If you are one of the many who will rise at the butt-crack of dawn tomorrow morning in order to join in the shopping frenzy known as Black Friday, I want you to keep a few things in mind.
In this time of slow economic recovery, many of those you encounter working in retail stores this holiday season are there to make Christmas possible for their own families, or are simply doing whatever it takes to keep their families afloat. So when you encounter a customer service issue (and it is a 99% certainty you will), or just a crummy attitude from one of the store’s employees, try to keep a lid on your indignation. Ask yourself, ‘Who would Jesus call the corporate customer service hotline on and try to have fired?’ Because, while it may really feel like you need that flat panel tv/Blu-ray/Justin Bieber doll to live, chances are that poor schmo really needs his or her job to get by. And the crappy attitude is probably simply the result of a combination of sleep deprivation, low blood sugar, and regret at not being able to spend more time with their families. Some of them will even have had to work on Thanksgiving day, and that’s enough to put a bug up anyone’s behind.
So, when you encounter a snag in your carefully planned out shopping mission, stop, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that technically Black Friday prices aren’t even the lowest of the season, and that you probably will have forgotten all about whatever plasticky thing you were trying to buy by this time next year.
Then go home.
Play with your kids.
Talk to your partner.
Be thankful you don’t have to be at the store if you don’t want to be.