The 11/29/13 Joy Jar

28 Nov

Today is the day after Thanksgiving or in the shopping world, ‘Black Friday.’ Ryan Goodrich of Tom’s Guide wrote in What Is Black Friday?

The origins of Black Friday
Historically, starting the holiday shopping season on the day after Thanksgiving is largely due to the Santa Claus parades of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Department stores like Macy’s sponsored such events, which they used as advertising vehicles. It then became a common practice to never advertise for holiday shopping prior to the conclusion of such parades.
While parades are no longer as commonly used as the herald to holiday shopping, they’ve succeeded in establishing the day after Thanksgiving as the first day for holiday shopping.
MORE: Amazon to Offer Black Friday Deals Every 10 Minutes
The use of the term “Black Friday” to describe this shopping holiday dates back to 1961 in Philadelphia. It was used to describe the crowded pedestrian and vehicle traffic that resulted the day after Thanksgiving. By 1975, the term gained traction and use outside of the city.
These days, retailers have a different explanation for the term. For many companies, Black Friday marks the point in the calendar year when companies go “in the black,” or finally begin to turn a profit for the year.
Outside of shopping, the use of Black Friday has a lengthy history. Traditionally, the term signaled that something had gone horribly wrong with the economy. “Black Friday” was first used to describe Sept. 24, 1869, when several financiers tried to corner the gold market and instead crashed the market and caused a depression. In 1873, another panic in the financial markets also began on a Friday.
The Great Depression began after the stock market collapsed on Oct. 29, 1929, but that was Black Tuesday. Another bad day for the stock market, Oct. 19, 1987, was called Black Monday.
The negative connotation of the phrase prompted several officials to try and rename the day to “Big Friday” as a description of the types of deals available. However, such attempts were unsuccessful and the name has stuck.
When Black Friday starts
For years, it was common for retailers to open their doors as early as 5 or 6 a.m. to kick off a lengthy day of extreme sales. Between 2005 and 2010, the opening time shifted earlier each year, until stores such as Target and Best Buy were opening their doors at midnight on Thanksgivingnight.
Several retail stores, such as Toys R Us and Walmart, have now taken things a step further to begin their Black Friday deals as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving evening….
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/what-is-black-friday,review-1952.html

If the stores are open, that means that many employees will have the hours they can spend with their loved ones limited.

Karin Klein wrote in the L.A. Times article, Retailers abusing workers: Black Friday’s just the tip of the iceberg:
Retail stores commonly hire as many part-time employees as possible so they won’t have to give benefits as basic as a sick day off. They require employees to keep their time free for the days they’re scheduled to work the next week — but the store thinks nothing of calling them on slow sales days to tell them not to bother coming in. Or worse, after the sales clerks have dressed for work and spent the time and money to commute to the job, the store sends them home mid-shift because too few customers are showing up. Those aren’t hours of paid vacation, you can be sure. People who already earn low, low wages are suddenly stripped of work hours with no opportunity to arrange in advance for other ways to make money.
No one would remain employed very long if he or she called in to the boss minutes before the work day was to start, saying, “Someone else will pay me 50 cents more an hour today, so I’m not showing up.”
It’s basic courtesy, right? Maybe at the social level, people feel more comfortable canceling plans on one another at the last moment. But when it comes to business, time is money — and at these wages, money for basic sustenance. On both sides, schedules should be honored.
People have always worked holidays — gas station attendants, nurses, police, journalists — when they were needed. And with families so scattered and overwhelmed, I’m seeing more friends whose Thanksgiving gatherings are held the weekend before or two weeks after. What matters isn’t the formally declared holiday but the feasting time together in service of gratitude.
I’m no fan of the Thanksgiving shopping trend, but the outrage over holiday work hours seems like one of those easy hits, full of the symbolism that gets people posting on Facebook, talking boycott or calling for new work laws. Yes, the creep into this family and national tradition is a sad sign of greed, but it’s a smaller one than the really damaging effects of greed on low-wage retail workers all year long. Let’s not allow the easy outrage to distract us from the bigger picture.
http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-thanksgiving-shopping-20131127,0,2718184.story#ixzz2luxhtkON

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is reflecting on our buying choices affect the lives of others.

Black Friday: Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.
Unknown

Sorry shoppers on Black Friday will block and tackle better than your football team on Thanksgiving.
Unknown

Let’s spend Thanksgiving spilling food on our clothes, and Black Friday buying new ones.
Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving to someone I’d have no problem stomping to death on Black Friday.
Unknown

Make sure the clothes you buy on Black Friday take into account how fat you got on Thanksgiving.
Unknown

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