Thanksgiving is coming and you know what that means, Black Friday is closing in on our credit cards and checkbooks. For years Black Friday is the day when a business starts going into the black or, in other words, they start making a profit for the year–going from the red into the black.
About ten years ago some stores got the great idea of kicking off Black Friday by opening their doors at 5 or 6 AM on Friday morning and offering special prices on some items. People packed the stores and some people even camped out overnight just like they were waiting to buy a new iPhone except they were waiting for a new 27” flat screen TV. This year some stores have announced that Black Friday will start at 8 or 9 PM on Thursday, which is Thanksgiving Day. This announcement has created outrage from some people who just feel that Thanksgiving Day is a family day and making people work on Thanksgiving is a terrible thing to do. They seem to be OK with shopping on Thanksgiving Day they just don’t want employees at Walmart and Target to be forced to get time and a half pay for working on this secular holiday.
Not surprisingly, no one seems to complain when people are asked to work on a sacred day like Christmas, Easter, or Super Bowl Sunday. And there has never been the same concern about police, firefighters, or hospital personnel being made to work on Thanksgiving Day. It’s also OK that the 7-11’s, Quick Mart’s, and grocery stores have been open on Thanksgiving for years, forcing employees to leave families at home so forgetful shoppers can run to the store to get a bag of stuffing, package of rolls, or more chips and soda.
Frankly, I think a lot of people may be happy to be going to work at 8 PM on Thanksgiving so they can get out of the house. This is about the time that family arguments are starting to reached there peak. Everyone is happy when they arrive for family gatherings and content while they watch the parades because they seem to be the only thing on TV. But it’s my experience that after dinner the bickering begins. The kids get tired and crabby. Some of the adults are sleepy from turkey or adult beverages. Arguments begin over what to watch on TV. Do you really need to watch another football game? Can’t we watch a movie on Lifetime? I think you’ve had enough to drink? Mom always liked you best. Are you sure you need to eat another piece of pie?
Maybe the stores opening at 8 or 9 PM on Thanksgiving are really doing the employees a favor. They will be able to leave the family gathering with a good excuse. The family can blame the employers as they load in the cars to head to the stores to do their Black Friday shopping. I know that I’ll appreciate not having to get up at 5 AM for the bargains.