Working on Black Friday

Up until a few years ago, Black Friday was strictly kept to a Friday. Shoppers would get up at ridiculous hours to scrounge for deals with their bellies still full from the previous night, but it was all in the name of saving money. As our society is encroaching upon an undeniable reputation for materialism, it’s not hard to believe that stores started offering Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, companies have started opening their doors for the holiday shopping extravaganza on Thanksgiving day, instead of waiting until Black Friday.

Ever since I was little, Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Getting up early in the morning to watch the Macy’s Day Parade has always been a tradition. Following that, the excitement of being with my whole entire family for hours was always so fulfilling. Besides all the feel-good, sentimental jazz, the menu for Thanksgiving is always the best. No matter how much of a mess is made or how stuffed I end up going to bed, Thanksgiving will remain one of my favorite holidays for the rest of my life.

Considering how much Thanksgiving means to me, I can’t imagine that valuable time with my family being taken away from me. To many, it may not seem like that big of a deal, but there’s a lot to consider. As humans, the most valuable thing we have is time, and time with one another. In time, memories are made and laughs are shared, and having that taken away on such a family-centric day is criminal. Those who work for companies which force them to work on Thanksgiving day and night deserve extreme praise.

For a corporation to decide that they can force their employees to work on Thanksgiving is just downright wrong. I definitely know that corporate bigwigs are not logging hours on Thanksgiving, or Black Friday for that matter, and to have the individuals who keep the gears turning work on Thanksgiving is disrespectful. Even for those who don’t share time with family, the potential to spend time with friends is there – but if you’re working, then you don’t really have the choice.

Besides the familial aspect being taken away from workers on Thanksgiving, there’s another side to consider. Year after year, deaths of store employees are reported within hours of the Thanksgiving and Black Friday chaos. Stories of Walmart employees being trampled to death for deals on electronics is probably one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Not only is that absolutely mind boggling to me, but it also makes me realize how little people care about others around them and what their decisions may lead to.

About four years ago was the last time I made my Black Friday trip. I went shopping with my aunt, and we of course stopped at Walmart. An employee was unwrapping a pallet of electronic photo frames priced at $14. As soon as the packaging came off, the crowd surrounding the pallet jumped at the small boxes forming the biggest dog-pile I’ve ever seen. It was embarrassing, to say the least. To put an employee through the danger of being hurt for revenue is sickening.

Now that I’ve grown older, I realize that Black Friday is a hassle. For the employees who have to work starting on Thanksgiving and into Black Friday, that’s got to be a hundred times worse. Not only will they have to drive to work on Thanksgiving after spending a small amount of time with their family, but they will have to find a parking spot amongst the shoppers that will already be camped out and waiting for doors to open. It’s nothing but a hassle for all.

What really gets me though is that companies will force their workers to work on Thanksgiving but will also allow shoppers to start using Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving. What’s the point of trampling employees, nagging them because things are already out of stock, and losing sleep and time with family when all the shopping could be done online? I don’t get it. It absolutely baffles me.

So, for those who have a heart, do not be one of the individuals who contribute to ruining another human being’s Thanksgiving. If you really feel that you have to grab the crazy deals while you can, take your chances and wait until Friday morning, or be smart and order online.