The Friday that turned black

Reading Time: 2 minutes Black Friday is a shopping nightmare, but why?

Reading Time: 2 minutes
 By John Carlsen

Black Friday may seem like a chaotic day with no purpose, but it’s no longer that simple. Black Friday is traditionally the day of the year when retailers get out of the red and into the black.

The day signals the beginning of the holiday shopping season. But the fourth Friday of November has become a tradition in and of itself. Like all traditions, Black Friday has a light side as well as a dark side.

Let’s explore the light side: deals, deals and more deals. Americans quickly jump on the idea of saving money as well as finishing any holiday shopping early in the season. Is it really worth all the hype? I contend that it is, but for an entirely different reason: camaraderie.

Every Black Friday, I venture out with friends and family to get a look at the crowds. Maybe I’ll even buy something. But the highlight is going to a crowded restaurant to have breakfast with the people I’m with, the only time of the year when I do such a thing.

Many other people have similar Black Friday traditions, but the most popular is probably the nap. What else would be more perfect than to wake up earlier than ever and then to take a nap at 10 a.m.?

The dark side of Black Friday is another story, especially if you have to work on Black Friday. This often means going in to work on Thursday night to prepare for the rush. As expected, Friday morning brings the biggest challenges of all.

There are rude customers and crying children, endless lines of them. For every person who checks out, three more get in line. The inventory has to be restocked frequently to appease customer demand.

Unfortunately, Black Friday is only the beginning of the busiest shopping season of the entire year. Long hours and low pay drag down morale and create a breeding ground for depression, anxiety and seasonal affective disorder. However you look at it, the holiday shopping season is an integral component of the economy as well as our own society.

Make your own choice about how you will spend Black Friday. Try to find a positive aspect of the day, even if you have to work. Be reasonable and kind to others to help make it that way for other, because Black Friday is not going anywhere.

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