Normally I try to stay far away from Black Friday. My parents and I went one year to wait in line at a Walmart, but we've never done anything since. This year, however, I couldn't escape the chaos, seeing as how I was working in it. I had a shift at American Eagle (in the Mall of America) starting at 3 am on Friday morning. While I have to say that the morning was overall enjoyable (most of the truly nasty Black Friday shoppers stick to electronics and the like), I have to say that I was still very discouraged by the whole thing.
The main concern I ran into as I was working yesterday was that fact that the store looked to be in a state of chaos. Not necessarily because it was wall-to-wall people, but because all the displays had turned to piles of unwanted, unfolded clothes. I spent most of my shift cleaning the men's side of the store, and by the time my shift was over it still wasn't 100% back to normal. Even displays that we had cleaned once became disorderly again almost immediately. One section was so bad that we probably had three or four people working together to fix it.
It all comes back once again to the nature of consumerism. People would pick something up that intrigued them, then would decide it didn't fit their desires and proceeded to toss it into disarray. Because they didn't want it, that meant it had no value to them, so they didn't care what it looked like. I didn't even have a problem with having to clean it up myself; it gave me something to do. The reason I was so troubled by it was that no one was making any effort to think of others' needs or desires. Eventually whatever that person discarded will be picked up by somebody, and they will want to buy it. (One man's trash is another man's treasure, as it were.) But in the interest of self-consumerism, that consideration for someone else was thrown out the window.
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful time where we get to share thankfulness for what we've been given with those whom we care about. Yet that thankfulness is short lived, as the next day people are focused once again on themselves and what they want. (This year people didn't have to wait until the next day, since so many stores opened on Thursday to start their Black Friday sales.) I know this is a little late, and no one will probably remember this come next year, but please take time to show some consideration for those around you as you're shopping those great deals. Don't make Black Friday any blacker by showing such arrogance and selfishness. Think of your fellow human being who is hindered by what you're about to do, whether it's the person who cannot find what he's looking for because you threw it somewhere else, or the employees who have to pick up after you.
Thank you and "happy holidays." ;)
A simple servant of the Master.