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Making it Through That Dreaded Black Friday Shift

The most wonderful time of year is upon us again! This weekend we will stuff ourselves full of turkey, mashed potatoes, and pie, and not feel even the slightest bit of guilt about it. But with Thanksgiving comes retailers’ favorite, and retail workers’ least favorite, holiday—Black Friday. If your only association with Black Friday is excellent deals and at most, some frustration with crowded stores, you’re lucky. However, if you’ve had the pleasure, or frankly the requirement, of working that dreaded all-night Black Friday shift, here are some tips to help make this year a little better.

Hydrate & Caffeinate

Everyone’s worked a long shift, but add in insane crowds and it being the middle of the night to the equation, and any worker is bound to feel like they’ve been hit by a truck by the time morning hits. Hydration is key to late night shifts and I don’t just mean caffeine. As magical as coffee is, it can’t keep you going for hours. Back up that boost of caffeine with water and plenty of it. Your body will thank you for it later.


Take a Deep Breathe

There’s a high chance you might be screamed at by at least one customer at some point during the night. Black Friday tends to bring out the worst in soccer moms alike. Miraculously, everyone will forget how to read and the number of times you’ll have to say “No ma’am that sale does not apply to these items,” will make you want to pull your hair out. Take a breath and smile. A couple of angry customers really isn’t worth getting worked up over. Just keep repeating the mantra “I don’t make the rules, I just follow them,” and you’ll get through relatively unscathed.


Support Your Coworkers

Overworked and understaffed? Sounds about right on the late night sale. So what if the dressing rooms weren’t completely cleaned out and some of the displays are a mess? There are going to be a million people coming through, asking questions and tearing through everything you just spent hours folding. Don’t yell at one another when things get messy, help out when you can. It’s going to be a long night, and as anyone in retail knows, the customers will do enough arguing for everyone. Stick by one another, because whether you link your coworkers or not, you’re all stuck in the store overnight, so you might as well make the best of it.

Stay Positive

No one likes working on a holiday, especially when the rest of your friends and family are most likely deep in turkey comas or screaming at the television while watching football. But don’t let that dampen your mood. Smiling, whether you’re cheery or not helps. I’m serious. The more you act like you’re enjoying yourself at work the better you’ll start to feel. Plus positivity is contagious, so those raging, frustrated customers, might actually be influenced by your mood. All shifts end, and then you get a paycheck, so just keep smiling and make the most of being stuck at work all night.

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S.HUniveristy of Utah
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