present…and nothing else. You guessed it–it’s Black Friday.
First off, that’s a stupid name. ‘Black Friday’ sounds a bit ominous (in the wrong way), like black magic or something. I get that it’s because the stores’ profit is in the black (as opposed to the red), but really? Real original. Of course, honesty isn’t the best policy, because I don’t think as many people would go if it were called Greedy Friday. I know people still would, because that’s the kind of country we live in, but maybe some people would stop and reconsider before camping out in front of GameStop all night.
Secondly, this has to be the most hypocritical event of the year. It doesn’t take a lot of thinking to realize that Thursday is spent being thankful for all that you have, but Friday is about forgetting all of that and wasting an entire day looking for the best deal on a $500 iPhone you’re only going to use for a year or two anyway. That’s like someone getting drunk, high, stoned, and laid on a Saturday night, then going to church the next day and acting like nothing even happened.
And that brings me to my next point–it’s bad enough to have that the day AFTER Thanksgiving…it’s even worse to have it ON Thanksgiving. And a lot of stores are starting their Black Friday deals on Thursday. Some of them are kind enough to wait until after dinner, but some are starting earlier, some as early as 6AM. Seriously? That’s like going to church on Sunday morning, then getting high, drunk, stoned, and laid on Sunday night. I get some of the stores–places like Meijer and Walgreens are open all day on Thursday starting at 6AM and 8AM, respectively, and that’s okay–sickness doesn’t rest, and we’ve gotta buy our food somewhere. But stores like K-mart and RadioShack open early on Thursday morning. I don’t frequent either of them, but I can’t think of anything that they sell that could possibly save your life if you were injured or sick. The local K-mart here has a pizza parlor and nothing even remotely related to a pharmacy. RadioShack doesn’t even have that much! All they sell is electronics. And the worst part? People still do it. They still go to the stores on Thursday and they shop and they give the stores business. If it wasn’t turning a profit the stores wouldn’t be open.
Do you see anything wrong with that? If not, you’re part of the problem. I know that I can’t stop Black Thursday/Friday and I don’t expect to. But if more people just understand what it really means, maybe I can change some minds. Something needs to change, and change can start with one person. If you end up going out shopping, just think about this for awhile. Think of what it really means. If you don’t, good for you. But don’t assume that since you’re not going out that’s all you can do. It’s not. Don’t just keep quiet about it. Change starts when we speak up and do something about it.