Thanksgiving Madness

Posted by: 
Jennifer McDaniel

I am an artist, I paint, I draw, I make books, and small objects. Overall a craftsperson. One would think that I would get a part-time job working in an art studio, or a gallery. Nope, not me. I found myself taking the first place that answered back. Mal-Wart. Being like many twenty-somethings my age, locked between a rock and a hard place working at a place that can literally fit the definition of a dead-end job. I find myself as a fish out of water, out of shape in a security guard position. Like I barely passed PE, how did they choose me?! It was my first Thanksgiving, working… It was a bummer to say the least. But an experience nevertheless.  I had my Thanksgiving plate to-go and I was “ready” for work. 

  I clocked in to only see my veteran co-workers sigh at my naivety. I was NOT prepared for what awaited when Black Friday started. You know all of the images and videos of people going crazy, flipping out and losing their minds for some toys and cheap products are NOT AT ALL FABRICATED!!! The videos that I used to laugh at, now give me PTSD-level flashback anxiety. The chaos of people shoving strollers to side with the kids inside it! Watching the moments unfold like an episode of National Geographic. I, in my flimsy Happy-to-Help vest, wading the gap between the queue and the registers with the raging force of angry grandparents, tweens, and 40-somethings with nothing better to do, stampeding the line like in the Running of the Bulls. My small but large stature had to contest in a shouting match to get people to read the bold printed signs in bright colors with balloons, stickers, and my voice guiding them to it. You can say once it came to my meal break, I was exhausted. The highlight of my evening was eating with my friend our homemade dinner plates with all of the fixings. We shared certain things and we had a good night. I was not about to eat the rummaging of scraps left by the two previous meal breaks. I can't afford to get sick. I have two siblings with CF at home.

As all things must come to an end, my shift was nearing its end. I was dancing with the Santa robot that sang in English and Spanish to the chagrin of my co-worker who thought it was far too early to be dancing to Christmas music. I happily found myself no longer having to take charge and stear customers in the right direction. At that point my throat could no longer handle any vocalizations. My work was done, my sister drove me home, and I found myself….SICK AS A DOG! I was so upset. I end up having as a parting gift, laryngitis and bronchitis for desert. Not from my coworkers but from the crowds. So that was my thanksgiving story! I ended up having to quarantine myself from my brother

 and my sister who in our usual loving manner clowned me for working and getting sick. As they say, “my CF carrier gene is acting up!” For next Thanksgiving, don’t shop on Thanksgiving, do on the next day. The actual friday. 



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Jennifer McDaniel is a 28 year old artist, with two adult siblings with Cystic Fibrosis. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Adelphi University in 2019. Currently works part-time at CFLF as a graphic designer. Jennifer loves to create paintings, drawings, and artist books. To inquire about Jennifer's artwork contact her through email:



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