The Ghost of Black Friday Past
As every commercial for the past week reminds me, Black Friday has arrived and I wonder if I am one of the few Americans who will not be celebrating the holiday. Online I find a small, yet vocal, minority objecting to the shopping frenzy back splashing into Thanksgiving, but retailers wouldn’t cross the sacred familial line if the deal-hungry, turkey-laden savages weren’t starving for the best possible deals. Personally, I gladly will pay the extra percentage of cost to avoid the Friday morning (and Thursday evening) maniacs. Isn’t that why the universe invented Internet shopping?
I blame the Cabbage Patch Kids. I don’t recall the annual flood of spending insanity prior to their release, and I likewise don’t recall a year without such grabbing greed since. Thrifty shoppers seek an early-season steal or attempt to fulfill the visions of gotta-have-gifts dancing in their children’s brains. Thirty years later, news broadcasts update me on the items for which I should be craving each season. Little did I know I am supposed to want a flat screen TV, a digital tablet, or a Xbox One this year. I had planned to ask Santa Claus for something else.
Waiting For Training
For three weeks I have been employed in the trucking industry and for more than ninety percent of that time, I have been waiting for a trainer to instruct me through the first six weeks of my over-the-road adventure. Yet with each passing day, wrapping my hands around the steering wheel of a tractor trailer drifts farther and farther away from my grasp and I wonder if I will ever utilize the skills I have obtained. Were it not for the meager funds that magically appear in my checking account, I might wonder if I really am employed by this company. Today I blew the cobwebs off my CDL.
Still new to this industry, I wonder if the basic laws of economics apply to more than just the goods being transported. If the demand for trainers exceeds the supply, a company’s bottom line might be enhanced by offering bonuses to potential instructors rather than paying me to pace ad infinitum in a low-end motel room. I want to be driving, and I wager the company would generate more money if I were helming my own eighteen wheeler rather than idling through the holiday season. Perhaps the Cabbage Patch Kids created such a frenzy in 1983 not because of the media-induced demand for the wide-faced, yarn-coiffed darlings, but because the delivery drivers bringing them from their garden harvest to retailers were lying lazily around a discount motel waiting aimlessly for trainers. Santa, can you please get on that?