The day after Black Friday

I worked at the store on the evening of Black Friday.  This was my first Black Friday as a retail employee.  As a matter of fact, I have never experienced Black Friday as a shopper because I have always refused to shop the day after Thanksgiving.

I didn’t expect the range of emotions I felt when I left work at the hospital and arrived in the parking lot at the store in the evening. The shopping center parking lot was almost full and I had a long walk to my store.  I felt a bit annoyed thinking that I would be walking alone for a distance when I left the store at the end of the night.

As I walked through the front doors of the store, I saw crowds of people milling around looking at furniture and decorative accessories.  I suddenly felt overwhelmed and began to feel some anxiety.  I also felt queasy.  I thought of turning around to leave the store because I didn’t think I could handle the work that evening.

I took a deep breath and walked quickly to the Customer Care office at the rear of the store barely speaking to the salespeople who said hello to me as I passed them.  Since I was a few minutes early, I dropped my personal items off at the office and wandered out again into the showroom and appeared to be browsing as I stopped to look at accessories and wall art that had a calming effect on me.  The showroom manager saw me and asked if I was alright.  I told him that I just needed a few minutes to get ready for the evening.

Finally, I returned to the office, logged into my workstation and prepared for phone and face-to-face customers.  My co-workers and I were busy for the rest of the evening as customer traffic seemed non-stop.  At the end of the evening, I told my manager about my reaction as I came to work that evening and told her that I almost turned around to go home.  She didn’t seem to understand my anxiety but we had a good laugh about the experience that evening.

I survived my first Black Friday in retail. Today, I return to work at the store and do it all over again.  Somehow, I feel I can handle anything now.

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