Happy Thanksgiving! There aren’t a whole lot of days better than Thanksgiving, are there? Food, family, and football. All day football.
I still remember my first Thanksgiving as a married man. Six years ago I was working security at Target. This holiday has a much different meaning when you work in retail. Thanksgiving day is really just a pause in the middle of the two busiest days of the year.
Knowing this, I still decided that the easiest thing to do was have the family over to our apartment. The Wednesday before the holiday is a late night in retail. All of the Black Friday deals must be set out and everything has to be ready to roll before you leave. All of this has to be done after closing. Needless to say, we did not leave the store until about 1:30 in the morning.
I got home at about 2am and started cooking gumbo. Bed called at about 4 and we were back up early to get ready. Everything turned out great and the family was crunched into our 1 bedroom apartment. It’s still one of my favorite memories…at least it is until I passed smooth out in the middle of the living room floor just after the second game started!
Black Friday was just as much of a blur as you think it would be. We arrived to open the store sometime between 2 and 3 in the morning. Our store gave out coffee and hot chocolate. It was very cold that year and people had been waiting in line for upwards of 24-48 hours.
When the door opened at 5 in the morning, the rush was on. If you’ve never been on the other side of the door, it’s hard to explain how busy you are for the first 4 hours. You feel like you are constantly on the verge of crisis. It’s a rush really. About 80% of your day is spent calming folks down and trying to keep fights from starting. Early in the day, just before the sun came up, I saw a lady go down near the checkout lanes. As I rushed over to check on her I see it. A giant baby bump.
That’s right. My first experience with Black Friday in the retail world and I’m thinking I’m going to have to deliver a baby in lane 2. After talking to her for a bit – I thought it was only appropriate to become friends with the lady I was about to be a doctor for – it ended up being contractions and she was whisked off to the hospital. I can’t say I was sad about that!
I got home sometime around 5 I guess – the whole day kind of blends together. I fell straight asleep and woke up on Saturday morning.
So if you are going to partake in the Black Friday madness, be kind to the people working. Most of the time, they are sleep deprived and stressed beyond belief. Take care of each other out there and for the love of all that is holy, do not go shopping if you are 8+ months pregnant! Enjoy the day. Happy Turkey Day everyone!