Monday, December 2, 2013

'Tis the Season

Pointing out the irony of the fact that Thanksgiving and Black Friday occur consecutively has certainly been beaten to death, but the irony is increasingly striking to me as more people actually, literally DIE on Black Friday as a result of the shopping frenzies.

(Of course, when people do point this out, they often fail to mention that Thanksgiving did not go down quite the way most history bookssay it did, but the general sentiment of the holiday still stands.)
Wal-Marts in particular seem to host a pretty substantial amount of fatalities-- every year since I can remember, somebody-- usually a worker-- has died at Wal-Mart during Black Friday. For which I'm sure there are all kinds of explanations, but most stores, at minimum, experience a shockingly rude flurry of customers who treat the retail workers with even more contempt and disregard than usual. And they think it's excusable, or expected, or justified by virtue of the fact that the employees are paid to handle them.

My roommate recently started working at Old Navy, and she considers this past Black Friday to be the worst experience she's ever had. Which says a lot. But I can hardly blame her-- she was barely paid minimum wage to spend at least eight hours attempting to assist customers who screamed demands at her, or deliberately made a mess of the store in front of her with the assumption that she would clean up after them, or, on one occasion, physically tried to pull store equipment out of her hands because she apparently hadn't gotten the customer's clothes quickly enough.

That said, this kind of behavior isn't limited to Black Fridays, but it's certainly more frequent. And egregious.

Considering the literal mobs.

But I think it should make people appreciate service workers even just a little bit more, especially since they're so undervalued despite doing the work nobody else wants to do for barely a living wage.

Something to think about.

Stay classy,


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