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Surviving Black Friday: The Employees



As someone who has both shopped and worked on Black Friday, I will be the first to admit that Black Friday is a horror show. The lines, all of the people, and all of the sales are overwhelming, if not horrifying, to some people. With the experience that I have shopping and working on this day, I thought I would make a survival guide for you Black Friday newbies. And, just in time, too. 

If you're a shopper, view this post here!




So, you're working Black Friday, eh?  I feel you, I work too. I also work on Thanksgiving, but that's how retail goes. It will be an experience, and you will either like it or dislike it, there is no in between. But, if there is one thing that is undeniable, it's that it's thrilling. It's a whirlwind of people and sound and occasionally, fury. But, you will come out alive.;
Recognize that it will be hectic.

It will be a mess. And, don't blame yourself. You aren't in charge of how many units of something you get, and you aren't responsible for someone holding up the line with a check. It isn't your fault. The faster you realize that, the better. So, smile at the customer, help them with what they need and move on. 
That being said, don't be a downer. No one wants to work at midnight, no one wants to do a 12 hour cashier shift, and no one wants to listen to you whine. It sucks, we all know, but it isn't the end of the world. Plus, more hours equals more money, and if you're seasonal, a good attitude could equal a permanent part time or full time position. 
Be informed.

Know what's going to happen before it happens. Look at your store's ad. You don't have to memorize it, but at least having a knowledge of whats in the ad is better than having no idea. Ask your department manager or supervisor about the procedure, like how early before your shift should you come in, is there a certain door, so and so. 
Wear comfortable shoes, if you can. Some stores have strict uniform policies that include uncomfortable shoes. But, if you can wear supportive tennis shoes, Black Friday would be the day to wear them. You;ll be on your feet a lot, and it's not good for you in any way, so you need to wear shoes that won't further your problems.
Also, bring a hoodie or something to cover up your uniform while on lunch, break, or before and after your shift. One, late November is usually pretty cold (unless you're a coastal state), so it's beneficial, and two, people won't stop you for help every 3 seconds. I remember watching a coworker walking from electronics to the breakroom and being stopped at least 5 times before he could even get out of electronics. When I worked at Target, you could wear outerwear that was red so, I wore a white v neck tee with a red cardigan over top. When I went to break, I immediately took my name badge off, ripped off my cardigan and fast walked to a guest free area. And, I know at Walmart (and Meijer) you can wear any solid colored hoodie/jacket over your navy shirt, so, take advantage and zip it up. 
If you won't be in town, let them know ahead of time.

Don't screw over your store because you forgot to tell them you'd be cross country for Thanksgiving and assumed you wouldn't be scheduled. Most retail stores have Black Friday as a blackout date, a day where you can't request off, but, if you tell them a month to two weeks ahead of time that you'll be unavailable, it gives your scheduler and the store, a lot of leeway. You don't want to screw the store over, no matter what you do. And, that goes for any day, not just the Holidays.
Just know that you will survive! Black Friday is the worst day of the season, and though the Holidays aren't going to get easier, necessarily, it won't be as bad as Black Friday. Just take a deep breathe, smile, and get through the day. 
I hope that my tips help you in some way! If you have any questions, or have any tips of your own you'd like to share, let me know down below!



Much love, 

1 comment

  1. Anonymous11/27/2013

    again, great tips! this could be useful to anyone working this season. good job kate! xx

    ReplyDelete

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