I had to work Black Friday: here are my takeaways

Alyssa Bunde
Staff Writer

Black Friday, the day where everyone runs into stores, hastily grabs the deals they’d been scouting for and then quickly leaves the zoo of a store. From there they head home to eat Thanksgiving leftovers and laugh about the “crazies” they encountered. That is of course unless you’re working Black Friday.

I work in customer service at Target, and therefore wasn’t able to leave the craziness, but instead was subjected to it for hours. This was my second time working Black Friday and similar to last year I had some thoughts regarding my experience. 

Everyone in Mankato wanted a TV.

This first observation, like most of this article, is a personal rant. Target had some good deals on TVs, and as such, a plethora of people came to claim one. However, the constant carrying of TVs and explaining that we were out of certain ones to customers wasn’t the source of my annoyance. It was the lovely comments I received while doing these tasks. This portion of the article is a shout out to all the people who made passive-aggressive comments along the lines of, “wow I’m surprised you could lift that” whilst calling me 50s-esque names like sweetie and honey. I couldn’t tell if they were worried I was going to drop the TV’s or if they actually thought they were being funny. 

Retail workers are impressive and highly resilient.

This is probably already a well-known fact, but I’m going to re-explain it anyway. Retail workers, not only on Black Friday, wear our smiles, balance out our tone of voice, and juggle multiple tasks and issues at once. We handle a wide array of guests, ranging from the overly self-righteous “I’d like to speak to the manager” types to oblivious people you swear have never heard of technology to overworked moms with screaming kids. In a sea of faces and problems, you get whiplash from being argued with one second to then being forced to smile and act as if nothing had happened when greeting the next guest. So with that being said, I’d like to shout out to all the nice guests who are filled with thank yous and other pleasantries. 

Black Friday is all hype and feeds our addiction to objects. 

In today’s society more is less. We are constantly bombarded by sales, deals, and promotions. We fill our homes with useless junk because in the moment, purchasing them it’s fun. Black Friday is one of the top tier instigators of this object addiction we’re all suffering from. On Black Friday customers fill their carts with cheap objects with a justification usually along the lines of “why not it’s only $5!” I’ve concluded that the hype of Black Friday, even if you only came in the store to people watch, influences you to at least buy something. This theory of mine was reinforced by the plethora of returns I handled the day after at guest service. During a couple of the Black Friday returns, I light-heartedly asked customers “buyers remorse?” Almost always they awkwardly and bashfully would look at the ground and respond with something along the lines of “yeah I didn’t actually need it.”

People weren’t as mean as they could’ve been.

Going into work, I was expecting hoards of aggressive people loaded with complaints and unrealistic demands. In a way I still got that, but for the most part people continued their Minnesota niceness and were fairly pleasant…at least to me anyway. One of my coworkers though,I won’t mention names, explained to me how she got told to “shut the f***k up.” That being said, I guess some of us had a better day than others, but then again, it’s Black Friday, what can ya do?

Header photo courtesy of Flickr.

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