Calm down, it’s just a shirt


Mark Lennihan

JCPenney is one of the many popular stores open on Black Friday.

Cassiana Pozzi, Entertainment Editor

     There are two different sides of the shopping holiday “Black Friday”, there are the people who get up insanely early to shop, and the people who have to get up and handle the insane crowd of shoppers.

     Working in retail on Black Friday is the most hectic job of the year with thousands of people running through the mall just to get that one item they saw on sale in an ad before others snag it off the shelf. Black Friday’s craziness is not just subjected to the mall; Walmart, Target, Best Buy and many more stores experience large crowds and fights between customers. But from inside the mall, in JCPenney, which had opened Thanksgiving night, large waves of customers rushed through the women’s department where I had been working. With twelve sales associates working the register and on the floor, we handled the large crowds and watched as the lines for registers wrapped around the store. I had folded the same display of shirts about ten times that night because with every wave of customers left clothes and signs on the floor. Although we, as workers, understand the need for rushing and picking apart departments, I find no joy in having to put away an entire rack of clothes or rehanging every sweater.

     As an associate who also had to keep track of dressing rooms, I had put back so many pairs of jeans that were just left on the floor or coats that were barely hanging from the hanger. Luckily for me I did not have to work on the cash register but there was plenty to do with helping customers and continuously folding the jeans that had been knocked over in the process of someone trying to find their size. On Thanksgiving night, when very few retail stores were open, the crowds were really well contained. Even on Friday morning as early as 6 a.m, there were very few shoppers walking the store, which was quite a surprise for me. But that all had changed around 10 a.m when the lines for the register started to get longer and JCPenney was giving out $10 off of $10 coupons. Most retail stores do coupon giveaways or send them in the mail previous to the week of Black Friday so shoppers have a whole catalog at hand for when they checkout. But JCPenney did that and had been giving away $10 off coupons with the chance to win $500 off so the crowds for that giveaway made the store even more hectic.

     Although shoppers might enjoy the rush and find joy in shopping for loved ones, the employees working on Black Friday struggle through the hardest day of the year. But Black Friday, for everyone, symbolizes the coming of the holiday season with bright lights dangling from the mall’s ceiling, a large Christmas tree with Santa sitting right under it in the very center, and Christmas music blasting in every store.