Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday

Thanksgiving, perhaps my favorite holiday, is over. It was okay- more on that at a later point. My former favorite holiday was Christmas. I almost wrote old favorite holiday, which makes me realize that the French word "ancien" meaning both old or former makes more sense than I always thought.

Tomorrow is Black Friday, the huge shopping day that officially segues into the Christmas season, and is actually the reason I don't like Christmas as much anymore. In just a few hours, people will be knocking down doors and walking over other floors made up of tile, clothing, and spines, to get fight over sale items.

I worked in a toy store for five Christmas seasons. I have survived five Black Fridays, or as we called it in the industry "Green Fridays." To this day, I can handle a lot of pressure at work and can think on my toes because I worked in one of the top five toy stores in our chain, in the entire country, on the biggest shopping day of the year, five times. It was actually usually fun- they gave us food, drinks, we got an extra dollar as a bonus with our check. It was intended for us to get a refreshment, which was cute, since a bottle of Coke was already $1.05 at that point. We also occasionally received tips (there goes the $5 bucks you saved).

Tomorrow will be the 7th year I have not worked at the toy store on Black Friday, yet still it makes me anxious. While it was fun, I saw the lowest of the low in humanity during these times as well. Fighting, stealing, swearing, pushing, yelling, accusing, threatening, verbally assaulting. The police had to be called on several occasions. There was always a new "hot" toy. I didn't see the Furby until after Christmas, and I WORKED in a toy store. I remember them being returned a lot because they were stupid. And I remember them ending up on a sale endcap for $5 and no one wanted them.

But, everyone had to get up at 4 a.m. to get one because they heard they were supposed to. There weren't even really ads for the toys all that often, so kids didn't know about them, just their parents. Your 1-year-old doesn't know what a Tickle Me Elmo or a Sleep and Snore Ernie is, even though the people on the news told you to get her one. When she does meet them, she's going to think they are frightening and run away. If she could speak and knew the word "demon" she'd be sure to scream it.

When people tell me they are getting up for the sales, I try to tell them not to. Some people think it's fun; I think it sounds terrible. To each his own I guess. While trying to find a Youtube video of a stampede into a store on Black Friday, I instead came across something much more disturbing. I found a video someone had posted, taken from their camera phone, of a Walmart employee receiving CPR from an EMT crew. He died. He had been trampled by everyone rushing into the store.

I hate a lot of things, irrationally, and will admit that I have no reason to hate them. The memory of Black Fridays still stick with me, and don't think I'm crazy to hate them. Good luck and Godspeed to all of you who think it's worth it. You are probably already getting into your car to camp out to save a bunch of money on some overpriced item that you think someone should want.

I, on the other hand, can't sleep. I never slept before working a 4 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift. The past few years I have had trouble sleeping because I want to completely miss the insanity. I want to go to sleep when it begins and wake up when it's over. I am celebrating Blackout Friday.


Marco said...

Due to this blog post and harassing from you. i have given up my Black Friday search...because i am just going to steal you're satc dvds :)

Tim said...

You may not steal them, but you may borrow or come and play with them. I will keep my eye open for non Death-Friday sales.

Anita Rackow said...

Did you know what this year's hot toy is... wait, for it... actually i just decided i am going to write a quick post about it. So wait for that.