Several years ago, Peter and I got up extremely early on the day after Thanksgiving to check out the “door buster” sales. It was fun, and we got some great deals, but it’s not something we’ve been inclined to do. And I’ve been chagrined as Black Friday has edged its way into Thanksgiving Day itself.
However, I’ve come around to Peter’s opinion that this change is making Black Friday more humane for both shoppers and sales associates. While I was preparing Thanksgiving dinner, Peter went online to Fry’s Electronics and bought a Black Friday special, which he can pick up any time today. And around 8 pm Peter and the children went out to Toys R Us and Best Buy for some specials, where the lines and crowds had dissipated already. Other places which have been the sites of Black Friday tragedies, like WalMart, instituted a one-hour in-stock guarantee, so there is no need for bargain hunters to get violent with one another about the last half-price TV when the hour of the sale begins in the afternoon.
I would pity the associates who have to cut their Thanksgiving short, but Peter also pointed out that now they can come to work — and handle the worst of the crowds — during normal hours, rather than having to awaken at 2 a.m. and start a full shift in the wee hours of the morning. Plus, for working on a holiday, they get time and half, which means more money.
True, some associates will still have to come to work in the night, but the shoppers are now inside, not freezing in the cold, and possibly in the rain, getting crankier and wrought up.
It cuts short the evening you would spend hanging out with family and friends — which typically was spent watching a movie or playing a game. But I was the only person who stayed home and I ended up accidentally offending a friend on Facebook with a fact I thought was cheeky and funny, and she didn’t. So maybe we, too, should have been out shopping instead.