Oct 30, 2011

Black Friday and the srewing of retail employees

Black Friday is the a horrible day, the day after Thanksgiving when Americans go crazy and shop like the Apocalypse is coming. Shoppers on this day are traditionally cheap and rude, I know, I worked a number of them and I've watched people shop on this day. Shoppers in large stores seem to be getting ruder as it is already, on this day they lose their minds. Just look at these assholes in the picture.

I love the holidays, and I love getting gifts. I also really love giving gifts and shopping for them. As a result I am one of those taking part in the annual shopping frenzy. But I do so during normal hours.

Over the last few years the stores are opening earlier and staying open later. The latest is now Thanksgiving night at midnight stores will open their doors to people rushing out to get bargains.
And to the people making these decisions I say shame on you. You are effectively destroying a family holiday for your employees. To be at work at midnight is outrageous. The people working these hours have to go to bed early and forgo the holiday normally spent with their family. And with times the way they are, who is going to make a stink about it and risk losing their job?

Among the stores opening at midnight are, Kohls Department store, Macy’s and Target among others. Employees will be getting out of bed at 10 or 11 pm Thanksgiving night to go to work and wait on people who line up at these stores. The corporations behind this justify it by saying that they open early because people show up to shop. You know what? If you wait until 7:00 am, they will wait until then to shop, greedy bastards.

And if you are one of the weirdos getting up early to shop at these places and perpetuating this problem, shame on you as well. People who work retail work hard and have to put up with a lot of crap. They deserve to have family holidays too. By being one of the people showing up when the doors open you are part of the problem.

My answer to this for 2011 is that I will not be partaking in this mistreatment of employees and I will be boycotting stores that open at ridiculous hours. I’ll shop local at locally owned stores that keep more human hours where the people deciding the hours are actually working the hours along side employees.

Oct 5, 2011

today in history

In the minute to minute world that owes much of the immediate release of information to Steve Jobs, it is right and just that the news is flooding all aspects of print, televised and social media. There was a magic to the man who believed in cohesive design with functionality. A genius who introduced the world to products that many of us cannot live without, I often wonder if from time to time he didn't see a down side as well. I could not live without my I-pod, but radio has become poorer for it. I covet an I-pad but to add the additional wi-fi charges to the desk top wi-fi, the two cell phones and the land line we continue to have, seems quite silly. Still, just two weeks ago I was at the apple store, looking at the Mac Air, the Apple TV, and the aforementioned I pad. The merchandise was flying off the shelves, the customer service was, as always, amazing. A son of counter culture who's death is stealing the news cycle from the happenings on Wall Street, a look at justice served with definite caste bias, and an upcoming election that may very well kill the middle class... the history of Pixar just doesn't seem quite as important to me. Even if the end of Toy Story Three made everyone cry. And yet in the end there's that first product, the Mac. How many brilliant books have been written with this machine. How many troglodytes have managed to find a way to just type it and keep going? Returning to parts of the free flow and tightening them up to say things that others should be reading?

I pity the folks so tied to their phones they text during concerts rather than watch them, I pity everyone under the age of twenty who talk to their friends perhaps once a week but text at them when they are in the same room. For in this age of instant communication, it seems we are losing the ability to communicate in meaningful ways.

So "Stay hungry, stay foolish" and make the world a better place. Steve Jobs was a one of a kind genius. Known to 1/2 the planet and yet a private person. Let's use the tools he's given us to make our dreams happen.