November 22, 2012

Black Friday Madness

Friday marks the day of shopping. Hundreds of thousands of hundred thousands of people will wake early, perhaps not even go to sleep Thanksgiving night, just to catch a break on gifts for the holidays. People will wait in line for hours just to save money. And some people save so much  money that it almost makes me want to partake in this event…almost.

I have been searching the web for all the “Black Friday Deals.” Some traditional retail stores offer deals starting on Thanksgiving day while others wait and open super early to offer their deals. Even more, some stores offer some deals in the physical store while offering other deals in the online stores. It is simply overwhelming.

What further frustrates me are all the disclaimers. I saw one store that is offering a 50” LED TV for under $300, only in small print on the add it states “Limited amounts available.” For people who do not look closely, they could, and likely will, have a terrible experience. Imagine that they stand in line for hours just to step in the door only to find out that all the available 50” LED TV options are gone. This sounds suspiciously like a bait and switch offer. Come into our store because we have this great deal; oh wait, we are out of that great deal, but what about this deal that is not quite as good. Yeah, I’d be angry.

I have only participated in the Black Friday madness once, and I did just to say that I gave the day a chance. I am not much of a shopper, so the whole experience nearly drove me to see a therapist (and that’s only slightly a joke). I just couldn’t believe that people would put themselves in the situation to be let down, run over, or screamed at. Those are what I experienced that one time I went shopping on Black Friday. Never again will I put myself in that position.

Simply put, saving money just is not worth the sacrifice and pain that I experienced on Black Friday. I also was disheartened by the greed that I saw on this day. I love to give gifts, and who doesn’t love to receive presents? But I do not want to give presents so much that I’d willing take something out of another shopper’s hands. I want to give gifts because I see something that I know my friends or family members will love. I don’t want to just buy something because it is a good deal.

Then I think about the individuals who work on Black Friday. Many of my immediate family members work in retail. One manages a home good’s store; another manages a clothing store, and a third is the district manager for a music, dvds, and other media store. All three will be hit so hard with customers on Black Friday that it’s likely I won’t hear from them for days because they will be so busy with their sales. Moreover, they will have to deal with customers who want better bargains. They will likely deal with cranky, stubborn, greedy, and otherwise disagreeable customers, too. Yikes!

I know many people who will go out and take advantage of Black Friday sales, and I say bully for them. I also hope that this year, people will be kinder, gentler and not trample each other, pull out guns, or ram shopping carts into others. I hope people will make the experience positive because, after all, people go out to buy presents for others. Shouldn’t those come from a happy, positive experience?

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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