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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Retail Rant Revisited - Episode Six - Black Friday Blues

Black Friday.

Such an ominous name that retailers have for their best sales weekend of the year. Given such, because the sales made tend to shift each company from the red to the black for the year.

Last year was my tenth year of working Black Friday at my job. And the company started early, opening for three hours Thanksgiving evening as a preview. Since it was the first time we were open on Thanksgiving proper, no one knew exactly what to expect.

All I have to say about it is...Holy Crap.

There were so many people in the store, every cart and basket was in use. You couldn't walk down an aisle, it was so packed. The store did over $16,000 in three hours. And there were only nine people there to handle it all.

And Friday was even busier, as usual. You couldn't tell from the crowds of shoppers that there was any problem with the economy at all. Two stores down, people camped out in tents in the parking lot in front of the Best Buy to get an XBox 360.

Whoa.

In all my years of doing this, I still can't think of one item that I want so badly that I stand in line or sleep in a parking lot for a chance to get it.

And forget the whole "season of cheer and giving" thing this weekend. All politeness goes out the door as people complain, argue, and shove each other around to fill their carts with holiday gifts.

And I lost count of how many things crashed to the floor in a dozen or more pieces, casualties of the chaos. You Break It You Buy It is a thing of the past.

I don't hate people - I don't hate my job. I just get disgusted at the hipocrisy of it all. Customers descend like vultures, trashing stores and being rude to the sales people that wouldn't be there if they didn't have to, all under the guise of gift giving and holiday cheer.

What a crock.

Nothing like ten years of retail to turn you into a complete cynic.

If you can't tell - regardless of my schedule - I don't shop on Black Friday weekend. It's a principle thing.

*This year - I will be working Thanksgiving Day once again, as well as Black Friday. I'll be sure to come back with a full report for you after all the chaos!

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