The most physically stressful time in retail would be Black Friday, and it’s only one time a year thank God. Retail is not all bad though, since it allows a person to earn money when they are in college, and some retail workers enjoy their jobs. It can make the hours go by fast when there is plenty to do and plenty of people to serve on a daily basis, especially on Black Friday since there are major sales going on, and a lot of items are at a low price. Some retailers are closed Thanksgiving day, but all of them are open on Black Friday. It’s the biggest shopping day of the year since companies make up spending on this day. Some of the businesses open very early, and it’s a holiday that people will camp out in front of just to get the big screen they have always wanted. Some retailers are open Thanksgiving, and they have sales going on an hour and some in the next. I’ve only worked twice during a shift like that, and it was crazy. It was crowded, people were running everywhere, and the clean up was a pain since they leaved items they didn’t want in random spots.
There are a ton of people who have a job that is physically demanding since it includes pushing carts, and moving items on pallets. It’s not easy working retail since there is, “Heavy lifting and long periods standing,” said Sheryl Mackey, a cashier at a box retailer. “There is harassment from supervisors if you are not smiling enough, no leaning on counters. You must clean work area even if you didn’t do it. Customers do complain about you. Especially if you are cleaning too much. Must work on Thanksgiving which is mandatory. They don’t even pay time and a half like they used to.”
A retail associate is even pulled to departments they have never worked before especially when the store is short staffed, “I never knew what I was going to do. Stock, cashier, or work in the deli,” said Richelle Cop, a cashier at a box retailer.
It’s hard work especially when there is work to do in the department like stocking items. One minute help is needed in lawn and garden which is at one end of the store the next the managers call the person to the register which is at the other end not a cake walk.
During Black Friday right before the event areas are roped off to prevent people from cutting in line, and a few customers got mad at me when I told them they could not go past the ropes. It was used to prevent people from cutting in line, and they thought they were special snowflakes and that they could go in the lines even though they are not allowed to. There are displays full of items that are on sale just for that day in red boxes that say, “while supplies last.” It’s chaotic as people navigate through the aisles grabbing items they want and even fighting the crowds. It can be stressful on the associates in charge of lines, and even ones on the floor. Customers can be rude that time of year especially when their item runs out, and they will yell at the associates for things they can’t control.
“This job is too stressful. The long hours are brutal and people here piss you off. Customers are off the chain for no reason,” said Jordan Carter, a sales associate at the same store..
It can be pretty hectic too when the phones are off the hook, and all the fitting rooms are full leaving an associate to run to keep up with the work of serving the customers especially on a day like Black Friday where associates have to straighten fallen displays. It’s not as easy as just putting up clothes and scanning items. It involves problem solving, multitasking, and dealing with the general public and all their complaints.Black Friday is a hectic day for people since there are sales at a specific time. Lines on that day are going to be long, and at the end of the shift it can tired a sales associate out. Overall, it can be a pretty crazy and rewarding to people who love the chaos of getting deals, and fighting the crowd to get the latest gadget. People will continue to camp out on Black Friday, and they will buy items as early as Thursday at 6pm on Thanksgiving if the deal is there. It’s a tradition that will continue as long as people are willing to spend their hard earned money in stores, and now retailers like Walmart, Amazon, and other stores are even offering the sales online so people won't even have to fight crowds in the first place. They can buy items in the comfort of their homes, and in their pajamas which is what Black Friday is about.