SURVEY SAYS: Are You Open on "Black Friday?"

November 26, 2008 ( - Today most of us (at least most of us still at our posts) will no doubt be wondering what time we can get on our way for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last week I asked readers (thinking that would make it a less biased result) Will your workplace be open the “day after” (a.k.a. “Black Friday)?

Well, if you’re reading this – or, more accurately, if you’re reading this at work – then you would appear to be one of the few.   Just over half ( 52% ) of this week’s respondents said their workplace would be closed on Friday, while 16% said they would be open – but manned only with a “skeleton crew.”

Of the remaining respondents, another 16% said their workplace would be open, and the rest – while they opted for “other” as a categorization of their status – were, for the very most part, in situations where the workplace was technically open, but so many had used a floating holiday to have the day off that they might as well be in the “skeleton crew” category (as one reader noted, ” Most of us saved vacation time to use on the days after Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t know why the Market stays open on these days.” ).

Those results, for what it’s worth, weren’t much different than last year’s, when 56% said their workplace would not be open (see  SURVEY SAYS: Is Your Workplace Open Black Friday? ).

I also asked readers about their holiday spending plans.  

Sure enough, 46% said they would probably be spending less this year than last - but nearly as many ( 41.8% ) said they would be spending the same amount, and 2.1% were looking at spending more.  

Of course, roughly 4% had no idea at this point, and the rest - well, they were either spending more - or less - but because of factors that had little/nothing to do with the economy (such as having new grandchildren to spend on - one reader observed, "Spend the same on everyone except new granddaughter. Santa will be spending alot more money on toys this year" , or having spent an extraordinary amount the prior year).

Speaking of spending, I also asked readers about THEIR personal plans for the day.   Only about 9% were going to be at work (that's also about the same as last year), 6.6% said they would be at work "for awhile, anyway", and roughly 6% said they would be at work "at least physically."  

Nearly 18% said they would be "resting", 9.6% were going to be "visiting", 5% planned to be shopping, 3% were traveling, and 2% had "sleeping" on their minds.   Just over 14% had "more than one of the above" on their Friday agenda (no doubt sleeping in before traveling to visit before they headed out shopping - and resting thereafter).

However, a plurality of this week's responses ( 27.4% ) were "other" - and they really lived up to that label.

Many were going to be engaged in activities not on my list, including skiing, fishing, golfing, watching football, raking/blowing leaves, going to the beach, moving, writing papers, working from home, going to the movies, and spending time with family (which, as a number reminded me, frequently doesn't qualify as "restful" - as one reader noted, "Well, I hope to be sleeping, but with two small children, that's not always my call." ).   A number were just planning to stay home and avoid the crowds, several were going to be putting up holiday decorations.   One was planning to be "In the mountains finding the family Christmas tree."  Another was going to be on their honeymoon.

Also in the "other" category were these verbatims:

I have an 'appointment' with social security so that I can plan ahead and sign up for Medicare. Of course, I have NO INTENTION of retiring....ha ha ha ha....but, hey, I can get a discount on my daily train trip to work if I have a Medicare card.

at home avoiding the mall

My son has basketball practice from 8-10am. Why Coach scheduled it on this day I don't know, but it seriously impacts my shopping plans!

At home hosting relatives who will be too full after Thanksgiving dinner to go home.

With my children and three grandsons, that's why it's Thanksgiving.

At home training the family's new addition, a 15-month old beagle/Jack Russell mix, or maybe I should say chasing the family's new addition around the house to see what she has in her mouth that she shouldn't have.

I pass on the Black Friday madness, but will be diligently preparing my annual Christmas newsletter and getting my cards ready to mail on December 1. All so I can spend the rest of the weekend decorating for Christmas. Then I can relax and enjoy the rest of the world going crazy for the countdown.

Spectating at my son's youth hockey tournament games.

I intend to avoid the mall (and all those crazies who actually enjoy shopping on that day) like the plague. Instead, I'll be getting a head start on my holiday baking and relaxing with my family. Cookies anyone?

Resting/Sleeping - are you kidding? I'll be at home trying to catch up on all the work left undone there by working long hours at my job the rest of the year. Men may get to rest but women don't.

I will be working a second job at a local mall. I hope I remember to take an extra patience pill that morning!

Spending some much needed time with my beautiful child.

Hopefully, the weather will be OK and I can be at the park with my dog (maybe the husband) taking pictures of the beautiful Chesapeake Bay and the assorted wild life that relies on it for survival. (That's if the hunters aren't out trying to decrease the odds of survival for all of us!)

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said they would be "At work doing my job and thankful that during these hard economic times I have a job that allows me to provide for my family."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!   And thanks for being such great survey participants (and readers) over the years!