Hello rest of the world. Let’s keep in mind that several world events are percolating; Poland continues to push back against the abortion ban, Iran is vowing revenge, Trump came the closest to conceeding as is possible for him, the leader of Belarus hinted he might step down, Brexit…still happening? and all
but this weekend holds a special place in my heart, and that place is the entrance to hell, because this was black friday weekend. For those who…somehow don’t know (you lucky sonsof-) Black Friday is traditionally the “day” “after” Thanksgiving (American) where everything goes on sale and people kill each other over half priced roombas. There are stampedes. There are riots. There are employee abuses. So called for the day most companies’ ledgers switch from being in the red to black, Black Friday now threatens to consume an entire week out of the year. It has certainly spread to the weekend and Cyber Monday (what if, a company mused, we did Black Friday…but online) and quite often starts at like, 2 pm Thanksgiving. Once, I saw a doorbuster for Wednesday evening.
I have worked a 10 pm-7am Black Friday shift at Target before. Never again. My boyfriend’s shift this year was 5:30 am to 5 pm..his manager started at 5:30 as well and finished at 7 pm. His store was out of PS5s, though as he still works in retail I will not go into the details of where. In a move earning her the revulsion of everyone else in our lives, a housemmate who MANAGES A STORE took off Thanksgiving, AND Black Friday, AND tomorrow, before her former manager, my ferocious future mother-in-law was like “LOL you think you’re doing what!?!?” It is a chaos time, a non-linear endurance contest of champions where protocol and professionalism slowly deteriate (sp!?!! deterorate? deteoriate. how does wordpress not have spellcheck) deteriorate into staying conscious and unharmed. People have been stabbed. People have been shot. People have stood outside for days in the elements which, at least in the Midwest, have varied from unpredicted rain to unpredicted snow in years passed. This year has been mostly just cold.
You may notice standing closely in lines, being inside interior spaces with high population and employees working their ass off with all the sweat,tears,spit, and blood that entails, are all really conducive to spreading the virus. You may also notice the internet exists now. So naturally, the US took the year off from consumerism and calmed the fuck down about Black Friday, right?
Oh, with a thought like that you’d miss all the doorbusters. While it is true some companies took all of Thanksgiving off (+200,000 dead to accomplish that) Black Friday knows no meaning of this phrase “calm down”. The lines continued. The rush pressed on. The employees with COVID symptoms contacted corporate to ask if they could leave early and did not hear back for hours (while my boyfriend glared at them from across the store because they were faking to get out of work, but corporate still should have probably been on that). Horror stories on twitter say things like “that time I had a fever of 103 and they wouldn’t let me go home” “that time a coworker found out her sister had been murdered and they wouldn’t let her go home”… I presume at least one case of “I died and they didn’t let me go home” exists somewhere, based on all the anecdotal evidence. It is a shitshow, a cesspool, and probably perfectly exemplary of American culture. We’ll see in two weeks what sort of superspreader event it will cause, if we can even distinguish it from the other holiday events at this point. Realistically, we should have been checking out the deals on coffins and cremation services.
I meant to not buy anything today, but I did bring my boyfriend coffee earlier, and then tonight I took advantage of a Black Friday sale to get my mini-me a new set of magnetic frames that connect to her glasses. So I’m a hypocrite too. But I’ll be DAMNED if I waited outside for it. I know the economy “economy” of working people got a bit crushed this year, so cancelling Black Friday seemed unbearable to companies. But I’m very worried about the people who stood in line this year, some because it was the only time things were cheap enough to afford, some because they were working today and not every customer cares about their safety, and some because two weeks from now they will be very, very sick, and there is no 50% off on American health care.