Working Black Friday is Exhausting

By Charles LaRocca

Black Friday typically brings out the bargain buyers in boatloads. The day is fun for many but for some College of Southern Nevada students who are working this day, it can be a real pain.

According to a Nov. 14 press release by the National Retail Federation, one of the largest retail associations, 164-million people plan on shopping during Black Friday weekend or 69 percent of the American population, which leaves those who have to work that day exhausted.

Many students are left with the task of stocking shelves at big-box stores and fending off waves of discount shoppers. A lot of workers are asked to cover the graveyard shifts.

“I hardly sleep and it’s hard to maintain energy throughout my shift,” said Samuel Monterde, CSN student and Black Friday worker at Tommy Hilfiger. “I’ve worked it the last two years and it’s one of the days I don’t look forward to.”

“I don’t really plan on sleeping,” said Stephanie Gil, CSN student and Black Friday worker at Aldo, a shoe store. “I have a 12-hour shift. I know my manager is working a 15-hour shift and I honestly don’t know what else to expect besides me being tired.”

One of the negatives of working Black Friday is that it cuts into time to celebrate the holiday.

“I really don’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving this year,” Gil said. “My mom is going to California with the rest of the family but I have to stay behind and work. It will be my first Thanksgiving without my family but you can’t request the day off. I’ll just have to do Thanksgiving later.”

The NRF estimates 500,000 to 550,000 temporary employees will be hired this holiday season. This is down from last year’s 575,000. In fact the amount of seasonal employees decreased every year since reaching its peak in 2013. NRF cites the decrease in seasonal hiring to companies hiring more employees year round. Regardless many people get hired to help the retail sector this time of year.

“Being a seasonal worker is hard because you don’t really know how long they’re going to keep you,” said Jordan Turner, CSN student and retail worker at Kohl’s. “It is why I usually get two or three jobs once school ends so I can hopefully stay at one past the holidays. It also creates more of an incentive to do my job well because I need to make an impression.”

“I’ve worked [Black Friday] the last two year and all you can really expect is to be constantly busy and dealing with a lot of angry shoppers,” Turner said. “Long lines and being on your feet are the toughest part but I just keep telling myself it’s only one day, then I can go home and forget about Black Friday until next year.”

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