While Macy's and Walmart have led a retailer stampede to kill Thanksgiving for millions of Americans and these corporate machines could care less about petitions and their employees, there is something you can do as a Black Friday Shopper.
Shower those retail workers with intentional acts of kindness.
Show them you care that they have to work long, strange hours during a holiday that used to be devoted to family and friends. That many of them won't even get a Thanksgiving Dinner or they'll have to do it the day before or the weekend after.
Here are 5 ways you can make a tired retail worker's day on Thanksgiving or Black Friday:
1. Bring Them Thanksgiving Desert
Bring them a piece of Pumpkin Pie or a baked treat.
A few years back I posted a story on RHU that involved a Blockbuster Slave who had to work on Thanksgiving. During the early evening hours a customer came in with his young daughter and handed out pumpkin pie to all the people working there! What an awesome act of retail kindness!
Another RHUer suggested any kind of Thanksgiving food:
Go to Walmart, Sears, K-Mart, etc, but don't shop. Show up with Thanksgiving food. Treat the workers with a meal and some good cheer, then leave. Make sure you're on camera, as well, so the VIP's that forced these good people away from their holiday see it later.
2. Bring Them a Drink
Even though most retail workers would prefer a cocktail to coffee, they will be quite touched to receive any kind of drink from a custy.
When I worked at The Big Fancy, the handbag counter was nearby the coffee bar. We were often given Lattes and coffee cards from custys who appreciated our service or saw that we were working really hard.
3. Give Them a Sweet Treat
Hogwarts isn't the only place where chocolate can cure the blues. It does wonders in Retail Hell. Chocolate bars or candy can definitely sweeten up sucky shift!
4. Buy Them Lunch
Purchase a Store, Mall, or Fast Food Gift Card they can use it on their break for lunch or dinner.
Obviously this might be a little expensive to do for the random cashier or sales associate, but if you are friendly with a retail worker or salesperson from a store you shop at often, this is the perfect day to show your appreciation for the great service they give you all year long.
5. Straighten a Messy Display
Well, maybe not one this messy. But you get the idea. I talked to a few ladies who worked at a Ross store where the photo above was taken and they told me they have to work till 3am during the holidays straightening up the messes of piggy shoppers.
In my last book, Return to The Big Fancy I wrote about a custy who straightened the entire wallet display while I was wrapping a handbag she bought for a present. I was stunned! And oh so happy!
6. Thank Them for Working on Thanksgiving
Maybe you can't afford to buy anything, but simply thanking a retail worker for sacrificing their Thanksgiving memories with family (even if it's at a place where they are nicely paid for it), will put a smile on their face and make them feel that their service is appreciated.
Okay RHU, now I KNOW you all have some great ideas on how shoppers can brighten the day of service workers on Thanksgiving and Black Friday,
Share your ideas in comments!