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Rules to Remember this Black Friday


I’ve never bought into the Black Friday hype. Mostly because instead of participating in the midnight madness, I’ve spent the last five consecutive Black Fridays working retail and fighting to remain sane through the American version of the running of the bulls.
Yes, it is that bad. Like, “I had to consume three margaritas during my half hour break” bad.
Even though I won’t be working retail (thank you God, Allah, Buddah and every other religious deity) for Black Friday 2011, I still have to commiserate with everyone that will be.

While I’m sure it’s great fun to wake up before dawn while still suffering the effects of a tryptophan hangover, sit in traffic for hours while en route to your shopping center of choice and wait outside in the freezing cold only to run the risk of being trampled to death when the doors finally open, there is an untold, not-so-fun side of the Black Friday euphoria. It is the story of the people, cowering behind the locked doors of their retail establishment, who are staring down a crowd with sale-lust in their eyes.

I implore all of you who are heading to downtown Boston, the Pru, Newbury Street or the Wrentham Outlets this Friday to please, please keep in mind the following: 
1.  Remember that personal space should always be respected. I can hear your rude demands from two feet away just as easily as I hear them when you are mere inches away from my face. Unless you’re interested in making out with me, in which case security will most definitely be called, stay outside of my comfort zone.

2.  ‘Please’ and ‘Thank You’ never goes out of style. Using your manners will go a long way in my desire to help you with whatever it is you need. Grunts, speaking in languages that are not English, franticly pointing to objects and grabbing me by the arm will not bode well for your own personal safety.

3.  Keep in mind that we are human beings too! We are not durable fixtures made to withstand casualties inflicted by fanatical shoppers. When you jab us with your elbows, step on our toes, whack us with your ten-ton purses and inadvertently shove us into tables and T-stands, it HURTS. A polite “excuse me” works just as well, if not better, than shoving me out of your way.

4.  We’re trying to keep our cool, so should you. We work very hard at maintaining our cheery disposition and friendly smiles in order to make your shopping experience a pleasant one. Don’t get overly agitated with us when we can’t give you what you want or the answer you want to hear. While you’re talking to us for the first time, we’ve been answering the same questions from hundreds of different people since the ungodly hours of the morning. Moods are contagious! Help us out by making your attitude one worth catching. If you insist on demeaning us and generally acting disrespectfully, we will ignore you.
So, have fun spending all of your hard-earned co-op cash this Black Friday, collegiettes™. Just remember what I told you!

Lauryn is a senior at Northeastern University majoring in journalism. She has written for Boston.com as well as the HC branch at Northeastern. Lauryn is also a teaching assistant for International Affairs students at Northeastern. In May and June of 2011, she embarked on a reporting trip to the Middle East, where she mastered the art of "man on the street" reporting and gained a new appreciation for falafel. In her spare time, Lauryn enjoys writing, walking around Boston aimlessly, traveling and a unhealthy obsession with her Kindle. She loves eating, French bulldogs and Anderson Cooper. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in foreign correspondence or magazine journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @laurynpaiva.
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