Friday, November 25, 2011

Perspective, A Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago a whole bunch of businesses owners and managers reviewed office productivity for the day following Thanksgiving. The productivity review showed that between scheduled days off, "sick calls", out of town visitors and overstuffed employees, the day after Thanksgiving wasn't very productive at work. So the wise businesses owners closed the businesses the day after Thanksgiving. The employees received an extra holiday, although not every employee got a paid holiday.

With an extra day off work and gift giving holidays just around the corner, many of the employees spent the new holiday shopping. Wise retailers started to offer "extra-special specials", encouraging shoppers to come into the "we have specials" stores. It seemed the stores were busier in the afternoon, so the better specials were in the morning. Some specials were limited to the first few hours the stores were open. Some stores even started opening early on this extra holiday, some as early as 6 A.M.

source: morgueFile
As more and more stores started opening early with "extra special quantity limited" specials, the extra holiday was named Black Friday. Some wise store owners and managers realized that shoppers have a limited amount of money to spend. These wise store owners and managers began to offer "really extra special specials with extremely limited quantities" and opened their stores at 4 A.M.  The "really extra special specials prices with extremely limited quantities" were dubbed "Door Busters". Many shoppers started lining up at 2 A.M. or earlier to buy these "Door Busters." It began to seem that Black Friday was becoming more important than Thanksgiving.

source: Wikipedia
After a while Black Friday shoppers and store owners became more obsessed with Door Busters and profits. Stores started opening earlier (2 A.M., midnight, 10 P.M. on Thanksgiving) and some shoppers were trampled to death trying to but the Door Busters. Employees at the stores really didn't have much of a Thanksgiving and some people started to plan their Thanksgiving around their Black Friday. It seemed that what was once a wonderful extra holiday had lost it's luster.

The moral is yet to be determined except that I shouldn't write any more fairy tales. Enjoy your post Thanksgiving turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, turkey croquettes, turkey soup and turkey omelettes.

Any thoughts about Black Friday?


  1. Hmm. Maybe the Black in Black Friday is the black and blue from being trampled in the store. I bought something on line last night and got a Black Friday discount. I did not fight for a parking space or risk bruising in the process.
    Pat Iyer,

  2. It has aroused a firm resolve to skip all malls and door busting activity. I have even vowed to give up canned tomatoes for health and the planet. Sometimes when big commerce goes way too far, I feel a recoil that lasts forever. I already shop local and small, but have now been driven even farther into my resolve. Farmers markets and thrift stores make my shopping life fun and adventurous.

  3. Pat, We too make a concerted effort to complete holiday shopping by Thanksgiving. The last time I went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving was 4 years ago.I went to buy a snowblower,the worlds greatest Hannukah gift ever. The snowblower wasn't a door buster, so I went about 9:30 AM. Had to circle the mall 3 times to find parking. All done, my sanity and safety is worth more.

    Current, Thanks for adding to the conversation on a regular basis. The changes you are making are laudable, I hope to join in your category, though we do shop local and find farmers markets when possible. Although not a fan of the way big business approached the whole holiday retail extravaganza (check out Stan Freberg's Green Christmas) if the public refused to respond to the midnight cattle call at big-box mart,the whole thing would stop.

  4. It has become the day of greed. It is stupid how people can get so worked into a frenzy.....over materialistic items. I can't phantom why? Is this loving behavior? Is this worth being trampled like that poor old man that was trampled to the ground and then people walked around him with their eyes upturned. What kind of people have some of us become? This behavior smacks of a type of worship. And this is dangerous. Do not have any other gods before me. Sound familiar?

  5. Anon,
    If you think this is a false God behavior, I won't argue but I think that's a bit over the top. What was a day for seeking the deal you want, became a day for keeping score by how many deals you could score. Retailers eat this stuff up and add take notes to crank it up for the next year. All it takes is staying home and staying off-line to make it go away. Not likely to happen, though. Thanks for stopping by and next time, why not add your name? Enjoy all this holiday season has to offer.