TCT’s Annual Black Friday Post

consumer slave A website aptly named Slave Consumer World is as good a source as any for this year’s news on the unceasing expansion of the marketing trick known as “Black Friday”:

Toys-R-Us opens at 10pm on Thanksgiving, Kohl’s at 3am, and Sears and Target at 4am on Friday. Wal-mart (WM) will open at 12:01am Friday with all its Black Friday deals except electronics which go on sale at 5am.

For those readers who avoid the mass media in the United States, “Black Friday” is modern-American “Christian/Christmas”-based talk for “loss leader.”

The phenomenon and its constant creep forward in the calendar speak in many directions about the nature of our market-totalitarian society and culture.  Not least of the thoughts that occur to me is this:

“How would you like to be one of the ’employees’ who have the delightful privilege of going to work at 9:00 p.m. on ‘Thanksgiving’ (i.e., the gustatory launch-event for the yearly Xmas credit-card binge), or, worse, 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. on Loss Leader Day itself?”

If you are one of the chosen few, you might enjoy the lovely holiday tradition of administering CPR to a dying trample victim.

But don’t feel bad if you are not among those lucky enough to be called into work ringing up electronic picture frames in the dead of night:  Maybe you can just focus on the pleasures of achieving 99er status during this season’s glorious profit-gushing “jobless recovery.”

2 Replies to “TCT’s Annual Black Friday Post”

  1. I worked for more than a decade at a local grocery chain, and spent many early shifts helping to prepare for the Black Friday opening. Whether it was starting at midnight to help stuff the shelves to capacity, or arriving at 3 to prepare the special snacks/prizes for the early shoppers. A lot of work goes into preparing for this ridiculous celebration of corporate greed, those working in retail are never surprised to have to skip their family time to help their employer prepare for a sale.

    It used to be that you were only guaranteed one day off a year in the retail biz… Christmas. In the last few years, that has become less common, and I suspect soon enough it will be yet another thing of the past.

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