What Retail Workers Want You to Know on Black Friday

Thanksgiving can mean different things to different people, but for retail workers, it may signal an uneasy dread. Rather than enjoying time with their families, their favorite football teams, or just their day off, many are bracing themselves for Black Friday. For some, that starts at midnight; for others, Thanksgiving evening. Across social media, they have one message for eager shoppers:

Not every big chain will offer holiday hours for bargain-hunters. The list includes places like PetSmart, H&M, and Home Depot. But for other stores, it's one of the biggest sales periods of the year. If you've got a battle plan for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, add one more action item to your list: Be kind.

Employees, whether they work at checkout or on the floor, don't have the power to bargain or haggle over prices. They may have taken the hours because they're being paid extra and need the bump in their paycheck. They are probably experiencing as much or more stress as their customers. So: Take a beat and be as polite and patient as possible. It's always a good rule when shopping, but Black Friday is a special kind of frenzy, and sometimes your best intentions can go out the window.

If you're already skeptical of Black Friday, employees may also know you have good reason to be. BuzzFeed just shared "19 Black Friday Secrets That Retail Workers Will Never Tell You" for all the dirty secrets of the biz, some of which may be even better than a fire sale for your bottom line. Finally, if you're steeling yourself to clock in after Turkey Day, know that you're not alone — and that you can make it through this shift with good grace too.