Working Thanksgiving adds stress for students

Lizzie Kibler, Arts & Life Editor

During a student’s time at college, parents can’t wait to see their kids finally come home during the holiday season. At NKU, students are off from school the day before, of and after Thanksgiving allowing those extra days to spend with family.

However, some students have to work during that holiday family time.

“It’s mandatory for everyone to work Thanksgiving and Black Friday,” freshman elementary education major and Kmart employee Alishia Torres said.

This will be Torres’ third year working Thanksgiving. Torres said that any employee over the age of 18 has to work the overnight shift.

Torres’ favorite part of Thanksgiving is watching the Macy’s Day parade on television with her family.

“I’ve not seen it in three years,” Torres said.

Luckily for some students, they don’t have to work Thanksgiving this year. Senior Bethany Ellen took on a job at the Apple Store this year after spending three years working for Best Buy.

“For the first time since I started retail, I don’t have to work Thanksgiving,” Ellen said. “Just Black Friday.”

Ellen recalled the insanity that she saw at Best Buy when she was left alone in one department on her third day of work, which happened on Black Friday.

“People are beyond rude when there are huge crowds like that,” Ellen said. “So there’s not a lot of gratification in that either.”

This year, several stores have stated that they will not be opening for Thanksgiving Day. According to, there is a listing of several stores that have pledged to stay closed.

Petsmart, GameStop and TJ Maxx are among the stores that will remain closed Thanksgiving Day.

“Some stores don’t [open] and that’s their choice. Most of them just know they won’t profit,” Ellen said. “Little known secret is that stores do not make money on Black Friday. The goal is to break even. So when you see that Jo-Ann fabrics isn’t opening it’s because no one is going to go. However, some stores that do have the potential to break even like the Apple Store and don’t open, that’s a different story.”

Ellen said that this year’s Black Friday will be nice working at the Apple Store.

“I’m so excited to work for a company that provides us with enough breaks and time with my family,” Ellen said. “I used to sit in holiday meetings in which we all were so desensitized to the horrors of Black Friday we had no sympathy for 12 hours no break shifts. Now I have a team already willing to support me and that’s awesome.”

Freshman pre-radiologic major Myranda Baker has to work Thanksgiving day at Target this year, but she said she doesn’t mind that as much

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Baker said.

Baker is mostly concerned about the craziness of the day even though she is a stocker instead of a cashier.

Before the shopping experiences happen, workers take a test on how to handle a situation to protect themselves in case something gets out of control. Each worker will also have a walkie talkie on them. Employees go over self defense after a manager found himself in a situation a few years ago.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Torres said. “It’s to boost sales, boost profits… But it’s important for family time.”