Hello loyal readers of The Constant Complainer. Yes, I’m still alive, although it’s been a few months since I last posted. Please accept my apologies for being away. I’m rested, ready to get back on track and hope to be around again on a more regular basis.
What, do you ask, was so monumental that it made me want to return? Well, that’s easy. It was Black Friday. Actually, back up a minute. It was Black Tuesday (that’s what I’m calling it at least). I went to the local Best Buy last night (Tuesday) at 6:15 p.m. And what did I see? People already camping out in preparation for Black Friday! On Tuesday!!! So you guys know me…I went inside the Best Buy and started questioning the associates about the campers.
Best Buy said the two tents were pitched on Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. Further, Best Buy said the rules were that someone had to be in the tents at all times, in order for the shoppers to preserve their space in line. So let me get this straight…you want to sit in a tent all day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and miss Thanksgiving, so you can get into Best Buy first at 12:00 a.m. on Friday? That thought process has never made sense to me. I’d rather pay $200 more for something than stand in line. And if there was the possibility that I wasn’t going to get something because of low quantities, I still wouldn’t wait in a long line. Although, my personal favorites are the morons on the news who are first in line this year, but have no idea what deals the stores will even be offering.
The second part of my problem with the whole Black Friday mess is the stores who are now open on Thanksgiving Day. What happened to the idea of spending Turkey Day with your family? Don’t get me wrong; hospitals, drug stores, gas stations…they have to be open and employees choose to work there. I get that. But now it seems that retailers are just skipping over Black Friday. Bed Bath & Beyond says they have Black Friday pricing now. Wal-Mart, Sears and more than 100 other major retailers are saying they will be open on Thanksgiving Day - some as early as 6:00 a.m. You can see the complete listing of major chains planning to be open on Thursday here. Interestingly, I went through a Burger King drive-thru the other day and they had a note posted saying that they had decided to open on Thanksgiving Day, but that the only employees working are those that volunteered to do so. I thought that was classy. Wal-Mart on the other hand, hasn’t been so lucky - employees in as many as 12 states are threatening to walk-off the job in protest of their Thanksgiving Day hours.
When I was a kid, Black Friday meant my mother got up at 7 a.m. and headed out. As I got older, people left the house a little earlier in the morning. Years later, people were heading out by 3 a.m. Then it became midnight. Now it has become standing in line for days. To each their own I guess, but I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to stand in lines and pitch tents to save $50. And I question retailers who are now scheduling their employees to work on Thanksgiving since they’ll be open. Make it a lottery system where every consumer has the same chance and then show up first thing on Friday for your place in line. I should probably receive a major award for that suggestion. Best Buy?