Black Friday: Leave your house at your own peril

Patrick St. Pierre

This Friday, hundreds of stores will open their doors early, dropping their prices and upping their work force as they welcome the millions of shoppers that will be climbing over each other to purchase the hot new things for this holiday season.

I work for a local retailer and my work shift goes from 12 a.m. to 9 a.m., and at one point or another, every single employee will work at least one shift that day. That is just insane, considering we usually schedule only three employees a day (and there are around ten in total).

The stores, along with American consumerism, are to blame. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am just as materialistic as every other American, but when we have a national holiday (it isn’t official, but it might as well be) dedicated to shopping, that’s pushing it a little bit.

I realize the economy is just starting to come back from a recession, and shopping is one of those key necessities to a successful economy, but there has to be a better way. Having a massive sale over a five hour period at O’ dark-hundred in the morning is a little irresponsible. People have to double bag so that they aren’t mugged for electronics on the way out of stores. They have to wait in epically long lines and they have to hope beyond hope that whatever they’re searching for, whether it be an XBOX 360 bundle or a flat-screen TV, is at the lower price they needed it to be in order to afford it.

I’m not shouting for a massive change to the system because there are very good deals to be had, but there must be ways to make the event less of a rat race and a little more civilized. A possible solution would be to simply expand the hours of certain sales in an effort to lower the sizes of these mobs. Stores should also put products out in intervals and not all at once so that the need to be there at store opening is lessened. Sure, you’d still have lines, but it would be like having multiple openings; you’d take an opening line of 100 and instead, have five lines of 20.

Regardless of where you’re doing your shopping, keep your head down and keep your wits about you because you will be entering a warzone of consumerism.

Patrick St. Pierre is a senior English and psychology major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].