Target Black Friday Gonzo Journalism Spectacular

A “humorous” look at working on Black Friday

Target Black Friday Gonzo Journalism Spectacular

Ben Wiche, Staff Writer


Disclaimer: The events disclosed in this article are all real events, the people described are real people, and the author writing this is a real idiot.

11/24/17 11:55:39 a.m., Target Parking Lot

The weather is mild, the parking lot is full, and I am (only slightly) dying from anxiety. I sit in my car outside of the Super Target, enjoying the last minutes before my 7.5 hour Black Friday Shift. I sit quietly in my blue jeans, red shirt, and polished name tag thinking, “What fresh madness am I getting myself into?”

Some clarifiers: It’s 11/25, Black Friday. I’m going to work. Due to scheduling, I’m not working “The Much Maligned 6 to Midnight Shift,” but instead “The Somewhat Slightly less Maligned Noon to 7:30 Friday Shift.” So though I am working on Black Friday, I’m not working “On Black Friday.” Luckily my sister did work “TMM6tMS.” She said it was tiring but not life threatening. However, she worked in the sleepy grocery section; I will be working in the front, pushing carts, carrying stuff to cars, cleaning restrooms, and organizing stuff. What terrors await me I have no idea, but I do know that I have two short breaks and one lunch break. I’ll rendezvous with you guy’s then. Keep up the good fight.

Break No 1. 02:45:00 p.m., Break Room

Stuff I’ve carried out to people’s cars: a futon and a flat screen TV.

The day got off to a rocky start when I placed my hoodie, hat, and car keys into a locker, closed the door, and promptly forgot the combination I used. Two minutes in and I was already out of a car. I’ll have to ask my boss about this later; right now I have other stuff to worry about. For instance, the two pieces of pizza, six cinnamon rolls, and orange that I’ve consumed in the past 30 seconds.

About that.

For the benefit of its employees, Target stashed the break room with all manner of treats: many varieties of pizza, breadsticks and cinnamon rolls, all from Marco’s, as well as cookies and cupcakes. A wonderful decision for company morale if not for company health. In addition to the food, I learn later from calling my sister that employees are paid an additional $7 per hour (!) for working “TMM6tMS.” So that’s something. At least my bosses realize that once company morale goes down, the whole bloody enterprise is compromised.

Anyway, the work has been the same as it’s always been, dull but mildly invigorating. Though I never feel satisfied pushing carts, I at least feel like I’ve earned my pizza gorging. My legs are pretty tired and my breaks almost up. CYA

Lunch 04:30:00 p.m., Bench Outside

Pizza will cleanse you of your sins.

If my legs had a mouth, they would be screaming Korn lyrics right about now. Can’t talk, must rest. Off to the tranquil world of YouTube and cinnamon rolls. CYA

Break No 2. 06:15:00 p.m.

I carried out another flat screen; do I get an award? Yes, the award is more pizza.

By now you may think that working Black Friday is an overly tiring exercise that negates itself through constant pizza eating. You would be right. But is it that bad? The heavily anti-black Friday feelings of year’s past treated the day as cancer in America’s consumerist, violent lungs. But it’s not that bad. Once Target realized that violence in the shopping aisles isn’t the best PR image, they made changes. They brought out barriers and regulated lines, as well as dispersing the much loved items throughout the store in order to disperse congestion. And to alleviate the strain of work, they’ve brought in tons of seasonal workers to spread out the labor. So now black Friday’s not a violent hellscape, it’s just another workday that slightly busier, but there’s pizza.

Anyway, I’m beyond listening to my aching legs. I’ll CYA at 7:30.

End of Workday 7:30:00 p.m.

I go to my supervisor, with sore legs and stuffed stomach, and ask her to unlock my locker. She obliges. I leave.

Usually, after a bad work day, I’d consider pizza but today…