Black Friday—the mayhem of a marathon.
This is where stampedes of penny-pinching customers, transpiring in malls retailers and local stores every year after Thanksgiving, herd for hours on end. They battle for discounts of clothing and electronics, escalating harmless shopping into barbaric battles.
Black Friday is overrated. Is snagging some discounts really worth countless hours of waiting and emotional (possibly physical) damage? No. In records of a website named “Black Friday Death Count” (made solely for counting casualties and injuries caused by Black Friday), there have been totals up to seven deaths and 90 injuries. You may argue that seven deaths is not enough to be alarming, however, when can you ever put a scale on how many deaths is considered unacceptable? No matter the quantity, these deaths still could’ve been avoided had there not been Black Friday in the first place.
Also featured on “Black Friday Death Count” are labels of the horrific events that led to the aforementioned deaths and injuries. (These labels are links to actual news articles recounting the event.) Such incidents include “Teen returning home from Black Friday shopping fell asleep at wheel, killed in wreck,” which involves a 19 year-old teenage boy who died from a car accident, caused by exhaustion from the Black Friday shopping craze. Another case is “Man Stabbed During Black Friday Event at Carlsbad Mall,” which is pretty self-explanatory.
When something reaches the point of stabbing, trampling, and causing the deaths of people, it should not be condoned any longer. Especially if it is something as comparatively meaningless as getting good deals at the mall. So why hasn’t anybody stood up?
The truth is, they have. There have been websites created like “www.hateblackfriday.com” where people come in and write long rants (not unlike this one) about disliking Black Friday.
In addition to deaths, injuries, and negative media attention regarding this particular occasion, another persistent feature of Black Friday is that this event is ruining one of our most treasured traditions.
Say goodbye to the gathered table of smiling faces. Farewell to the humongous crispy-skinned turkey centerpiece, the bowls of homemade cranberry sauce and heaps of savory gravy… No, you are not moving to another continent. In fact, you’ve done nothing but decide to work in retail! The price you pay? Thanksgiving.
But what, you ask, does Black Friday have to do with missing Thanksgiving? Well, the holiday cheer is most definitely cut short when employees are required to begin preparing for the event—starting in the morning of the holiday. Such a huge occasion calls for enormous amounts of work, and turkey dinners won’t be the only thing they’ll miss as the poor employees move stack after stack of discounted clothing in place, when they could be hanging out with loved ones. This is exceptionally unfair to the families of people working in the business; no one wants an empty seat at their Thanksgiving dinner table.
Of course, this would not be as aggravating if it only pertained to retail store workers. You could argue that people choose their jobs by themselves. But certainly, the people who are in need of holiday shopping do not have a choice over when Black Friday begins.
According to Huffington Post, Best Buy (a well known electronics corporation) will be starting in the evening of the fourth Thursday of November, a.k.a. Thanksgiving. First of all, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being called Black “Friday”? Moreover, these shoppers better finish their Thanksgiving dinners early, because the shopping spree begins at 5 p.m. Not only has Best Buy created this crucial change in time, Walmart is also starting it at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Clothing store H&M will start early, like many other stores, but its event will last five days! As if this is not enough, some crazed customers begin their journey before Black Friday (or Black Thursday and Friday or whatever they change it to) starts, camping out at the doors of these stores days in advance and fantasizing about 50 percent off TVs.
These “doorbusting” sales lure customers into the mania and craze of Black Friday. The fact that they are so drastic and tempting makes it impossible to resist. However, please be wise. Once you are pulled in, you probably won’t be going out with a smile on your face.
In retrospect, I suppose everyone has to make their own decisions on what they want to spend their time on. But personally, I will be spending my Thanksgiving break at home. With my family.
Preferably with all body parts attached, no knife impaling me, no pepper-spray in my eyes and thankful with what I already have. (That is what Thanksgiving is about, isn’t it?)