Miriam Gomberg

Black Friday from the other side

ready to face another holiday season head on

Black Friday brings fear into the hearts of the agoraphobic. Masses converge and lines form outside stores waiting for the sales to begin. Experiencing Black Friday from both sides of the cashwrap,  I can’t remember a time when it did not affect my life.

tripping down memory lane

My parents, who were both teachers before I was born, owned a nut/candy shop during my formative years. When it was the holiday season, they practically disappeared until after Christmas. I don’t remember much except that my sister and I had a lot of baby sitters each December.

At age 16, I got my first job in my parents gift shop where they sold clocks and music boxes. Because we all worked endlessly throughout the holiday season, we would dine out for Thanksgiving in a swanky restaurant. It was the calm before the inevitable storm.

my own time to shop (woot!)

My tenure as a bridal shop owner was the only time I ever went shopping on Black Friday. Bridal season started after Christmas when brides would show up with new sparkly engagement rings. Traditionally speaking, most people are not looking for wedding gowns during the holiday season, so I was awarded ample time to get my own shopping on.

I remember one year hitting the mall from dusk til dawn with a close girlfriend. What a flipping nightmare it was. Hating large crowds, I am not sure why I participated or what was purchased on that day. Was it really worth all the hassle?

back in the retail saddle (so to speak)

As much as I dislike being surrounded on all sides by complete strangers, I have no problem when it comes to working crazy days like Black Friday. I have come up with a few theories as to why I don’t mind the crowds while working.

  1. it is on my turf
  2. it signifies one month until back to normal
  3. people watching is fun
  4. others look to my leadership, so I need to suck it up and just deal with it
  5. years of practice

I have a personal tradition of completely shutting down my senses by Wednesday before Thanksgiving in preparation of the ensuing madness. This year, I was lucky enough to have Wednesday and Thursday off so that I could take a mental break. Working at a different company in a new capacity I was unsure what to expect.

another Black Friday complete

Was there ever a question whether or not I would survive another Black Friday? It sure wiped me out, but in a good way. It is exhilarating to see the store bustle and the day certainly goes by quickly. We were well organized and ready for almost any scenario.

As of today, Christmas is exactly one month away. Looking back I wonder what all the fear and apprehension is about. What is your opinion of Black Friday? Do you avoid it at all cost or embrace it and start shopping at midnight? Share your best Black Friday stories with me.

 

This entry was published on November 25, 2012 at 11:22 pm. It’s filed under Memories... and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Black Friday from the other side

  1. I stay away from it and don’t go shopping at all on that day. It has gotten crazy in some places and even dangerous. When I worked in retail, we had shoppers after Thanksgiving but nothing like the madding crowds we have today. :-)

    • Can’t say that I blame you for staying home. If I wasn’t working, I would do the same or do something like go skiing or to a movie. However crazy Black Friday gets, it sets the tone for what the rest of the shopping season will be like.

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