Diatribe: If You Go Shopping Today, You’re Part Of The Problem.
There’s been a lot of whining and complaining about retail establishments opening earlier and earlier for their traditional “Black Friday” sales. Many stores will be opening this evening, some as early as 5:00 p.m., causing widespread outrage among those who think it’s just awful that the “greedy corporations” are forcing their underpaid hourly workers to give up precious time with their families in order to line the company’s coffers. Online petitions have been circulating for weeks hoping to send a message to big-box retailers that consumers find the new shopping hours to be a bad idea.
I say, quit whining and stay home. If you go shopping today, you’re part of the problem.
Working “holiday hours” is an occupational hazard in the retail industry. Anyone who makes a living working for a department store faces the reality that this simply comes with the territory and should not be surprised when they’re expected to work on the single busiest shopping day of the year. There are also many part-time employees who appreciate the opportunity to earn some extra money during the holiday season and, I imagine, every additional hour that they are allowed to work is a welcome opportunity.
Farmers make hay while the sun is shining, a blacksmith must strike while the iron is hot, fishermen drop their nets when the school rise to the surface, and retailers open their doors when customers line up with their credit cards ready to spend.
The laws of supply and demand can rarely be outsmarted. As long as folks line up at their doors, creating demand, retailers that do not offer a sufficient supply will not survive. I, for one, will not be shopping this evening … and I never shop on Black Friday … but not because I think it’s terrible that retail associates don’t get to spend time with their families, but because the chaos that one encounters is rarely worth the savings that they might find.
So, if you’re one of the people who is upset by the fact that stores are opening this evening … stay home. If nobody shows up at 5:00 p.m. to shop this Thanksgiving, odds will be better that department stores won’t open their doors at 5:00 p.m. next Thanksgiving.
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