Leyden Takes on Black Friday

     With the holiday season just around the corner, many shoppers were eager to get the best deals on holiday merchandise. However, while some of you were busy defrosting your turkey or picking out the perfect Thanksgiving pie, retail workers across the country were busy canceling family plans and prepping their stores for the many shoppers that showed up last Thursday evening and Friday morning for doorbuster deals on Black Friday; a public holiday that has been notorious for inciting violence and exploiting workers.

     To get a glimpse into what what it’s really like sacrificing family time to work retail on this public holiday, we met up with East Leyden senior, Elizabeth Wreczycka, who worked her first Black Friday this year.  Elizabeth is a part- time sales associate at Target. She shares with us the pitfalls of working Black Friday. “ I had to be at work at 4:30, Me and my family usually have dinner around that time, but because I had to work, we had to push dinner up. ”  Due to the intense hours of Black Friday, workers are left with little to no time to spend with family. “I felt like I missed out on a lot of family time which takes away from the whole purpose of thanksgiving.” 

     Another East Leyden senior, Phuc phan, shared with us how much preparation is actually put forth, when working Black Friday. “We had a mandatory meeting on the Sunday (17th) before the BlackFriday. The managers went over the dress code for (Thanksgiving, BlackFriday, Saturday and Sunday)and talked about how we can treat customers in a nice way.” All this planning for black friday was time consuming for Phan since he worked a 10-11 hour shift. “By the time I got home on Friday night, I was too tired to even eat the leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner. I went straight to bed and slept until 12pm the next morning.” 

     Although, Black Friday has long been synonymous with scenes of chaos,  this year it started off looking a little less hectic. According to CBS news, “For the first time, the majority of U.S. consumers — 54 percent — said they would do most of their holiday shopping online. Only about 36% said they planned to shop on Black Friday this year, down from 51% in 2016.” With this dramatic decrease in Black Friday shoppers, it gives workers like Elizabeth and Phuc a sign of relief as well as a newfound respect for online shopping. If these trends continue in future years, this could mean that employees will have the chance to spend the holidays away from work, and at home with their loved ones.