Shopping madness: Teens experience working on Black Friday


Sam Salomone

The holiday season is often marked by the need to go shopping for presents, especially those that take advantage of Black Friday deals. But what’s it like to be an employee that day?

Every year Black Friday has gotten more and more crazy. In 2018, an estimated 116 million people went out looking for deals. A tradition that used to take place solely on the day after Thanksgiving now begins Thanksgiving night in many stores, including Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, and Target. 

Stampedes of excited customers are the new normal on Black Friday at many places across the country. For many workers, it’s a hassle to have to leave Thanksgiving dinner and start the busiest shift of the year. If you have ever wondered what it is like herding crowds of hundreds of angry customers, 3 teenage employees shared stories of what it is like to work on the busiest night of the year.

“Having to work on Black Friday is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do with my job. I work at Rite-Aid, and it usually doesn’t get as busy as other stores but it is definitely more crowded than it ever gets. Last year I worked at Target, and if you left your assignment for one minute, you would have a herd of angry customers yelling at you. It takes a lot of concentration and focus when you have to scan all those items and you have an angry line of shoppers behind them.” 

Dustin Carte, 11th grade, Rite-Aid

“It was very stressful considering everyone was coming for deals. Sometimes customers would get confused and angry if they read something wrong and blame us (the workers) for what was wrong such as a sketchbook not being the size it needed to be to get the 50% deal.”

B. Bair, 12th grade, Michael’s

“Working on Black Friday is a whole other level of crazy. At Starbucks, we have a lot of grumpy people coming through because we have to deal with people before they’ve had their coffee, but during Black Friday, people are more on the edge. I’ve had someone yell at me because we were out of peppermint syrup. Another person asked me if I had kids, and when I told him I was very glad I didn’t he told me, ‘Well, I wish I didn’t,’ and then proceeded to yell at my coworker for being slow. Basically, a lot of angry people and Black Friday just makes people angrier.”

Ella Adams, 12th grade, Starbucks

Stores everywhere in Carlisle and surrounding areas participate in these deals, including these stores.

Stores that opened Thanksgiving:

Stores that opened on Black Friday

Did you go shopping on Black Friday?  Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below!