"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Friday, November 29, 2013

black friday in days gone by...

...long ago and oh so very, very far away and now only living in my memories, my parents used to participate in the black Friday shenanigans.  Money was tight in those days and the only way they could shop for Christmas gifts was due to the fact they joined the 'Christmas Club' at the bank.  I think the bank would withhold 5-10 $ each payday starting in January and then would pay it out the day before Thanksgiving.  My parents with their cash in hand, coupons if any, and the ad circulars would head out bright and early while leaving me to watch over the younger children at home.  They had a day together which was rare, had lunch out also rare, and came home exhausted but without any packages (wink, wink).  They always seemed happy and relieved, obviously black Friday was not the mad house, craziness that it is today.

Years later I started out my illustrious career in retail by working during the holidays.  My first black Friday that I was scheduled to work I was over an hour late clocking in.  It's not that I was truly late the problem was that I could not find a parking space IN THE ENTIRE MALL.  I drove round and round, followed people to their cars, only failing to find an open slot.  Finally parked across a busy four lane road and hiked back to the mall.  Oh yeah, just the beginning of the excitement.  I was quite naive and thought better of humanity so I was shocked at people's behaviour.  The shouting, pushing, the swearing (from me mostly!) was enough to put a damper on any holiday celebrations.  This was easily put aside though as Christmas was a short few weeks away and I had young children then, to keep me grounded and remind me that this was a special time of year.

Fast forward a few more years to find me working in the Customer Service department, still at the mall.  Now let me just say that no one NO ONE comes to Customer Service to wait in line for twenty or so minutes to tell you they've just had a wonderful shopping experience.  No, customer service is the place of last resort for the truly unhappy, unfulfilled, complainers in the store.  Give them an extra twenty minutes to stew and they could be down right frightening.  More than once the words 'security' came out of my mouth, and once when I had a customer's hands around my throat it seemed that someone else yelled 'security.'  But I digress.  It was Christmastime and the spirit was slowly draining out of me.  Much to my delight (sarcasm) I was also assigned to the gift wrap counter.  I loved gift wrapping, at least for my family, but take some cranky people who feel your attempts have gone awry and it will suck the ever living daylights out of you.  To this day I get no joy from wrapping a gift and either stick it in a gift bag or beg my hubby to do it.  He doesn't mind!

Then, I finished school (college) and started a new career working in a hospital.  The most rewarding experiences of my life, even at Holiday time and my faith in humanity was restored.  Now days I would not go out on a Black Friday for anything, no matter the cost, for the cost of my humanity is not for sale anymore and especially at $8 hour.  My sympathies to those of you who 'had' to go out and work in this madness, and for those of you out there shopping, shame on you if you mistreated anyone to get that special sale.

Happy weekend friends.


  1. I worked retail for 3 and a half years, so I know what you mean.
    Happy Weekend to you all, too. ♥

    1. We refuse to go shopping on Black Friday or any other 'special' sales day. People have gone beserk and the stores are cashing in.

  2. Joanne, I could never have the patience to wait on rude people...or drive a school bus.:):) I remember Christmas clubs at the bank. Gosh life was simpler then. I would love to turn the clock back. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  3. I went out on black Friday and had a lovely experience. Everyone was nice, and we joked about black Friday and made suggestions for presents for each other kids. We didn't know each other

  4. I did go out on Black Friday, in the afternoon to Barnes and Noble to get gift cards. Now, normally it wouldn't have mattered what day I went but since I was with Kathy, we had to go that day. It was our together time! I get to see her for the 3 major holidays and sometimes in between. I am trying to finagle a visit for winter for her to come her and see us to add to the seeing of her.



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