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Black Friday not easy for store employees: Many students have had to work during the shopping madness; this year was no exception
Kimberly Gerdes
Antelope Staff
Photo by Kim Gerdes
Piles of clothes and shoes were carried to the registers all morning by customers at Sporting Edge. Autumn Dugan, a junior communication disorders major from Greeley, spent her morning ringing out sale after sale for Black Friday shoppers. She spent over eight hours at work, starting her shift at 5:30 a.m.

Alarm clock blaring in her ear—it’s five in the morning on Black Friday. She rolls over and hits the snooze.
 
Three minutes later it goes again. She thinks she’s dreaming that her alarm is going off this early. She can’t figure out why people make themselves do this, but she’s not getting up to get the door buster deals. She’s getting up to sell the crazy people the door buster deals.

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, people across the U.S. wake up at ridiculous hours and stand in line to get the best door buster deals of the year.  Whether it’s a  52” television at nearly 50 percent off or the perfect blender at 70 percent off, people are out shopping at six, five, or even four in the morning to get deals of the year.

“This year was the second time I have worked the opening shift of Black Friday, and each year it gets crazier,” said Autumn Dugan, junior communications disorder major from Greeley.

“I had never worked in retail on Black Friday, so this was a crazy experience for me. There are people everywhere fighting for the deals that they want,” Nick Dvorak, junior business administration major from Wymore said.

Both Dvorak and Dugan work at Sporting Edge at the mall and were working at the 6 a.m. opening.  “The manager and I opened our doors a little early because we didn’t see many shoppers out, so we thought we could handle it until the others arrived at six. But right after we opened the gate, at least 40 people came rushing in our store,” Dugan said.  The rush at their store continued until their door buster sales ended at 10 a.m.

For retail workers Black Friday is a day that they have to have extra tough skin.  “People are sometimes rude on a regular day, but on Black Friday it seems like they’re on a whole different level. I was refolding sweatshirts and grabbed one off the pile that a lady was planning to buy, but I didn’t know that. The elderly woman slapped my hand and chewed me out for taking her sweatshirt. The slap was loud enough that my manager at the other end of the store heard it,” Dugan said.

“It seems like each person’s attitude is different. If they had a good morning and got the deals they wanted at places like Wal-Mart and Target, then they are in a better mood. But if they get to our store after the big places and have had some fights for what they wanted, they are not happy to be in our store and they show it,” Dvorak said.

“It’s a fun morning to work because of all the chaos, but sometimes the people get so rude and disrespectful that it’s hard to remember to be nice to each customer,” Dugan said. 

The biggest shopping day of the year can bring out the worst in anyone.

Another Black Friday has come and gone. Luckily this year there were no recorded deaths at the doors of Wal-Mart.  The Christmas season has officially started. Now get out there and shop 'til you drop.

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