Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Black Friday? Bah! Humbug!

From F5:

There is a new neighbor on our block. In fact, he lives right next door to me. I haven't met him yet, though I keep meaning to go over and get acquainted. I'll get around to it one of these days, most likely when we're both out in the yard. Come to think of it, that may be next spring. Well, anyway…
I don't know this guy, but he's already pissed me off. Last weekend he became the first on our block to have Christmas lights on his house. He turned them on and everything. I may have to break his legs.
I really don't have anything much against house decorations for the season. They're friendly and attractive. It is just that it is too damn early. It makes the rest of us feel tragically unready for the holiday season. We were able to ignore the holiday displays in some of the big retailers and bitch only a little at the stores that are already playing seasonal music. But this is right on our block.
Those of us who are citizens of Procrasti-Nation resent those who are early or even on time. If you are one of those people, know that we talk about you when we get together. We meet at the Post Office at midnight on April 15. We gather at the DMV on the last day of the month that our license expires and at the tag office a day before our tag expires. Or later.
But the hottest, most vicious vitriol is spewed at the retailers who came up with the idea of Black Friday. What is wrong with those people? And the folks that get up early to enter the fray. Who do they think they are?
I realize that some businesses do up to 40% of their sales during the Christmas season. And they must think that they will sell more if they stretch the season to include Thanksgiving. They seem sure that big loss leaders like large flatscreen TV sets will pay dividends in store loyalty and collateral sales. I suppose they must have research that supports these conclusions.
In the last few years, retailers have begun opening on Thanksgiving Day to get the jump on Black Friday. They seem to have no compunction about dragging their employees away from family dinners and televised football to pander to the crazies who want to buy sooner and cheaper. They don't mind that their demands force many families to work their holiday meals around the work schedules of family members who work in retail.
To be fair, the decisions on opening hours for Thanksgiving weekend are most likely made at a national or corporate level. Local managers probably have no say in the matter. They probably aren't even consulted. It is just their lot to obey their comporate masters. They may even have to work long hours supervising the festivals of retail and greed.

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