Posted: Nov 26, 2013 6:00 AM
 
Everybody seems to get all excited about Black Friday, but you'll never find me in any store on that day. Beyond the crowds, I believe the consumer frenzy is getting out of control, extending now into actual Thanksgiving Day.

Perhaps I was born defective, or I've grown into some sort of misfit, but as a rule, when the rest of the world gets really excited about something, I tend to find myself shaking my head from the sidelines, thinking "What the heck?"

Take Black Friday, for example.

lines of people on black friday

The whole thing is simply incomprehensible to me. I don't care how much money I could potentially save, you will never find me shopping on Black Friday. The crowds alone are enough to deter me from even the most impressive "Doorbusting sale!" The parking, the lines at the registers, people lined up at the front door, running to get their free item, trampling people for $1 DVDs. I find it depressing, like the darkest dystopian movie ever made. It's like the worst of humanity all balled up on one day, and directly after the day we're all "grateful" for what we have!

OK, that's a bit of an exaggeration. Alright a total exaggeration. But the truth is, if crazed masses of penny-pinching humans is what I have to face, I'd rather not have whatever "deal" is on the table.

It's not that we're rich.

We're not.

Throngs of people darting around department stores to get the best deal on whatever needless item they saw on television… well that's just a new level of hell.

I could absolutely use the deals themselves, but I am way too irritable, impatient and generally negative for such an endeavor. No really. I can't stand throngs of people no matter what they're doing, but throngs of people darting around department stores to get the best deal on whatever needless item they saw on television… well that's just a new level of hell.

And it's not that I'm above materialistic Christmases. My family's Christmas is ridiculous. No really. It's bad. I buy an obscene amount of toys nobody needs, but I want to do it in comfort.

I don't want to do it with 100,000 other crazed mothers. I want to do it alone, nicely, on my own darn time. And that, my friends, is why I'm all about "Cyber Monday," which is actually "Cyber all week after Thanksgiving." I get great deals without crazed humans all up in my business.

Open on Thanksgiving?

clockThis year, an unprecedented number of retail stores are extending Black Friday by opening on Thanksgiving Day. This article on Huffington Post shows the stores open on Thanksgiving Day. While some are open only in the morning on Thanksgiving, many are open from 8 p.m. until 2 or 3 a.m., or they're open all day on Thanksgiving. Kmart is open 41 hours straight beginning on Thanksgiving.

This whole thing makes me sick. I'm not surprised, but it's disgusting. The part that makes me ill is not the idea that some people have to work on holidays: Lots of professions continue no matter what day it is. Doctors and public safety officials come to mind first. My father-in-law runs a ranch. He works on every holiday.

What makes me sick about this situation is that these people are working on Thanksgiving for an insipid reason. They're working on holidays so the corporation they're working for can rake in even more money. Yeah, they get holiday pay, whatever. But many of them don't have a choice but to work on these holidays.

For me, here's the bottom line: The people making the decision about whether or not to open on Thanksgiving are not the ones actually doing the work on Thanksgiving. They aren't missing their holiday. They aren't running around dealing with angry humans wanting their free blanket while the rest of their family eats turkey and listens to Aunt Sue tell the same story she's been telling for 27 years.

The people making the decision about whether or not to open on Thanksgiving are not the ones actually doing the work on Thanksgiving. They aren't missing their holiday.

As always, the system works beautifully if you're on the top. If you're privileged enough to have a job with paid holidays (or holidays at all), it's pretty easy to sit back and say, "Well, if they don't like it they should get another job." But if you're the one trying to feed your family, and Kmart is the place that hired you, you don't throw that job away. (And if you do, those same people will scream at you, "Oh nice! You refuse to work but will take money from the government! My hard-earned tax dollars!").

So you're screwed if you work unskilled labor (you're the throw-away working poor), and you're screwed if you refuse to work unskilled labor (you're a leach sucking from the government).

That's my problem with making people work retail jobs on Thanksgiving, and that's why you'll find me avoiding stores forcing employees to work on Thanksgiving.

Because I'm grateful for the time I have with my family, and I'm sure they would be, too. And because I, at least, have a choice.

Read the opposing view: Black Friday Shopping, FTW! >>

More on Thanksgiving

How to save money on Thanksgiving dinner
3 Easy ways to spruce up your Thanksgiving table
Thanksgiving pecan tart

Topics: