Well, it should be obvious. My husband works in retail and so did I for many years (still do part time).
Part I: The One Uppers
It use to be that black Friday was just a busy, shitty day at work and since all hands were on deck, traveling to see family more than a half day away was out of the question. But every year it has become more than just a shitty, long, busy day at work dealing with insane people who on any other day would be completely sane. Every year, stores have been one upping each other and opening a little earlier and a little earlier. Now there are many stores that just aren't closing on Thanksgiving at all. The worst that I have heard of is Old Navy. We were shopping there earlier today and received a flyer in our bag that said they would A) be open on Thanksgiving and then B) reopen at midnight that night for black Friday. That right there tells me what they think of their staff and I will no longer be shopping there.
Luckily, IKEA gives a shit about all of their coworkers, especially at the store level, and I can't foresee them ever remaining open on a holiday.
Side note: I personally know both of those pictured above and thought it was funny that their images came up in my Google search. Marla, the one bottom, ran Chicago with me in 2010.
I also think that big businesses are taking advantage of our unemployment rate by being open on the holidays. A lot of people might say "well, then get a different job" but that's a lot easier said than done. By shopping on the holidays, you yourself, are voting with your dollars and telling all of the people working inside that they are nothing more than sales people and cashiers. When in fact they are people who also have families and friends, whom they would also like to enjoy some stuffing and watch football with. It's a national holiday that celebrates the history of our country. Shouldn't everyone be entitled to enjoy it?
Part II: The crazies
I think I should start off by saying that workers have DIED as a result of Black Friday crazies. DIED! WTF?! The mob mentality is a very dangerous thing. If you and 100 people run over some guy laying in the floor, well it wasn't really you who did it. My brother in law is a police officer in the area I grew up and worked security at a Wal-Mart (the, hands down, craziest place for black Friday crazies) on Black Friday a couple years ago. He had to break up a fight and arrest two middle aged woman over a Barbie Power Wheel Jeep. He said both were normal ladies with no prior records who surely did not wake up that morning thinking that they were going to get arrested. I don't know if it's being awake for so long, or being in line for so long, but whatever it is turns normal, moral, rational people into crazy shithead assholes. If you are a black Friday shopper and you haven't been in a fight or arrested and you think this doesn't describe you, think again. You've been up for hours and pushed around by hundreds of other shithead assholes. I've been on the other side of the counter and I can say that you yourself are turning into a shithead asshole. It's like being bitten by a Zombie.
So you can probably tell that I don't go anywhere near a store on black Friday (unless I'm working in it). This year I plan on celebrating Small Business Saturday and I already have a few places in mind. If you are going to shop on black Friday I ask that you at least refrain from being a crazie shithead asshole. Say thanks to the employees and don't get into any fights... and don't trample anyone either.