Black Friday: Holiday or Horror Day?

By Randee Schmitt

Holidays are the time for family, the time for laughter, and the time for good cheer. But one ‘holiday’ is more of a horror day for some.

What started out as a day of workers calling in “sick” to avoid having to work has evolved into a nightmarish day used to catch sales or to avoid last minute Christmas shopping. Black Friday comes once a year. With stores opening before sun-up, millions of people across the nation rise to catch the “amazing deals”. This year alone, an estimated $52.4 billion was spent on items ranging from electronics to jewelry to clothing apparel.

“Every year I shop on Black Friday and I enjoy it,” junior Destiny Higgins said. “I’m always one of the first three people to be at Kohl’s. We just stay there overnight.”

But do we ever stop to appreciate the workers that spend hours on their feet, dealing with snappy customers and cranky children? Black Friday horror stories are common, from thieves being caught stealing merchandise to customers being trampled under other frenzied shoppers. Hollister employee Alex Smisek, senior, recalls his most recent Black Friday experience as “god awful”.

“This was the first Black Friday I worked, and I thought I was getting paid time and a half, but I didn’t,” Smisek said.

While some spend hours examining sales ads, planning and preparing for a long night of spending, others mentally and physically brace themselves for the day of tending to crazed, overly tired customers. Although it’s a good opportunity for businesses and money-savers, there are very different views of this unofficial holiday.

“I don’t view it as a holiday and I don’t think it should be the day after Thanksgiving,” Smisek said. “It takes away from Thanksgiving. But, the concept of giving people a chance to buy gifts really cheap is a good one.”

Whether you’re a sales savvy super saver, or an unlucky employee having to face the dreaded day, Black Friday continues to be a day every American is familiar with.

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