I will admit that I did not do any Black Friday shopping this year. The prospect of heading out Thanksgiving night, or even in the pre-dawn hours of Friday itself was just too unappealing for me to give it a try. But I’m certainly in the minority. Millions of Americans hit stores Thanksgiving night and Friday morning to take advantage of the season’s biggest deals. It was a hectic, competitive, but probably worthwhile for most who hit the streets and the stores. And certainly stores themselves make a good chunk of their yearly income on days like these. But for the employees, Black Friday can feel more like Bloody Sunday, and to them, I have the utmost respect.
So when I think about all of the recognition lapel pins that go out to individuals this time of year to thank them for another 12 months of outstanding performance, these people come instantly to mind. No, they aren’t account managers of Fortune 500 companies, they aren’t literally rocket scientists, or brain surgeons, but they do the jobs that the rest of us take for granted: service jobs. Cashiers, stockers, wait staff, customer service, branch managers, and maintenance. Black Friday shows us just how vital these individuals are towards keeping our economy, up, running, and thriving. So for small and large businesses alike out there, if anyone deserves recognition lapel pins, it’s these people.
And even we customers can join in on the recognition, perhaps by keeping recognition lapel pins handy when we’re out shopping this holiday season and leaving them with particularly helpful, kind associates we encounter in our search for holiday gifts. A gesture like that can go a long way towards maintaining not only employee morale, but also the holiday spirit.
For all that service employees do for us: return the favor in a small but meaningful way with . They could mean the difference between just another day, and a great day.