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A reflection on Black Friday and gratitude

Lucy Forster

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I work at Old Navy. I worked a nine-hour shift last Friday starting at 6 a.m., which surprisingly was really lucky. Some of my co-workers had to come in on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. and others had to work at 2 a.m. on Saturday. The reason for all this is the consumer-created holiday known as Black Friday.

If there is one word I could use to describe black Friday shoppers, it would be “ungrateful.” For one, the reason for this day is to buy material goods. People are willing to leave their families on a day meant for giving thanks to go shopping, when in reality, most of the deals out there will be much better a week before Christmas.

Secondly, the only reason this day is made possible is because of people like me, and everyone else who works in retail. We wake up at the crack of dawn or stay up all night so others can go shopping. We extend our hours for the holiday season. We do everything in our power to ensure you are able to find all the gifts you need for Christmas. And what do we get in return from shoppers? Disrespect.

I had multiple shoppers approach me on Friday complaining about how our line was set up. Of course, I had to kindly show them where to enter the line and how it worked, but what I really wanted to say was, “You chose to go shopping today, so don’t complain to me about a line.”  Some customers went so far as to move blockades that were creating the line.

Other customers seem to have no regard for cleanliness, leaving tables in piles instead of nice, folded stacks. Others have no patience. They demand something and expect it right away from us, when we have more than 100 other customers in the store to worry about.

Then when customers finally get to the check out and I am ringing them up, they can’t wait to complain about the prices. They make me jump through hoops and ask my manager if I can change a price, and the answer is always no.

However, not all customers are ungrateful and disrespectful. Toward the end of my shift, around 2 p.m., one customer asked me how long I had been working. I said close to nine hours. She was absolutely shocked, and I was shocked that she was shocked. I explained that nearly every employee works that long, or longer, on Black Friday. She apologized and sympathized for me and walked out the door, restoring my belief  that some people can put others before a good sale.

Overall, Black Friday was not a horrible experience for me as a retail worker. Old Navy as a company treated us very well, giving us lots of breaks and food, including Jersey Giant subs and plenty of caffeine. I will remember the experience forever, and it will one day make me very grateful to be spending all Thanksgiving weekend with my family.

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The official source of student news at Portage Central High School
A reflection on Black Friday and gratitude