You won’t catch me anywhere near a mall/Toys R Us/Best Buy/Walmart on Black Friday. I spent about seven years doing the retail thing, from age 18 to about 25. I don’t know if everyone who works retail goes through this, but it got to the point where I would start dreading the upcoming holiday season as soon as Halloween rolled around. Some people the busy holiday season. Some people are really good at sales, and get a rush from the throngs of customers rushing through the doors. Seven years taught me that I DON’T enjoy it, which is why I have an entirely different job these days.
So yeah, I have a special empathy for anyone working on Black Friday. I ESPECIALLY feel for the people working at all these stores who decided they were going to open on Thanksgiving night. REALLY?!?! It really irks me when people say “well, when you work retail, you’re going in with the assumption that you’re going to have to work holidays.” Yes, but it’s also assumed that the two (and usually ONLY two) holidays you WILL get off are Christmas and Thanksgiving.
It kind of bums me out. This year they open at midnight (I even saw that some places opened at ten). Then next year, to beat all the other stores, they’ll start opening up even earlier. Maybe 8pm. Then 5pm. The next thing you know, all the stores are open all day on Thanksgiving AND Christmas. Hey, maybe they’ll start having the “return the presents you don’t like” sales starting at 10am on Christmas morning. Why not?
I did go shopping on Black Friday once, only because I had to drop my ex off at work. I figured since I was up anyway, then I might as well hit up Target. I scored the first four Harry Potter movies for $7 each, which was a pretty sweet deal, but aside from that I didn’t get any mega-deals. It seemed like most of the incredible sales were in such limited quantities that you had to be one of the first people through the door to get them. And I’m too much of a wuss about the cold to stand in a line outside in the dark for hours.
You know how I spend MY Black Friday this year? I slept in as late as the kids would allow (which wasn’t very late, but what can you do?) We stayed in pajamas all day, ate leftover homemade mac & cheese, munched on Candy Cane Oreos, and watched Christmas episodes of Futurama on Comedy Central.
It was fantastic.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE buying gifts for people. It’s like a scavenger hunt, searching and searching until you find that perfect thing. And I LOVE seeing the look on someone’s face that says you were dead-on with your gift choice. I’m no Scrooge. I’m just not a fan of massive crowds and long lines, and I guess it’s one of those things I’ll never quite wrap my head around.
Whether you spent your Black Friday scoring some deals or vegging on your couch, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving, and a wonderful holiday weekend!