Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho! (Who'd Be A Turkey At Christmas?)

The title of this blog is actually the name of an old Elton John B side, but it felt right for this title as it involves both Christmas & Thanksgiving.

This blog is about the horrible trend of businesses and Black Friday sales, and more importantly when these sales start.

They get earlier and earlier every year til we're at the point that the earliest Black Friday sale now begins at 9 pm (Central time) @ Toys'R'Us where a kid can be a kid and an employee can get screwed out of a holiday like every other person that works in retail.

It's a shame, and there finally seems to be some backlash.

4 a.m. seemed to be the "normal" starting hour for years, but one retail giant decided that wasn't good enough. One retail giant that is number 1 and for all intent purposes will remain #1, while the others are only competitors. Wal Mart. Wal Mart has been calling the shots for years and everyone else follows their lead in an attempt to catch up, at their employees expense.

Hell almost every Wal Mart is 24 hours anyway now, but you used to be able to count on holidays.

Not so anymore, now they start their sales at 10 p.m. (Again, Central-I find it underrated) in order to sell more items.

On top of all this, people like to complain about how we go right from Halloween to Christmas and skip Thanksgiving. I'd like to know how many of them will be lined up at 10 P.M. that night to get the latest must have deals for the holidays. So don't give me that crap, you should think about the employees who have to put up with fighting, complaining and what have you, just to make a few extra bucks which probably isn't worth it in the end for all the hell they go through.

So, if you're worried about Thanksgiving losing it's meaning and have ever worked in retail, or even walked into a store and thought "Christ, I'm glad I don't have to do this for a living" then STAY HOME on Thanksgiving night. Don't worry about that must have deal on a TV that will be obsolete by New Year's day. get up and go at a decent hour the next morning. Don't let the ads dictate how you're going to spend your day. Show the stores that you don't like how their staff is being treated. True, some may choose to work that night to get some extra money, but in this economy, really how far are you going to go with it? Do the math.

The stores won't suffer a damn bit. A little hint for those who have never worked retail: Stores base their decisions mainly on trends and where they were the same time last year, and for a lot of these stores, they weren't open this early last year, so this is extra money here. Once they look back next year and say "Shit, that was a waste" then eventually people will get their holiday back, and you won't have to set your clock to get up so damned early on a day you're lucky to even have off.

You and I, we don't owe this economy anything. We don't owe this nation our money or our time. They'll get it anyway, and when you think "Screw this guy, what does he know" put yourself in the employees position. think to yourself if you had to cut Thanksgiving dinner short, or have it the week before, because you have to go in that night and spend it with some unruly bunch of assholes that think you're responsible for everything that goes wrong. Hell, think about the videos(and I gurantee there will be some) of some guy getting trampled to death by shoppers. and then think about the fat cat CEOs and presidents that are sitting at home enjoying their dinner in their own home with the money you have given them and made their life possible-and the employees who did as well because of YOUR demand and are probably getting time and a half if they're lucky, and really, in this world, it doesn't mean shit. There's plenty of other days to work-all year long if you don't watch out, because Christmas will be next if you keep this shit up. Wait and see.

1 comment:

  1. Well, you know, re "do the math", you could do it this way: if the 2009 population of just the US citizens who are living at or below "absolute poverty" (yes, the technical term), whether unemployed or just burdened with unbearable debt, were compared to the populations of whole countries, they would rank as the 30th largest country in a list of 226, only two places behind the entire population of Spain. The raw numbers for 2010 have not yet been released to the public, though it's been indicated that it shows yet another major increase. Those from 2007 to 2008 and again from 2008 to 2009 were both record largest increases, with approximately 2.5 million more living in poverty in 2008 than in 2007 and 3.8 million more in 2009. If, as has been suggested, the growth rate from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011 has been on the same scale, the US poverty population at present could be anywhere from the 22nd to 24th largest "nation", beating out either South Africa (24th), Italy (23rd) or the United Kingdom (22nd) in population size, falling only slightly behind the whole of France in 21st!

    So rather than pitying those who "have" to work holidays—I'm going to be thankful they still have jobs at all, even shitty ones. If they really find it that bad, they can quit and join the immense population of people who only wish they had that job and would work it gladly.

    And as far as going in earlier goes for retail employees: warehouse employees and the tech people who have to run the sites online have been having to deal with Black Friday sales each weekend now for four weeks, and those of us who get contracted to program and manage web interfaces and deal with immense traffic upswells and database hits and crashes from obsessive online shoppers the world over taking advantage of the deals, also work around the clock, because in a global market like the internet, you have to contend with traffic from every timezone and not just the local one or the few in the US and someone's always awake and always "needing" that very latest gadget shipped immediately.

    But screw it—it's work, and it's the only thing that makes it possible to even try to keep up with the daily increasing living expenses and healthcare.

    The unfortunate bit—or one of them—about the human condition is that no matter how bad it seems, it really can always get worse. You could have this job.

    As for corporations rolling back these things in response to a lack of customer response, can you actually cite a single example of that ever happening? The shopping season sales have by all accounts taken a hit for three years running, now, due to the failing and faltering economy, and yet they haven't reversed their decision: they just push that much further on in order to try to "make up for" the sales they expected. As far as I've ever seen, once a corporation pushes a date or agenda like this forward, the next step is only to push it that much further and not to say, "Oh, we were wrong, let's go back to the old way." For that matter, I'm not sure I can think of a single example of a corporation ever saying or thinking they were wrong. As long as there are still sheeple, corporations will keep this shit up and people will stampede ahead into further debt like cattle marching into a slaughter house, thinking all the while the "sale" is doing them a favor!

    Me, I haven't been near a "Black Friday"—or any other kind of mass sale—since high school a century ago. Before, I simply wasn't interested in the crowds; today, who can truly afford the worthless crap on offer at exorbitant prices (as in actually paying for it, not charging)?

    Short of a few hundred thousand more years of evolution, if that, I don't see the sheeple mindset going anywhere.

    Happy holidays.