Black Friday: A Cashier’s Day of Hell

COMMENTARY | In response to the decision to have its stores open at midnight on Thanksgiving day,Target received 190,000 petitions from workers who are opposed to the new Black Friday hours. Their complaint is that Target is forcing workers to leave their families on Thanksgiving, putting money over its workers. As someone who worked as a cashier for Walmart, I can attest that these corporations truly value the almighty dollar over their workers and quite frankly, Black Friday is a retail worker’s personal hell.

The workers at Target are complaining that they must leave their families on Thanksgiving to work the Black Friday hours at midnight, but to Walmart workers, that’s a dream because Walmart doesn’t close on Thanksgiving, so those of us who were low on the totem pole and had to work all day on Thanksgiving were usually also scheduled to work Black Friday the next day. This clearly is valuing money over employees because while the store managers are at home with their families, retail workers are in the stores.

It’s amazing how many customers will tell cashiers on Thanksgiving that it’s a shame they have to work on Thanksgiving, but they don’t realize that if they were not out shopping on Thanksgiving, retail workers wouldn’t have to work.

Not only does having Black Friday begin Thanksgiving night keep retail workers from their families, it is sheer torment in and of itself. Only a person who has worked retail knows the characteristic, dreaded day of hell that is Black Friday. Customers are extremely rude (which is ironic considering it’s Christmas time), they go absolutely crazy over stuff – and that’s what it is, stuff! Where on a normal day a cashier may have a little under 200 customers, on Black Friday, they serve 400 or more.

Midnight is too late to have workers out in the stores and Black Friday is hard enough on retail workers without them having to work on Thanksgiving, too. These corporations need to stop putting their bottom line over their employees, but more importantly, I think customers should consider this and stay out of the stores.

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