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I remember working in retail on Black Friday.

I It was my third day on the job and I was excited for the busyness ahead. In my steam-pressed Oxford blouse and perfectly-pleated Chinos, I opened the door, greeting everyone with a smile, only to be trampled on by a herd of people . Jumping out of the way, I gazed in horror as people lunged themselves at sales racks, pushing and punching each other with no sympathy at all. Breathe.

With bravery, I maintained my composure and hurried over to break up two women playing tug-of-war with aBlack Label dress (one of the most expensive items in store). "Ladies, I may have another dress in stock. There's no need to fight over it." At this, they both put the down dress, and with grace and ease asked, "Could you help us?"

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An aching 16 hours later , my shift was over. Exhausted, I made my way home. How did I survive?

Nowadays, I don't shop Black Friday; but I'm thankful for the people courageous enough to endure the holiday. So to show them gratitude, here's my list of 7 people that you should thank on Black Friday :

1. Your Parents

They're your heroes. They're the ones lining up outside the doors, braving the chaos, and spending their hard-earned money just to get you what you want for Christmas. I remember 8 years ago, my dad lined up outside of Walmartat 4:00amwith a massive crowd. He made his way through, but on rushing to the entertainment department to buy me a camera, he messed up his knee. Some number of stitches and pins later, I received my camera on Christmas Eve. (I still have that camera.)

2. Your Friends

Your parents aren't the only heroes. So are your friends especially if they're just as courageous as your parents to shop for you on Black Friday. And those friends that shop for you, well, they're keepers. Think about it: how many friends do you have that buy you gifts? Friends don't have to buy each other anything. But those that do, are thoughtful and kind, and simply trying to show you how much they care.

3. The Retail Clerk

They're responsible for providing exceptional customer service even in the toughest situations. They keep items and shelves fully stocked, which can be exhausting. They wear multiple hats running from register to register or department to department, all for the sake of helping you snag that awesome deal.

4. The Cashier

Speaking of deals, ringing people up isn't always as easy as it seems. The tag doesn't ring up correctly, which requires manual entry (and takes time). The price doesn't always match. The security tags are hard to take off without damaging your garments. And there's usually a line half a mile long. That requires you to work quickly, but carefully, and all with a smile as people yell at you to check out.

5. The Greeter

This is one of the most underappreciated people in the store. Their whole job is to keep a smile on their face and greet you as you enter and exit the store. Yet, few people pay attention to him/her. Some people are even easily annoyed by him/her just because he/she is singing, playing music, or acting silly. But wait, aren't the holidays about cheer?

6. The Store Manager

This is a tough position; and not one I miss being in. The Store Manager has to deal with everyone's(excuse my language) shit . They have to keep employees and customers in line, and juggle the same roles as everyone else including service, cashiering, and greeting. On top of that, they usually work twice the hours, for only a marginally higher pay. And get stuck with tons of paperwork at the end of the day (which no one really likes doing).

7. The Parking Attendants

This role is especially hard if you live in colder climates. I remember sitting in my car, waiting behind a line of dozens of other cars, to leave through the only entrance/exit to the shopping center. Patience wasn't easy. People we're honking their horns, cutting each other off, all the while these attendants tried their best to get people's cars, while directing others(without getting run over) in the freezing cold. Brutal.

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Posted in Jobs/Employment Post Date 10/08/2019


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