Reader asks people to ‘give retail employees and break and a chance at a real holiday’

My most vivid Black Friday memories are having to leave my grandmother’s house around 9 p.m. after Thanksgiving dinner, so I could drive the three hours back to Fargo and try to get a decent night’s sleep before my 9 a.m. shift on Black Friday. The day would begin with people waiting in their cars outside, even though the store I worked at (Barnes & Noble) wasn’t really known for crazy Black Friday deals. Once the store officially opened, the shopping floor would be a sea of bodies and the line in the cafe would be at least thirty people long all day.

As the day went on, it would be a struggle to keep people calm and keep up with demand. Students would still come into the cafe expecting to have a place to study, and would be annoyed at the fact that the store was so full. Finally, by the end of my shift, after barely squeezing a 30-minute break to throw some food down my throat, I’d go home completely exhausted.

Now that I’m not working retail any more, I plan to spend my Friday sleeping in, reading a book, going for a long run and celebrating “Buy Nothing Day”. Black Friday shopping is a nightmare I never want to relive, and I ask other people to give retail employees and break and a chance at a real holiday.