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Black Friday sanity, via Apple
#27514 11/23/13 01:03 AM
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jchuzi Online OP
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Opening retail stores on Thanksgiving is both insane, insulting, and an abomination to workers in those stores. Black Friday is bad enough (and I religiously stay away from malls that day). Apple, at least, has some respect for its employees in this regard. Hopefully, other retailers will realize that the almighty dollar should not take precedence over quality of life (but I'm not optimistic).

Tim Cook vetoes Apple Retail plan to ope...ers holiday off


Jon

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
jchuzi #27516 11/23/13 03:14 AM
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My even bigger peeve is that the various ethnic groups in my neighborhood, all of whom have much reason to be thankful for being here, treat Thanksgiving as just another day! frown mad


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
jchuzi #27520 11/23/13 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Apple, at least, has some respect for its employees in this regard.

Well, Tim Cook had respect for the employees. Apple's Marketing Directors didn't.

According to the article Cook had to overrule the Market Directors who were "....reportedly motivated by large potential holiday-quarter bonuses based on performance targets, adding to their $400,000 salaries." And, I bet they weren't planning to be in any of the stores on Thanksgiving.


ryck

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
ryck #27521 11/23/13 11:39 AM
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> Well, Tim Cook had respect for the employees.

Although it sounds like they'll be closed, the article isn't clear about the three stores that were, shamefully, open on Thanksgiving Day last year.

Anybody know for certain?


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
artie505 #27522 11/23/13 12:03 PM
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Quote:
...various ethnic groups in my neighborhood, all of whom have much reason to be thankful for being here...

"Various?" Does that mean "some, but not others," or does it mean "all, including my own?" Does it include the Lenape Indians (probably no longer in the area)? The Dutch? The English, German, and French?

At what point is one's own "ethnic group" sufficiently assimilated to have earned the right to judge the thankfulness owed by others? It seems possible that being regarded as a separate group outside of the mainstream culture might itself be an experience that tends to counter feelings of thankfulness.

Ah, that's probably not what you meant at all. wink

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

As for Black Friday: I don't do much holiday shopping, having found over the years that the reduction of frantic preparations for the season enhances my ability to enjoy it in real time, so I regard Black Friday as the beginning of the Christmas driving season.

Christmas driving requires a shifting of both attitude and tactics. The former is the acceptance of omnipresent heavy traffic. Things will be slow. Idiots will abound. Hitting the roads during "off-peak" hours may help minimally, but the important thing is to try, as much as possible, never to be having to get anywhere fast. It's the extreme contrast between having more to do than usual and being in traffic moving slower than usual which is the main source of holiday driving stress. You can't do much about the traffic, but you can intelligently manage your to-do list so that instead of fighting it, you can relax, not in any hurry, turn up that tape of A Nonesuch Christmas, and enjoy a little piece of the season right there in the festive cabin of you car.

The tactical change is a seasonal variation of defensive driving. Your absolute top priority at all times is to avoid the vehicular black hole. If you need to enter a shopping center parking lot, you make a beeline for the parking spots furthest from the stores, knowing that if, in error, you drift inside the perimeter of drivers looping around looking for vacancies closer to the stores, you'll never get out. You'll gladly take a longer route with more stop signs and/or lights to avoid known choke points. And wherever you go, you'll think in advance about the route. In short, you bring to bear everything you know about gridlock on the roads in your area, but you must, further, never let your attention flag, or you can be assured you'll find yourself stuck in a left turn lane when the only way out is a right turn.



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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
ryck #27523 11/23/13 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Well, Tim Cook had respect for the employees. Apple's Marketing Directors didn't

Tim Cook earns roughly 300 times as much as those Marketing Directors, for what it's worth.



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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27524 11/23/13 12:36 PM
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My bad; I meant "various immigrant groups". (And before you get carried away, in this context, "immigrants" means people whose children are or will be first generation Americans.)

And, indeed, had you quoted me accurately, rather than responded to something artfully taken out of context (as you so often do), your response to "the various ethnic groups" wouldn't have called for much of your sarcasm.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27527 11/23/13 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
Tim Cook earns roughly 300 times as much as those Marketing Directors, for what it's worth.

Partly, I assume, because he seems to make better decisions.

Last edited by ryck; 11/23/13 04:01 PM.

ryck

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
artie505 #27528 11/23/13 07:06 PM
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I don't think my quoted snippet was out of context in the least, but let's quote the entire post and see how I respond. In fact, I'll plug in the correction you provided and amplify its meaning as you directed:

Originally Posted By: artie505
My even bigger peeve is that the various groups of first-generation immigrants in my neighborhood, all of whom have much reason to be thankful for being here, treat Thanksgiving as just another day! frown mad


Hmm. I dunno. Still sounds kind of offensive to me. On the one hand, you're identifying folks by their origins (whether "ethnic" or "immigrant" doesn't really matter), pointing out their cultural differentness; on the other hand, you're judging them negatively for failure to conform to the cultural practices of natives such as yourself.

A few observations:

1. Treating a collection of individuals as monolithic in their behaviors because many of them who share a particular race, ethnicity, language, or religion behave similarly in certain circumstances is a very slippery slope. That's the kind of generalizing that leads to racial profiling, among other things.

2. Expecting those who come from abroad to be thankful to be here might be considered chauvinistic. Are they to be grateful that we've allowed them in? Maybe they're too busy worrying about extended families back home, or enormous debts incurred to get here, or the ravages of war or natural disaster or persecution from which they were forced to flee, to properly appreciate all we're doing for them.

3. Even if they do represent the classic immigrant story of folks gazing with awe upon Lady Liberty as they sail into New York Harbor, why is it imperative that they embrace our cultural traditions? Perhaps they give thanks every single day through religious practice. Since our own traditions derive, historically, from a richly diverse mix of sources, one might just as easily fault us for failure to incorporate their traditions into our cultural stew.

It almost seems as if your peeve is that these neighbors don't express gratitude to you for accepting their presence. That's why I said, "Ah, that's probably not what you meant at all."



dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
artie505 #27544 11/25/13 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted By: artie505
My even bigger peeve is that the various ethnic groups in my neighborhood, all of whom have much reason to be thankful for being here, treat Thanksgiving as just another day! frown mad

Perhaps you need to move to a better neighborhood.


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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
joemikeb #27550 11/26/13 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Originally Posted By: artie505
My even bigger peeve is that the various ethnic groups in my neighborhood, all of whom have much reason to be thankful for being here, treat Thanksgiving as just another day! frown mad

Perhaps you need to move to a better neighborhood.


"Better" of course being a subjective term.


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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27560 11/27/13 11:37 AM
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Immigrants come to America of their own volition and for various reasons, and America accepts them unquestioningly, assists them, and neither makes demands of nor places restrictions on them.

I therefore think that their respecting Thanksgiving would be an appropriate gesture, and while I agree that there most certainly are circumstances that preclude universality, I reject the notion that there are any that justify a virtually universal failure.

And the lack of respect for Thanksgiving is exacerbated by the packed streets on the various "Pride" days...the joyous celebrations of "My Country"…"my country of origin", that is.

And you're welcome to read anything you like into that and to expound on it ad nauseam, but your efforts will be nothing more than another exercise in pomposity.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
joemikeb #27561 11/27/13 11:37 AM
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I'm sorry that you're still feeling out of sorts; I hope you're back to your old self soon. smile


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
artie505 #27565 11/27/13 07:04 PM
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Quote:
And you're welcome to read anything you like into that and to expound on it ad nauseam, but your efforts will be nothing more than another exercise in pomposity.

Thank you for acknowledging your intractability, as it means I needn't waste further time laboring under the illusion that dialogue is possible.



dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27571 11/28/13 04:19 PM
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To get back on topic:

Do we care about anything except money? The Black Friday shopping orgy merely proves the truth of an old statement:

Americans know the price of everything and the value of nothing.


Jon

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
jchuzi #27572 11/28/13 05:14 PM
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The Black Friday shopping orgy really only proves that the Black Friday shopping orgy is deemed extremely newsworthy. We don't get breathless wall-to-wall coverage of all the folks who stay at home to avoid the phenomenon altogether.

I think there are lots of people in this country who care about all sorts of things other than money, but the arbiters of culture have a hard time getting a handle on intangible, non-quantifiable values, the mass media are unable to generate a reporting structure not based on a race against time ("the news cycle"), and the people we elect to represent our interests in governing are bought and paid for by the very wealthy and the corporate interests they promote.

I think the national "narrative" which promotes Black Friday to such a pinnacle of significance only touches the surface of people's lives, and, like beauty, is only skin deep.



dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27573 11/28/13 05:39 PM
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Indeed, it's bizarre that all this would be "newsworthy" at all.

But the most telling truth is that retailers' bottom lines are not affected one whit by massive discounts on Black Friday. In other words, they've covered their butts (and profits) by inflated sticker prices up front, then discounted from artificial levels. (Pick your favorite retailer and check out their balance sheet.) When all is said and done, any given shopper can achieve the same "deals" at any time.

So let it be written, so let it be done.
[Remember Yul Brynner's famous line in The Ten Commandments?!]

Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
grelber #27574 11/28/13 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: grelber
But the most telling truth is that retailers' bottom lines are not affected one whit by massive discounts on Black Friday. In other words, they've covered their butts (and profits) by inflated sticker prices up front, then discounted from artificial levels.
Good point. An example is the Black Friday sales of JoS. A. Bank. They have a minimum of 60% off (I receive promotional emails from them and shopped there on Tuesday). And, they will open at 8PM today (Thanksgiving) until 1 AM, reopening Friday at 6 AM. I can't believe that they're losing money with these deep discounts.


Jon

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27575 11/28/13 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
I think the national "narrative" which promotes Black Friday to such a pinnacle of significance only touches the surface of people's lives, and, like beauty, is only skin deep.
As the late Redd Foxx quipped, "Beauty is only skin deep but ugly goes right to the bone".


Jon

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
grelber #27576 11/28/13 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted By: grelber
- Indeed, it's bizarre that all this would be "newsworthy" at all.
- [retailers]'ve covered their butts (and profits) by inflated sticker prices up front, then discounted from artificial levels.
- When all is said and done, any given shopper can achieve the same "deals" at any time.

I figure it's not so much news- as adworthiness we're experiencing here. Unsurprisingly, the media are catering/pandering to their advertiser base. It's part of their business, and you may want to remember that when perusing the links below. wink

For those among you who like to see some documentation of grelber's claims about discounting and the best time for deals, here goes. I picked the following articles from the current crop of critical views of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday phenomena:
- Black Friday: The truth about its dubious deals
- Don’t waste Black Friday pining for Cyber Monday

All that said, here are some tech deals considered worthwhile by some. Whether they're worth it to you remains to be seen.
- 10 Black Friday HDTV and camera deals not to be missed
- 15 Black Friday doorbuster tech deals that are worth the money

Meanwhile, happy T-day!


alternaut moderator
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
grelber #27577 11/29/13 06:16 AM
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> Indeed, it's bizarre that all this would be "newsworthy" at all.

To a degree, it stems from 24 hour "news" coverage, which has elevated much non-newsworthy stuff to the level of headlines simply to fill time.

Edit: I look at pics of the crowds, and I wonder how even money can induce people to deal with them. crazy

Last edited by artie505; 11/29/13 07:37 AM. Reason: Better wording

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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
jchuzi #27580 11/29/13 12:52 PM
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All I know is that this year is the first I've seen Jos. A Banks running TV commercials. I don't like all this Black Friday stuff, but my guess is retailers are plenty worried about their survival, much like independent bookstores were in the late 1990s.

Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dboh #27581 11/29/13 02:10 PM
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There are several factors contributing to this year's Black Friday frenzy…
  • Thanksgiving came late this year and there is one less profitable week between Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Although the Hanukkah buying season is small compared to Christmas, since both come on the same day this year that compresses the buying season that much more
  • the economy is still soft and the various consumer indexes are mixed leaving the retailers confused and scared for the survival of their businesses
  • the middle class, who are the core of the buying public is shrinking as more and more are losing their jobs and/or sinking into the growing mass of the working poor
  • brick and mortar retail stores are being hammered by internet marketing. For example the shrinking of Barnes and Noble.
  • Banks are still sitting on their assets and rather than loaning money to struggling retailers and instead making billionaires of senior banking executives who send their assets offshore
  • The United States House of Congress and the United States Senate playing chicken with the economy and some seemingly working hard to cause the Republic to fail.
Personally I am offended by the Black Friday frenzy, if I were in the retail market I would be scared spitless like the retailers appear to be. I also applaud Tim Cook's action but he can afford to be generous given the cash reserves Apple is sitting on.


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Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dboh #27582 11/29/13 02:47 PM
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Why would Jos. A Banks be worried? Do men really buy suits on line?

(I'll guess that they give the suits away [Edit: at a price that generates a very nominal profit] and make bundles on the appurtenances.)

Last edited by artie505; 11/29/13 03:25 PM.

The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
Re: Black Friday sanity, via Apple
dkmarsh #27591 11/29/13 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
Quote:
And you're welcome to read anything you like into that and to expound on it ad nauseam, but your efforts will be nothing more than another exercise in pomposity.

Thank you for acknowledging your intractability, as it means I needn't waste further time laboring under the illusion that dialogue is possible.

Like I said.


The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire
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