Today is Black Friday, the traditional kickoff to the Christmas shopping season.
Stores, shopping malls, and Internet retailers all across the country have been running Black Friday sales to entice shoppers to shop.
Some of these sales started as early as 3 AM.
Little known fact about Cathie Black concerning this day.
In the companies she has helped run, the day after Thanksgiving is known as Cathie Black Friday.
Cathie Black Friday is a day of cost-cutting and layoffs all across the company, with Ms. Black sending out "Personnel Meeting" emails to employees slated for downsizing as early as 2:30 AM.
"The last thing you want to see in your inbox on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving is an email from Cathie Black," said one former Oprah Magazine editor who had gotten a Cathie Black Friday layoff notice back in 2008. "She asks you to be at her office at a certain time, to be wearing all black, to have tissues, and to bring a box big enough to carry all your things in, family photos, company awards, whatever. That's when you know you're gone."
The former Oprah Magazine editor spoke under the condition of anonymity, fearing that Ms. Black might come to her new place of employment, the Huffington Post, and lay her off there.
Other Black employees said no one works harder than Cathie Black and Cathie Black herself never works harder than she does on Cathie Black Friday.
"She's like a whirlwind of downsizing, cost-cutting and sympathy. She always lays you off with a smile and says "'It's not you. It's us. So don't blame yourself. Now please follow security to the elevators. And don't touch anything on the way out.' She's always looks wistful as you get escorted out. Then she turns around and nobody else wants to make eye contact with her."
Cathie Black Friday has been a long tradition in the private sector companies Ms. Black her worked for, but Ms. Black is hoping to bring the tradition to public sector employees too. She is awaiting notice if the NYSED commissioner is going to provide her with the waiver she needs to become the NYC schools chancellor.
"Listen," said one Black confidant from Mayor Bloomberg's Upper East Side soirees who spoke under the condition of anonymity, "There are over 130,000 DOE employees and many of these lazy bastards are in need of downsizing. If she gets this job, you can bet there will be a Cathie Black Friday mass email blast every year. Frankly, she might have to add Cathie Black Tuesday and Wednesday to the tradition. Of course she won't be able to do all of these layoffs personally, as she has in the past. But she will try and do a few on her own. She likes to show a personal touch to her work, you know?"
Cathie Black herself could not be reached for a comment. A spokesperson for the NYCDOE refused comment, fearing she might be laid off if Ms. Black becomes chancellor.