Stay Home Next Week

We won’t be posting about Black Friday sales on our site, mostly because we think it’s insane to wait hours in the cold hoping for the slim chance that you’ll get one of five flatscreen TVs marked down to $10 or whatever, and also because I think it’s terrible that Black Friday has now extended into Thanksgiving Day, forcing retail workers like the ones at Target to give up their Thanksgivings and go to work hoping they won’t get trampled by a horde of shoppers in return for earning time and a half on their minimum wage pay. Stay home, eat plates of food and take naps. There will be plenty of time for shopping and many deals to be had in stores and online every day leading up to Chrismukkah.

Photo: kdt.

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22 Comments / Post A Comment

Lily Rowan (#70)

In Massachusetts, they can’t open on Thanksgiving….so they’ll open at midnight. That does not seem better!

People are gross.

Slutface (#53)

@Lily Rowan I thought I saw on the news that Walmart and Target are opening at 8 on Thanksgiving. I know they opened at 10 last year.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@Slutface Oh, really? Then I don’t know what I saw/heard that made me think that.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

I am so disgusted by the stores opening in the evening on Thanksgiving Day. Retail workers used to be able to count on two days a year that they would never be scheduled: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Just those two. The more we push back the start of Black Friday, the less time they have to travel for their Thanksgiving plans. Not okay. So not okay. When Black Friday started at 5am, you could drive home through the night if needed. What are you supposed to do when the sales start while some people are still eating pie?

wearitcounts (#772)

the thing about these insane practices is that without realizing it, by participating, you are putting a value judgement on what your time (and sanity) is worth. frankly, i value mine a lot more than a 50% off coupon.

KatNotCat (#766)

@wearitcounts I was thinking something similarly, but not so eloquently worded. Are *any* Black Friday deals worth dealing with all the hassle?

wearitcounts (#772)

@KatNotCat i’m sure there are people who would argue that they are, but i am not one of them. things are things; time is precious and irreplaceable.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

@KatNotCat For those of us who make decent money? Probably not. If I do any shopping on Black Friday, it’s usually at like 2pm when the crowds are gone, and I’m never shopping for electronics or anything like that.

But I will say- there are things that you can get on sale that are way higher quality than you would otherwise get for the price. You know that whole concept about how wealthy people get to spend $100 on boots that last years and years, while poor people have to make due with shitty $30 boots and buy a new pair every year? Black Friday sales, you might be able to get those $100 boots for $50. If you have less money to start, then there are parts of the sales that are worth your time.

KatNotCat (#766)

@wearitcounts I’ve been Black Friday shopping once, and honestly the deals seems comparable to what you can find at a chain discount store like TJ Maxx or Overstock any day of the year. I’ve seen some spectacular deals on extremely high quality items at those type of stores. The only Black Friday deals that seem unusually good are the electronics deals. The rest seems like a lot of marketing.

wearitcounts (#772)

@KatNotCat yes! i will dedicate a certain amount of time to pawing through the racks at tj maxx or marshall’s or home goods to find a really great deal on something i need, but that to me is completely different than staying up all night, waiting outside a store in the dark and the cold, and risking being trampled to death by a mob of desperate shoppers for just a chance at a deal (but only if i get there before 25 other people do).

aetataureate (#1,310)

It seems like one of the major hallmarks of the anti-labor trend in this country is when people are like, “WHATEVER, they’re getting time and a half!” Sure, that time and a half is less than I make at my entry-level office job, and these people are FORCED to work on holidays, but they should be grateful! UGH, f that noise.

Vicky (#2,266)

@aetataureate And many of those folks don’t actually get time and a half. Many have their hours cut other times so the company doesn’t have to give them overtime.

faustbanana (#2,376)

@Vicky I was about to write something totally unsubstantiated about Illinois wage laws, but after some research have learned that employers are not required to pay time and a half on holidays. It seems the two rules related to overtime are that overtime cannot be paid in paid time off, and an employee must have one day off for every six days worked, unless the employee volunteers to work on that seventh day.

I worked retail a few years back, for a store that was open 365 days a year (Tower Records, pour one out!) We got double-time on designated holidays (New Year’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas) and time and a half on some others (4th of July, Labor Day, etc.) It’s generous in theory, but consider the fact that we had to work on at least one of the three main holidays and that our wages were bottom of the barrel already. Few things are more depressing than eating “Thanksgiving Dinner” from Boston Market under humming fluorescents in a dingy break room.

@Vicky Yeah, only regular full-time staff get paid time and a half so a lot of these big stores schedule the temp and p/t staff for these holiday days so no overtime is paid out at all.

When I worked at a gas station I always had to work Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s etc. as we were open every day of the year. We recieved double pay for those holidays, which at the time was AMAZING, so I never really minded, and my boss had everyone work a half shift (four hours) so we all got at least some time off to be with family/friends.

That said – no one ever gets stampeded at a gas station on black friday and I imagine many retail workers situations aren’t as flexible.

Hmm. When I worked retail (clothing, about 2 years ago, California) we got double time to work Thanksgiving, and nobody was forced to work because the volunteers were overwhelming. A lot of the people I worked with really counted on that pay to get them through the holidays. So, while I’d never shop on Thanksgiving, I don’t begrudge the workers who need that money.

I admit, when I was working hourly, time off for holidays lost a lot of its luster and became in my mind just a day I won’t get paid.

Worker Parasite (#2,292)

@KathleenD@twitter Yes! I used to have to schedule people to work in a 24/7/365 operation, and I NEVER had trouble getting volunteers for holidays. Whether it was religious beliefs (or a lack thereof), a desire for holiday pay, or just an excuse to skip seeing the family over the holidays – there were always people wanting to work Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and the like. Granted it wasn’t retail, and I’m sure there are lots of people being forced to work on holidays, but not everyone is upset about doing it.

Weasley (#1,419)

I got my first job working at a movie theater when I was 15 and I had to work Christmas and the day after Christmas. You wouldn’t believe the number of people who go to the movies on Christmas. All I got was a free small popcorn and pop and my dad telling me that I ruined Christmas.

@Weasley Yes, according to my boyfriend, a lot of Jewish people spend Christmas at the movies.

auxamandes (#2,102)

@Weasley yup, movies and chinese food! it’s in the torah, ya know

selenana (#673)

Black Friday aka Buy Nothing Day.

I’m always a little torn on Black Friday, because on the one hand I hate it and everything it stands for, but then on the other hand I think that if I had less disposable income and/or more people to Christmas shop for, those deals could really make a difference and I wouldn’t be so quick to despise it.

That said, I am completely comfortable drawing a “no Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day, wtf, has the world gone mad” line.

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