I have to rant, I must get it out of my system. This time of year just does it to me. This day in particular does it. Black Friday.
I work retail, and have for my entire working life. It's not a glamorous job, and it barely pays my bills, but it's taught me a lot. It's all I know. This one day out of the year, I find myself angry at the general public. Sure on any given day John Q. Public is in my store doing stupid things or being a jerk, but hey, that's normal. I signed up for that. Mind you, I don't think I fully understood that when I first started working in that little mom and pop store, but I digress.
Black Friday is nonsense. It's stupid and John Q Public makes it even worse. He doesn't seem to understand that the stores are not run by robots. We don't sleep in the back rooms, ready to pop up the very instant the store opens. No. We have families. We are people. When you yell at us and call us stupid, it hurts. When you decide to wait outside of stores for good deals on the Friday following Thanksgiving, we have to be there to let you in. What does that mean? That means that many of us have to cut our evenings short so we can go to bed to be up at 2am so we can be at work at 4am and work 10-12 hours. Or in the case of this year, several people I work with have to just up and leave their Thanksgivings with their families because my sister store opens at 9pm. That's not fair.
How would you like it if you had to do that? You've just eaten and you'd like to sit around enjoying family time or even alone time, but you couldn't because now you have to get up and get ready to go to work. Everyone else you know is sitting around passed out on the sofa or playing video games or whatever, and you have to leave the one holiday you still get off in a year to wait on a bunch of people who will fight, run each other over and cause general mayhem for 30% off a toy. Yeah, sounds like the true spirit of giving to me.
What if it was your daughter/son? Your granddaughter/grandson? Would you want them having to drive in the middle of the night? Would you want them having to deal with throngs of people like that before you've even had your first cup of coffee? Hell, you'll probably still be in bed when they are calling the police over a fight or a shop lifter. Remember all those people who got trampled in doorways? Yeah, John Q Public caused that.
Hear me out. Sure the stores make the sales to entice people to come in, but you know what? They wouldn't do it if no one came. They couldn't afford to. It might just allow some of us to enjoy our family time. I don't choose to get up at 2am tomorrow. But you choose to make me.
I get off only two holidays a year; Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do not get holiday pay for being at work any other time during any other holiday including Easter or the 4th of July. My company is greedy like that. And they are greedy enough to decide last year to open our sister store at midnight on Thanksgiving. This year, they bumped it up to 9pm. Soon enough we won't get Thanksgiving off at all. I think that's a tragedy. Not because of the holiday but because we loose that together time. I don't get together time with my family. They are off on days that I am required to work. I want to be able to enjoy the togetherness of a holiday that is supposed to allow us a break.
Remember that when you go shopping tomorrow. Remember that the people behind the counter are real people. They deserve respect too. They had to get up so that you could go shopping. They gave up their holiday so that you could get your discounts. So be nice. And next time, maybe think twice about that extra 30% off, is it really worth the cost in humanity?
I'm done ranting now. I have to go to bed, so I can be up at 2am, 3 if I decide not to eat breakfast.