Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Survived Black Friday

I survived Black Friday, did you?

No, I didn't go out in the middle of the night to fight the horde. I went to work. My job as an Administrative Assistant, is to set up the break room and monitor meal breaks for our employees on Black Friday. Each one is given a 20 minute break, on company time. Isn't that fabulous?

The problem is there are so many of us on Black Fridays that I'm forced to become the Break Room Bouncer.

Now, I've been called the Terminator, Eliminator, Office Guru, among my many other hats, but only once a year do I get to be the Break Room Bouncer. Woot! It's a touch job, but someones got to do it, right?

While I'm appreciated on many levels for my break room etiquette and prowess (at least I think I am, LOL!), the gang knows I'm timing each one of them as they come back to eat what our boss has graciously ordered and had sent in. (Yes, my wonderful boss orders a fabulous meal for our gang every year. We've had Olive Garden and Dreamland BBQ, two years running. Though I didn't vote for the Banana Pudding this year, bah humbug! For those who don't know it, Dreamland has a spectacular Peach Cobbler and drat! I had been really looking forward to it.)

But I digress, because the one thing I really wanted to talk to you about was surviving Black Friday. We did, thanks to great food and morale. But what I wanted to get at were your ideas on the earlier store openings throughout the nation this year.

Walmart, Target and a few other places like Toys R Us opened between 9 p.m. on Thursday night and 12 a.m. on Friday morning. Our opening hours kicked it up a notch, 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. And the majority of mall stores opened between 5-6 a.m., when just years ago, stores opened at the earliest by 6 a.m.

Now, as a retail employee, my concern for these earlier openings goes to the employees who have to cut their holiday with family short just to man the stations, as it were.

Does this upset you? Have we become a nation set on putting capitalistic gain over the very holidays created to bring our families together?

Black Friday gave our economy a great big boost, just as it does every year. My fear is economists will promote an upswing in our economy that will lead to false comfort on the economic front.

What do you think? Do you shop on Black Friday? Or do you take the time to enjoy your loved ones, perhaps even decorate your Christmas tree ?


  1. Sorry my blog didn't go up on time, everybody. Blogger has reconfigured everything and apparently, the November calendar has the 30th on Tuesday, instead of Tuesday being the 29th. I didn't find this out until I got home late from work today. Grrrr!

  2. I don't do Black Friday but I don't criticize anyone who does. There are incredible savings to be had. But I do feel bad for the store employees. Most work for minimum wage as it is, and then they have to work all sorts of long, crazy hours. And I have to wonder if they're not cut short on hours earlier in the week so their BF hours don't run them into overtime.

    Yay to your boss for the great food and generous breaks. I'll have to check out that peach cobbler at Dreamland. That's my absolute most favorite dessert in the world. I made that for my gang at Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie.


  3. I was a retail worker for about 6 years and have suffered through my share of Black Fridays. I worked in a mall jewelry store, so we opened at around 7AM - earlier than our usual 9AM -- and stayed open until 10PM.

    As the holiday shopping season progressed, we stayed open until 11 most nights and opened around 8. It was awful, and I hated that time of year for so long that it took me years after I'd quit to want to listen to Christmas music or put up decorations again.

    I don't envy anyone working those hours. My boss would come in from open to close every day from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. His ankles and feet swelled so badly that he couldn't wear shoes and would walk around in his socks. His kids cried because Daddy was never home during the holidays.

    It was AWFUL. I never want to do that again. I'm sure some people are grateful for the job, and I was happy I had one too, but it is awfully hard on people to work like that. I can't imagine it now with the night time openings and staying open all night. :(

  4. "I have to wonder if they're not cut short on hours earlier in the week so their BF hours don't run them into overtime."

    PM, you hit the nail on the head. Working in the HR department, I can tell you that we still have to watch the hours our employees work. They cannot go over 40 hours, even during the holidays, which makes filling the store pretty hard when there needs to be staff in every department, but you don't have enough staff because you don't have enough payroll. Blah!

    It's a vicious cycle, isn't it?

  5. Wow! Lynn, you do know what it's like to work strange hours during the holidays. Kudos to you for doing it as long as you did. Most people burn out fairly quick.

    #2 has been working non-stop since before Black Friday. She's even had to pull double shifts. Makes it hard when her hubby works nights.

    I'm lucky in that my schedule is a set schedule and I'm not out on the floor. I prefer my cubby in the back office. ;)

  6. i admit, I shop on Black Friday. But (grin), mostly for myself. I got some great deals last week. I did feel sorry for the salesgirls who helped me but they seemed happy, talking and joking with me. I know it's a pain to have to work the long hours and I sincerely appreciate the retail sales people who do it!