Black Friday shopping overshadows time with family

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Johanna Dakay

Amanda Livingston, Editor in Chief

Black Friday. The day when companies prepare their stores for a massive crowd of aggressive, sale seeking customers.

My dad has worked retail pretty much all his life with the exception of one year he was unemployed. As a kid, my dad wasn’t gone too much to work for Black Friday — or at least, it seemed that way.

As the years have gone on, I’ve become more aware of the gap left by the absence of his presence.

My dad worked for a number of years at Target, where they would have to be at the store at 4 a.m., to open at 6 in the morning. They would then work a 12 hour shift.

When he worked at the Sony Outlet store in San Marcos, my dad would have to eat an early dinner on Thanksgiving, and take a nap before leaving for work at 9 p.m. They would then work until midnight prepping the store, and would open at midnight.

Black Friday is a ludicrous excuse for businesses to boost profits by making people work obscenely scheduled hours so that consumers can go out and spend all their money on things they don’t need.

Occasionally there’s some insane customer who pulls a knife or a gun on someone, just because they called dibs on a shirt that someone else tried to grab at the same time. Last year a woman took a knife from the home accessories

section of a Wal-Mart, only to use it to stab a man several times to prevent him from taking the last Xbox 360.

Some would argue, that Black Friday saves money on holiday presents and that the deals are great. I won’t deny that. You can get all your Christmas shopping out of the way, for much less than you would spend on a normal shopping excursion. Others would argue that when someone applies for a job in retail, they should know what they’re signing up for.

However the amount of hours the employees are asked to work has increased greatly over the years and the dangerous crowds make it difficult to support. Before, retail stores would open the Friday following Thanksgiving, but now some like Kmart, aren’t closing at all.

Corporations need to set a boundary, and stop taking away from something as special as Thanksgiving.

The Thanksgiving season is about being thankful and taking advantage of what you are given, and what you have. Having a shopping day right after Thanksgiving where people spend their money to buy a bunch of new stuff takes away the meaning of the holiday.