Black Friday Madness

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Brenda Leighton

Tis’ the season for Christmas shopping and gifting madness. Currently, stores are gearing up for all your Christmas needs. If you’re a retail worker you know the struggle of Christmas set up whether that be Black Friday, Christmas sales, and more.

Siena Leighton, Writer

Have you ever had the insane thought to go and participate in Black Friday? 

Well, you’re not the only one, over 101.7 million people participated in Black Friday in 2016 with a total of 655.8 billion dollars spent during the event. [https://www.thebalance.com]. For some people, Black Friday is a must and for others, it simply terrifying. We’ve all heard the horror stories of old ladies tasing customers so they can get the latest iPhone or people fighting tooth and nail to get their prized possession. However, it’s not just the customers who are participating in this event, over 500,000-550,000 employees are hired to help during the fall season. These employees go through everything from watching customers go a little crazy in the discount sweater section or trying to be polite to customers who ask them for a better deal on their “must have” item. Employees work their tails off during Black Friday but often times we don’t hear their reactions to the events going on because we’re too focused on all the great Black Friday deals. 

I spoke with some students in our high school who have braved the challenge that is Black Friday and this is what they thought. To start Black Friday would not be possible without employees being willing to participate, so stores pay their employees time and a half to convince them to come into work. So seemingly it’s not too bad of a deal, one way or another you get paid a bunch of money. If you’re a seasoned Black Friday pro you know that certain times are better than others. As Pearl Leon Guerrero(12) an employee at Banana said, “They come in herds…, kinda like zombies. [There is] no time to recover, the line just gets longer and longer.” Working Black Friday is like running a marathon, there are no breaks and you’re exhausted by the end. Leon Guerrero’s experience was no different she said, “This was my 1st 8-hour shift, I was super scared… So basically felt like I was going to pass out at the end of my shift, and I was hanging onto the counter for dear life.” 

Initially, the scariest thing about Black Friday is the lengths others will go through to get the best deals. In the end, people can be really mean to get what they want; you never know how others are going to react in stressful situations. Ethan Dexter(12), a current Target employee pointed out, “It’s kinda 50 50 because some people are just super stressed out and rude but some people know that other customers are really rude so they’re super nice.” Other people may be trying to get the best deal but oftentimes they’re not going to attack you to get whatever they want. Ethan says, “It’s always funny when there’s like a rude customer and the next person after them is like wow that person was an a**hole to you.” But, even with these rude people, Dexter’s approach to Black Friday is very positive, he said, “The mindset I have is I want to make people smile when they go through the check lanes, it’s really stressful so if you can make them smile then it’ll make you happier…” 

Overall, if you have the guts to take on Black Friday then all the power to you. You’ll not only be getting your Christmas shopping done but at a fraction of the price. Just remember there are lots of employees trying to get through the night and they’re definitely laughing while they watch you make a fool out of yourself during Black Friday.