Black Friday holiday shopping brings chaos to student retail workers

CourtneyThompson

Running into people rushing by, knocking over displays and jumping over someone on the floor, all to get to the half-off TV in aisle four. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is put aside for the bargain shoppers of the world, as they sprint into stores to beat the next person to the items circled in the catalog. 

This day is full of chaos, and working on Black Friday would be most retail employees’ worst nightmare. Those who work on this hectic day will see their coworkers pack up and wish them luck before getting as far away from their workplace as possible. Regardless of how much it stinks to work on the extremely busy non-holiday, some people just have to bear the burden anyway.

Some Marian girls work Black Friday with confidence and compassion, just as they are taught. Senior Aby Acevedo  works every Black Friday at American Eagle Outfitters, and is never too scared when going into work. “It’s awful in the sense that it’s nonstop, but it’s definitely manageable because all the workers get to a point where they don’t care how long they’re taking with each person in line. It never stops,” Acevedo said. “When I worked it wasn’t that crazy, but the amount of people always is.” 

You need patience and that positive bone in your body to work on the busiest day of the year, which most don’t have. Sophomore Bijou Bell  had the opposite experience, dealing with angry customers and downright chaos at Walmart. “It was extremely busy, and people were aggressive in the store. Displays get knocked over a lot, and it’s hard to clean with so many people around. It’s just a really stressful shift.” 

Managing a store on Black Friday is even worse. On top of dealing with all the things employees do, the manager has to make sure all their workers are doing their jobs efficiently and dealing with disheveled customers saying “I need to speak to your supervisor.”

 Senior Jadyn Anderson has an uncle who manages a store, and he undergoes more scrutiny than expected. “My uncle manages a Scheels, and he always comes to Thanksgiving dinner dreading to leave. He has to make sure his employees are going to be productive the whole shift, and managers are called to deal with angry customers a lot. He always has a lot on his plate on Black Friday.” 

The day went by as smoothly as possible, and employees said it wasn’t as bad as they thought it would be. “It wasn’t bad at all,” Acevedo says, “and I know I got paid well for the night, so I’m not worried at all.” Black Friday might not be as crazy as it’s thought to be. 

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The Network is the student newspaper of Marian High School, Nebraska's only Class A College-Preparatory School for young women.

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