My husband saw people camping out in tents when he went into work for Black Friday opening night. Had he not had to work he wouldn’t have ventured out anyway. As it was, I only went out because we had to return library books and make a bank deposit. I didn’t even get out of the car and I nearly puked.
There were wild drivers everywhere, cutting people off, filling up parking spots, and generally acting like idiots. We were cut off three times. My stomach rolled as I clamped onto the side of the car, wishing I’d just decided to make the deposit on Monday, to take the library late fees rather than venture out into this hellish storm of spending.
On Facebook, I noticed about thirty posts where people boasted about their “finds,” yawped on about how much money they saved or how much fun was had, and—get this—how they can’t wait to do it all over again next year.
I cannot imagine wading into that mindless chaos for any thing. No item—I don’t care if it’s a signed book from Neil Gaiman or one of JK Rowling’s ink pens!—would be worth not only the gross consumerism but the over-booking of employees, none of which can request off in retail lest they be fired. Fired. So you can get a “great deal.”
It’s the same in the food industry; when I worked at a restaurant you couldn’t ask off for holidays, either. It was mandatory to work, even if you had children. I’m very glad that I’m not in that industry anymore—but my husband is in retail so we’re still in the whole “holiday work” game.
No, this isn’t his first choice in a career; in fact, it’s the only job he could get after nearly a year of being laid off from his previous, double-paying job, even after applying to several a week. We’ll take it and we’re grateful for it—but is it really worth the holiday chaos during a weekend many have off?
I hope everyone is very happy with the junk they’ll forget in a couple of months, and the things they bought that will undoubtedly go on sale next summer for even cheaper.
You fired up the economy, you insist; it’s all a good thing. If it wasn’t for your commercialism and your need to buy the latest blood diamond or conflict mineral-filled gadget or sweatshop-made outfit for your son, daughter, mother, father, sister, brother, or aunt you only see once a year, the whole country would simply collapse.
Yep. Way to go. Way to participate in the spirit of the season. I’d much rather stay at home and have cocoa in my jammies with my daughter and husband—but he has to work.