Friday, December 2, 2011

The Black Friday Special- by Kenza

“A security guard was killed last year because of a big discount on a DVD player”. That’s how Black Friday was described to me the first time. So, I started to wonder about how much a human life is worth? It was weird to even think about it. I didn’t expect to write about Black Friday or even attend the event, until I heard this very interesting story. Therefore, I decided to experience this famous shopping attraction.- Kenza

To have more information, I started looking on the Internet, and I wasn’t disappointed at all with all the information I found. I couldn’t believe all the excitement and enthusiasm from both the retailers and the customers.

An interesting point was the number of websites just about Black Friday. They were so many that when I googled it I was surprised to not find Wikipedia referencing it on the 1st page. Obviously, I was the only one who was looking for a definition.

Literally, Black Friday means the day when the retailers go from red to black and get the benefits of the increase in spending; it’s also known as the opening of the shopping season. Black Friday 2011 was special since for the first time, the shops opened on Thanksgiving Eve; for example Toys-R-Us opened at 9 pm while Macy’s opened at midnight. In addition, a lot of people started to speak about a new phenomenon called “Black Friday week” because from the beginning of the week,  retailers started to have sales on their websites. I guess the Friday has expanded to a full eight days of sales.

I didn’t want to compromise my Thanksgiving dinner, so I didn't get to 34th street and Fashion Avenue until 11:30 pm. I couldn’t believe the people already there. Most of them came around 9 pm to be first in line. The streets were so crowded that you would forget it was so late. People were everywhere--in front of Foot Locker, Victoria's Secret, Sephora, JC Penny’s, but the most amazing line was in front of Macy’s. In fact, there was not only one, they were at least two per door on each side. I wondered how they would organize the entrance, so I stopped in front of the door, and observed. A manager was standing outside, speaking with the people, trying to explain to them the basic security rules for 20 minutes straight. “You are first, guys, so you don’t have to run, just walk slowly and carefully through the door”.

In front of him, two lines of determined people starving for sales. Young, old, tourists, locals, women, men, and even kids, everybody was present. A countdown was started before the opening of the doors. I noticed people starting to behave very strangely. They became primitive, brainless and instinctive. To face this strange species, an employee was standing at the top of an escalator telling people “Good morning (hearing this at midnight made me crazy) Ladies and Gentlemen keep going from the escalator, keep moving, watch people” again and again. It looked like a whole group of kindergarten kids managed by their teacher.

On my way home, I witnessed the long line for BestBuy, and it was unbelievable to see people leaving the store with big TV’s and yelling for a cab. They for sure got a good deal, but was it worth it? I think nothing deserves sacrificing Thanksgiving dinner. The capitalist spirit should, for once, wait at least the whole night!

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