Friday, November 27, 2009

I still can't figure out why it's called Black Friday.

Before I had two kids, I was a slave to the retail market. Most of the time I was at a supervisory level, assistant or store manager, which always made "Black Friday" all the more interesting.
I actually never dreaded that day. I liked it when it was busy. Not chaotic busy but nice and crowded and the ringing of the cash registers going and going... it was an adrenaline rush for me. Call me crazy, but I hated it when I didn't have anything to do. So, when the holiday season started to roll around the corner, I was mildly excited. Getting up at 3am to go to work wasn't terrible for me either because that just meant that I'd be off of work earlier.
And seriously, if you've ever worked in retail (or food service), any major service that was majorly affected by the hustle and bustle of the shopping season, the busy time blew in like a tornado and was out just as fast.

The day I completely dreaded was December 26th: return day.
Not THAT wasn't as fun and it was always full of people who were already upset about whatever was broken, was the wrong size, etc. etc. and wherever I worked, like always, we'd be out of that item for an exchange. Stock levels would be so ridiculously low then. And when you're in retail management you have to handle all the major issues. I kind of hated that. And for the 45-80 hours I worked the pay wasn't worth it. And then after December 26th the preparation for store inventory began.
Double UGH.

Since 2005 I've been so occupied with having babies and taking care of little ones and being a stay at home mom that I didn't miss the work much. I have had my hands full.
This year was the first year that I could partake in the "Black Friday" extravaganza a.k.a "don't you push me for that video game lady" event. Every year I avoided shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I didn't see the point. I thought, "I have a whole month to shop why would I rush out in NOVEMBER?"
And when you have kids, that whole concept changes like crazy.
I ventured out this morning to Tarjay mainly to get a brand new (cheap!) board game for James- Candyland. Got up at 3:30am, stood in line from 4:30 to 5am just to make sure I'd get a few of their sale items. I had about 30 people ahead of me in line and I kind of felt silly for being there. And then came about 50 more people that waited behind me. Then, I knew it was worth it. Plus, getting the kids a few presents for cheaper prices is also an adrenaline rush.
And it wasn't that bad! Some people tried to push a cart in the way of the crowd, on purpose of course, but I noticed something so different about Coloradians (not that there are no evil ones here): they don't get as mad as quickly at people from Maryland. When a woman pushed her cart into the crowd (and all because she couldn't keep up.. I guess she was tired I dunno) people just looked at her, pushed it out of the way and laughed! Her plan had backfired and she knew it.
Other than that, everyone was pleasant. And I was sure to say "hello" and "thank you" to the workers there. Cause let's face it- this is a tough job for this time of the year and they do get the crappy end of the retail stick.


Two Lines On a Stick said...

Actually the reason it's called Black Friday- supposedly all year until then, stores are "in the red" as far as profits/budget balancing. The day after Thanksgiving is when their sales vs. expenses actually goes "into the black" and they are turning a profit for the year. So Black Friday :)

Dawn B said...

a ha!!! that makes total sense!! Thank you!