Black Friday: an employee’s nightmare

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Well, we have reached the time that for most retail workers is the most dreaded, craziest day of the year: the unofficial holiday known as Black Friday.

The day after Thanksgiving has long been the “kickoff” of the holiday shopping season. Businesses look forward to making a significant profit.

But this day has had an insane domino effect that has developed out of control. People go shopping for Christmas gifts and want the best prices, so stores give them that. Then more people go out, and the stores give more deals. Before you know it, the pattern has spiraled out of control. Businesses open earlier and earlier and people line up for hours just to get a good sale.

This results in crazy working hours for employees, many of whom are slaving away at times when no human should be out of bed. This year some businesses lost their senses and are starting their sales the night before – which is still Thanksgiving. Thank you, corporations, for ruining this holiday for those who have to go to work and indulge to your foolishness.

To handle the spike in sales, more employees are hired on a temporary basis. These workers are trained in a short time to be fast and effective while having good service to keep the angry customers at bay. Testy, argumentative, ornery. Just a few words I would use to describe many consumers I have come in contact with as a retail employee on Black Friday.

People come in knowing what they want and thinking they know exactly what deal they are going to get. Then they get upset when they are wrong. On top of that, customers get irritable waiting in long lines that we as employees cannot control since there are so many people that are all trying to do the same thing. Cashiers are ringing as fast as they can, but there is only so much they can control when the store is so packed.

Don’t even get me started on the temperament of those who want something that we have run out of. They act like it is our fault that lots of other people wanted it. There is nothing we can do about that. Just to get the best bargain, people are willing to go to extreme measures, including getting violent with each other. Some crazed customers have jumped over and even on top of others just to get what they want.

What monetary item could be worth that kind of behavior?

In a time where there should be an increase of joy and a decrease of greed and selfishness, the opposite comes out when this “holiday” arrives. Plus, it all happens hours after a day dedicated to gratitude. What has our society come to where people are willing to throw away their morals and act like animals? The retail employees get the brunt of it all.

Go out and get the best deal you can. But please remember your humanity on this day where many people forget it. I beg you, please be nice to those of us workers who are doing our best to help you while attempting to hold onto our sanity.

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