Black Friday causes too much stress for workers


Graphic by Clara Ilkka

Jeff Wallace

Shopping on Black Friday is extremely stressful for both the employees and the shoppers. However, what none of the shoppers have to go through is the preparation for the day. With stores opening even earlier now, employees have to come to work earlier and lose time that is meant to be spent with family on Thanksgiving. The troubles that the employees experience are harsh and they should not have to deal with them at all.

Employees do their best to please the customers, but on a day like Black Friday, the expectation bar gets raised even higher. This year, many stores opened on Thanksgiving day instead of the Friday after. Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods all opened on the evening of Thanksgiving.

Junior Matthew Treacy works at Target. Although all employees are paid extra and offered even better discounts, they are required to go in and work at ridiculous times. At 4 a.m., Treacy headed into work.

“I don’t think stores should open during Thanksgiving. It makes the holiday more stressful than it should be. I don’t see why the sales can’t start at a normal time the next day,” Treacy said.

Working on Thanksgiving does not allow for employees to be with their loved ones, or celebrate what they have to be thankful for.

CBS news reporter Jim Axelrod wrote that Target employee Seth Coleman said, “There are certain days in this country when we get to be with our families and give thanks. If I’m at work, almost the entire day, I have nothing to give thanks for or at least no one to give thanks with.”

Black Friday was very chaotic for many employees.

“Working was crazy, a lot of people running and stressing out over finding big screen televisions and Beats,” Treacy explained.

Employees from many different businesses protested their hours and pay that they received. Along with the employees, shoppers also protested because they didn’t think that it was fair for the employees to be working on Thanksgiving. The protests were led by OUR Walmart (Organization United for Respect at Walmart). Many of the protests led to arrests.

A writer for OUR Walmart stated, “Out of the 1.3 million people Walmart employs, around 100 participated in the strike. In fact, most of the protesters didn’t work for Walmart and were members of other unions and union partner groups.”

However, big businesses find it beneficial to open early on Black Friday because it brings in more revenue. The companies don’t care what the employees plans are because they know that they will come into work. They give the employees extra pay, along with even higher discounts. Big businesses do not care that they have to pay their employees extra because they are already bringing in so much money that it does not matter. The average sales associate at Walmart is paid $10.76 an hour, so this does not affect the big businesses since they can pay extra.

It is an experience that few employees will forget, but many of them hope they never have to do it again. It is only fair to the employees that the stores open when they usually would on Black Friday, allowing for them to get to spend their Thanksgiving with their family.