The blackest of Fridays

Posted on 10 December 2015 by admin

Unthankful on Thanksgiving

By: AUSTIN SCHUMANN
Staff Multimedia Specialist

 

Many families have Thanksgiving Day traditions. A few years ago, my tradition was to go out of town and visit my family in Indiana.Black Friday

For the last few years I have had a different tradition, but not one by choice. These last few years I have been working at Target on Black Friday, and with working on Black Friday comes working on the Thursday before.

Lately, Target and many other corporations have extended their Black Friday hours into Thanksgiving Day — attracting the same hordes to their doors that would usually wait till the early hours Friday morning.

The holidays are a very stressful time of year for many people and retail workers know this all too well. Starting in mid-October, department stores begin advertising that it is time to start buying your presents for the upcoming winter holidays.

From then on the store is bombarded by three times the normal foot traffic, clogging the front lanes. There is no problem with these people coming to do their holiday shopping, I have no issue with the idea of gift giving on the holidays. In fact I see it as a good way to show your friends and loved ones how you feel with well thought out gifts.

The problem arises on Thanksgiving Day itself. I have never been a fan of Black Friday on account of its preventing me from leaving town to visit family, but it was something that I could live with. Then at some point three years ago, some executive at Target decided it would be a good idea to open the night before, staying open until normal closing hours on Friday.

After that decision was made, Target stopped caring about their employees. For starters this turns Thursday and Friday into blackout days, which means that an employee may not ask off that day no matter the circumstances.

This alone was not too much of an issue as Black Friday was always a blackout day, but now employees were no longer able to opt to spend the holiday with their family.

With the store opening at 6 p.m. it interrupted many dinner plans, forcing families to either have their meal earlier or forgo it completely. One of the worst parts about these two days were that most employees were required to work both days which was not an issue if you were given time between the two shifts to adequately rest, but not everyone was so lucky.

My personal experience was to work for four hours from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and return at 3 a.m. until 11 a.m. This gave me all of four hours to sleep; not taking into account the time it would take me to drive home and back.

By the time the day was over, I had stayed awake for a total of 27 hours. Many of my fellow employees received similar fates having two shifts put so close together, unable to properly rest in the meantime.

That is why next year, before you or your family go out for Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday shopping, ask yourself a question. Are the deals worth employees losing family time?

Cyber Monday is just around the corner with deals just as amazing. Do you need to buy things on a day when people are supposed to be thankful for what they already have?

 

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