Forum: Arts / Debates

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re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 02:18 PM
Edited by Louise (29559) on 2013-11-16 14:21:18
I don't even see the need for grocery stores to be open on days like this. Yes people have busy lives but you have advance notice of the date of Easter, Christmas, have plenty of time to prepare and stock up on food and toilet paper. There should be no reason to go and buy food on these days - you knew it was coming, you could have bought it two, three, seven days earlier.

Talking of professions where it'd be essential to work holidays - priests and vicars, you'd think, would chalk it up as a given. Not the father of my former housemate. "Oh I couldn't possibly give a sermon on Christmas/Easter - it's too special a day to lead a service". I am not even joking. Then again he didn't have a church, he just had people come to his house as it was more convenient. And each of them gave him 10% of their annual salary for the privilege/his new carpet and skiing holidays. /epic digression
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 02:27 PM
I agree about grocery stores. But sometimes things can slip your mind. When I was at the grocery store, people coming in on Thanksgiving never had a TON of food that they were buying. It was usually a frantic woman coming up to the counter with a can of cranberry juice or gravy going, "Oh god, I can't believe I forgot this!"

I did have a woman my first year working at the grocery store come up to my register at 10AM on Thanksgiving and go, "I've been ALL OVER this store. Where are your turkeys?!"

*blank stare* "We SOLD them all... because it's Thanksgiving."

Don't you need to thaw a turkey for a few days before Thanksgiving anyway?!
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By Louisemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 17315, member since Thu Jun 06, 2002
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 02:56 PM
I just think unless you have literally neglected to purchase the centrepiece of the meal, then you'll be ok. I can't count the amount of special-occasion dinners where we've opened the cupboard or fridge after the meal and said - aw maaan, I forgot to cook the peas/carrots/yorkshires or forgot to put out the mustard/apple sauce/horseradish. People tend not to notice unless you make a huge deal of having forgotten it. So is it worth opening for people to buy salt, ice, gravy or an extra potato?

I've actually workedonall the British holidays, albeit behind the bar. SO different to retail - everyone's in an awesome mood and the tips are unreal, even off the grumpiest buggers.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16430, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 04:03 PM
About the only I item we've ever forgotten that was important enough for a dash to town on Thanksgiving was the whipped cream for the pies. You can't have pie without whipped cream! Lol. Anything else we can make do without.

I'm missing something here, I'm sure. Be offline for a day or two and things move fast, but the Walmart point... Aren't most, if not all Walmarts open 24/7 anyway? And Walmart is not exactly well known for treating their under employees well. Corporate and execs for sure get treated well, but the regular store staff? Not so much.

When I was a kid everything was closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day except for the odd convenience store and hospitals, fire halls, police stations and the like. When I was a teenager the movies started opening up for an evening showing on those days.

I don't really remember if Black Friday was done then. It seems to have sprung up as our society has become more and more 'things' oriented. Also, the people I know who participate in Black Friday are usually people who have money. Broke people have to plan around the paycheck and Black Friday does not always happen convenient to the pay period.

I stand by my earlier comments of it not being necessary to be open before 8 Am on Black Friday. I really don't see the need for businesses to open Thanksgiving. That just says 'greed' to me. I'll be spending the day with my family, some of whom are driving several hours to be together. It would be very difficult for one family member in particular to drive three hours for Thanksgiving dinner then turn right around and drive three hours straight back to work at 4 AM. We might see her all of an hour or two if she had to work her retail job. Likely she wouldn't come at all. Some people may not care if they don't spend the holiday with their family, but like someone else said, it might be the only time we see some of them all year.

re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 06:37 PM
Aren't most, if not all Walmarts open 24/7 anyway?

Not where I live. There are a few, but the majority close at night, and the extra staff they need in all areas of the store on Black Friday from managers, checkers, to greeters, to stockers is double if not triple what they would need on other days.

I don't participate in Black Friday. I hate crowds, I hate standing in line, and there is nothing I need bad enough to venture out that day. I for SURE would never leave my family on Thanksgiving night to go shopping for anything. That time is just too precious for me.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7023, member since Sat Jul 17, 2004
On Sat Nov 16, 2013 07:59 PM
We don't have black Friday here, but the idea sounds pretty similar to boxing day sales in Australia. Although I worked boxing day in retail last year and it was pretty calm. No hoards of people lining waiting for the store to open or anything like that, and I was working for a pretty major department store. I guess it was a bit busier than a regular day, but not crazy or anything.

I also worked christmas eve, which was pretty dead. The store closed at 9pm, but at 8.55pm our line managers came around told everyone that we'd all be required to stay an extra 2 hours after 9pm to set up for the boxing day sales - with absolutely zero notice. My guess is that someone in management forgot to roster for the sale set up, and so it was 'all hands on deck to fix my mistake' situation.

I worked with a lot of mothers/grandmothers who were looking forward to getting home to their children to tuck them in before santa came or whatever, and they were pretty upset about it. We were told in no uncertain terms that if we didn't stay, our jobs wouldn't be guaranteed. One lady was teary the whole time as we stuck little red markdown stickers on everything, and I felt so bad for her.

That was kind of a turning point for me working in retail. You really get to witness the grubby and greedy approach to things first hand when you're at the mercy of it all as an employee. I think opening DURING thanksgiving to squeeze some more money out of what is meant to be a one day sale is just another example of it. Its pretty gross. Can't there just be one day where people, including retail employees, can be with their families like the rest of the world? Retail outlets KNOW that they're guaranteed a spending frenzy and huge profits the next day.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2100, member since Tue Aug 30, 2005
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 01:08 PM
Got my schedule for next week like an hour ago. I'm working at a major department store and the mall is opening at 8pm Thanksgiving, so of course, we have to, too. I'm expected to be there from 7:30pm-12:30am and then back again on Friday from 9am-5:30pm. Needless to say, I'm not exactly thrilled about this. Thank god I live nearby and my boyfriend can drop me off so I'm only going to lose (hopefully) ~45 minutes of my 8.5 hours off to the commute. (In order to provide even more parking for our customers, mall employees aren't allowed to park at the mall on Black Friday and for several weeks around Christmas. There's a big parking lot about a mile out where they have us park and then they run buses to shuttle all of the employees. So you have to arrive maybe a half hour earlier than usual to account for the shuttle and make sure you're at work on time.) They did warn us that we might have to work both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but I (stupidly) figured they'd give us maybe 10 hours in between shifts to eat, sleep, and bathe.

Getting another job is not an option (believe me, I've looked) nor is celebrating a day or two early because I have to work then, too. So, of course, I'm going to go and "suck it up" and pretend I'm happy to be there, but that doesn't mean that I have no right to be upset or complain. I knew when I took the job that I'd probably get some pretty crappy hours, but I need the money and I need the job, so I will do whatever it takes to prove I am a good employee. It still sucks, though, and I can still wish that the mall hadn't decided to be open on the holiday itself.

I worked here last year during Black Friday, also. We opened at 6am, I think, and I was there at 5:30 (got off at 3?) When the doors opened, people literally started sprinting. It was actually kind of funny just because it was so bizarre and surreal. It felt like satire of how out-of-hand our consumerism has gotten, but of course, it wasn't.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 01:13 PM
Oh, I certainly feel for you, Claritin.

Luckily? I'm working a straight through shift. So, I'll get there around 7PM and work straight until 8AM the next morning. And then I'll have the rest of the day off.

I'm surprised they're doing split shifts like that and not just having everyone work an extra long shift to cover throughout the day.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By califeisgirl Comments: 2439, member since Thu Mar 21, 2002
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 01:58 PM
As the girlfriend of a police officer and the granddaughter of a fireman, I do kind of think "Who gets involved in the retail without understanding you have to work on holidays?" Boyfriend is working Thanksgiving this year. We will probably hit up Black Friday sales when he gets done around midnight. He won't get much of a thanksgiving dinner. My mom can tell you plenty of stories of putting Christmas on hold for days because her dad was in rotation at the station.

I've worked a bit of retail, including Black Friday at a Best Buy. I was an independent vendor for DVD displays, so I had to get there extra early, try to set up displays (the manager had stored all their extra inventory in front of my display stuff so I had to crawl over everything to get what ever I could) and then work the first few hours. I just figured it part of the job, like working Halloween weekend when I was employed at the Halloween store.

I don't think it is right that retail workers don't get holiday pay though. There is a Wal Mart practically across the street from our apartments. We went over there for Black Friday last year, and I did appreciate the fact they were trying to make things nice for the employees with a barbecue going on behind the store, but I think extra paycheck money would be nicer.

As a total airhead, I could see myself shopping at the grocery store at Thanksgiving. More than once I forgot one ingredient in a recipe. So basically I would have to scrap the whole recipe over the fact that I forgot we didn't have salt, or something to that effect.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday) (karma: 2)
By Claritinmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 2100, member since Tue Aug 30, 2005
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 06:53 PM
Edited by Claritin (139973) on 2013-11-18 19:03:54
califeisgirl wrote:

As the girlfriend of a police officer and the granddaughter of a fireman, I do kind of think "Who gets involved in the retail without understanding you have to work on holidays?"

I don't think anyone who works retail is surprised that they have to work holidays. Frustrated and disappointed, maybe, but I doubt many people go into it thinking they can take a bunch of time off during the holidays. There's a huge difference, however, between being a police officer or medical worker and having to go into work on Thanksgiving because people's lives and livelihoods depend on you and having to go into work on Thanksgiving so people can get their big screen TVs 12 hours earlier. It really would be nice if we could put consumerism on hold for a measly 24 hours so more people (who work non-specialized, non-essential jobs) can take a break and just enjoy spending time with their families, too. As others have said, the things that Thanksgiving symbolizes are being completely overshadowed by "Gray Thursday." Black Friday is a traditional part of the job description and I have no problem with it, but I'd rather not have to cut my Thanksgiving dinner, family, and relaxation time short so that (general) you can buy a blender.

Also, for many people who work in retail, it's not really a matter of, "Oh, I don't like working during the holidays, I should get an office job." Many work in retail because they don't have a whole lot of other options for whatever reason. Speaking personally, if I could get an office job, I would be gone in a second. (And not even because I don't like it, the scheduling is just really difficult to deal with.) Unfortunately, that's not looking like it's going to happen (and I have a college degree, I just didn't really plan out or think about career goals while in school and it's now come back to bite me in the butt. I can't imagine what it's like for someone without a degree.) So, yes, I am stuck here, "choosing" to work on Thanksgiving, or more specifically, choosing not to leave the one job I could find, no matter how important the holidays are to me. I'm not sure what the company's policy is on holiday pay, but there's no law about it, so we probably won't get it.

Muffin- I imagine they're doing the split shifts so that most people work the same number of hours, but they don't have to pay anyone overtime.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By ballerinatwirler Comments: 2083, member since Sat May 29, 2004
On Mon Nov 18, 2013 07:38 PM
^ I agree 100%. It's really hard to find any job right now so sometimes it's not a matter of choice. My mom's a nurse and my dad is a police officer and they are fine with working a holiday because they are appropriately compensated and also because their hours stay normal. When I work retail I would work 3-1130PM then drive 30 minutes home and had to be back at work at 7AM so I wasn't even given an 8 hour break.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By Kettricken Comments: 174, member since Thu Jun 07, 2012
On Tue Nov 19, 2013 06:44 AM
Honestly, I think the whole black friday thing is gonna tone way down in a few years.

The problem is that the stores all used to make a lot of their holiday sales on that day. It was a bit of an event that got some people excited about the Christmas season. With the economy the way it has been the last few years, the deals have been less amazing so people haven't been coming out and spending as much.

The vendor's answer was to extend the hours. People who weren't willing to get up at four a.m. may be willing to stay up until midnight. This helped a little bit, but still hasn't made up the numbers from previous years.

Thus, I have a feeling that in a few years, everything is gonna die down. Stores won't be able to afford all that extra staffing if people aren't coming to buy things.

On another note. My husband and I live a decent bit away from our families. We usually don't go home for Thanksgiving, and just go home for an extended stay at Christmas. Since we basically just cook a nice big meal for the two of us, and had no other plans for Friday, the two of us started going out early on Friday morning and grabbing some good deals for Christmas presents.

It was a lot of fun to watch people going so crazy.

The last couple years, it has definitely had a different feel. I don't think we're going to go out Black Friday, since we are going home for Thanksgiving this year.
re: How early is too early? (Black Friday)
By RileyA Comments: 3120, member since Tue Jan 03, 2006
On Fri Nov 22, 2013 04:15 AM
It's only once a year.

We don't have Black Friday in Australia, but there is a day a few days before Christmas where the stores stay open to kid eight and one big store stays open for 48 hours. Its a lot of fun.
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