It’s November. That means Christmas decorations have been up in most major retail stores for a couple months now. And it used to be about this time when I would begin to dread the inevitable day that I would face near the end of the month: the day after Thanksgiving, the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Now that I don’t work as a retail whore any more I thought I would take a day and look back at the hell that is Black Friday.
For the past 8 years I haven’t fully enjoyed Thanksgiving. There has been the constant cloud of pending doom hovering above my head. Turkey was dry, mashed potatoes were chunky, and pumpkin pie wasn’t sweet when you know that the next day you had to get up ass early and deal with cranky people.
Probably one of the only times I wanted the football game to feel long. I know that when it ended I was that much closer to Black Friday.
Now it was not mandatory that I worked ass early. In fact my first year I worked a later shift, it was worse. The early shift meant I was at work by 5:15 in the a.m. Oh and there was already a line by that point. The early shift meant I had to deal with a lot of customers. The number of customers I saw in those 8 hours was probably more than the number of customers I would see the entire month of February. But the upside of so many customers was that I stayed busy and that made the time fly by.
Working the late shift meant there were less customers to deal with. It also meant I had to clean up after all those customers. Since everybody working the early shift was focused on helping the customers, no clean up was done at all. So a lot of customers and no clean up meant a whole lot of work to be done during the late shift. I’m not sure if I mentioned this in an earlier post, but retail customers make huge messes! Jerks.
While we’re on the subject of customers being jerks, or themselves it’s the same thing. I don’t know if they were worse on Black Friday or if it felt that way because there were so many more of them. I did always manage to have several that were pissed off and total jerks. I never understood why. They made the effort to get up at an ungodly hour to shop. They should know that other people had the same idea thus creating crowds and lines. And don’t be pissed at me when you have 900 items and I can’t ring them and bag them fast enough for you.
Working this day allowed me to not only witness consumerism at it’s absolute worse, but also the complete commercialization of Christmas. As Black Friday approached it ruined Thanksgiving. By the time it ended, it had destroyed Christmas for me for the year. And now after 8 of them winter has become down right miserable. Thank god there is hockey!
When I started my new job, they gave a list of the holidays we get off. I skimmed the list and when I saw that the day after Thanksgiving was on that list a giant smile formed on my face and I vowed to try to enjoy Christmas again. Now that November has arrived it has really kicked in that I can spend the Friday after Thanksgiving as the Pilgrims intended: hung over and watching Kevin McCallister foil Harry and Marv in two different cities in essentially the same way. So heed this advice and stay away from stores the day after Thanksgiving.
See ya at the dinner table…
03 Nov 2008 Lee S. Hart