A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

Black Friday, blue Thursday

Listless bodies scratch at the window, trying to get in from the cold. Inside, people of all ages huddle together, discussing the game plan on how to handle all of them. Slowly, the doors open and the bodies from outside push and shove to get in, clawing at everything they can. It might sound like a scene from a zombie movie, but this is frighteningly real. This is the shopping experience of the holiday season. This is Black Friday.

Companies love it because one day out of the year they sell cheaper products at supposedly reduced prices to masses of people, making millions of dollars in the process. A new retail tradition this year is to open on Thanksgiving and employees fear it will become the norm.

This year we saw companies fighting over who would be open earliest. Both Target and Kohl’s decided to open their doors at 8 p.m. To combat that, Best Buy decided to beat them to the punch by opening at 6 p.m. Walmart, however, stole the crown by opening their doors at 6 a.m.

Years ago the idea would have seemed bizarre and unethical to  open on the day traditionally meant for giving thanks and spending time with family.

Retail workers are the ones who must slave away for the companies. The average retail worker is a student balancing both school and work at the same time.

Now, many are being required to give up one of the few days off they receive from school to work an extreme amount of hours. Employees have no choice in the matter; not showing up for work is basically an automatic termination.

A local electronic retailer pushes their employees as hard as possible. The average shift is 12 hours with encouragement to work more. By the end the employees are the walking dead, running off the fumes of caffeinated beverages, trying to make it through so they can go home to see their families. Most of them have had to push their Thanksgiving to another day, but some give up their family day entirely.

A petition has surfaced on Facebook urging people to end this atrocity of opening stores on Thanksgiving, but I fear it may not be enough. Businesses this year made a lot more money opening early, and there is already talk going around about opening even earlier next year.

The end of this trend must start with consumers. As families begin lining up two days before the stores open, camping just to snag that cheap big screen TV, I fear this may be the beginning of the end of this family holiday.

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About the Contributor
Jarrett Rodriguez, Co Editor-in-Chief

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    NicoleJan 15, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    Wow! This article was so well written I want MORE!!!! Go Jarrett!!!!