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(A former toy store employee)   Farkers/ettes who work or have worked retail, tell us your Black Friday horror stories. Voting enabled because the turkey and stuffing said to   ( divider line
    More: Scary  
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7702 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2005 at 7:22 PM (11 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2005-11-24 04:07:28 PM  
A few years ago I was working at an expensive Lady Godiva's outlet. It was going to be a pretty normal day. I opened at store and was just setting up the cash register. Suddenly I heard something and before I turned around I was trampled by hordes of scrawny funny-looking guys who wanted Hot Cocoa Sampler Box for their bosses.

I still wake up in the middle of the night and scream.
2005-11-24 04:08:17 PM  
Oh man, you wouldn't even believe the rush at the glass dragon shop. It's just crazy.
2005-11-24 04:10:18 PM  
Never worked retail. Been at the mall at open to witness grown women fistfighting over toys tho.
2005-11-24 04:10:20 PM  
Never worked retail, but I worked at a newspaper for years, and that is one motherhonker of a day...particularly when your multi-million dollar press goes down, you have to shop the printing out to a different press, and your morning paper becomes an evening edition.
You haven't seen an elderly person angry until you deprive them of their morning paper and subsequent poop.
2005-11-24 04:13:36 PM  
I saw a large, loud and very florid woman chase down and tackle a saleswoman at Nordstrom's once. Last I saw of her the nice policeman was stuffing her out the door in handcuffs.

I'm not going anywhere near a mall until maybe Feb '06.

/never worked retail unless dipping cones at a Bresler's Ice Cream counts.
2005-11-24 04:14:50 PM  
one year i was the front manager on duty.. a woman was using a roll of wrapping paper to take down a hanging wreath from a pillar in the store.. the wreath was not for sale, it was being used for decoration.. when i told the woman this she became enraged and began hitting me with the wrapping paper.. i had to call mall security to remove her from the store..
2005-11-24 04:21:33 PM  
sparky1013: she became enraged and began hitting me with the wrapping paper..

Was she hot?
2005-11-24 04:21:36 PM  
When Black Friday comes, I'm gonna dig myself a hole.

Gonna lay down in it 'til I satisfy my soul.
2005-11-24 04:21:58 PM  
I'l tell you tomorrow.
2005-11-24 04:22:26 PM  
You_EEEeeediot: Was she hot?

no..not even close..
2005-11-24 04:23:30 PM  
Worked at a toy store once, and all our EasyBake ovens sold in a matter of hours. The argument over the last one came between some mother and a very defiant college kid who wanted to use it as a prank gift for a friend. Although he was there first, she got furious and really started going off at him. I think he finally gave it up to her, but I'm not sure because I walked off after 15 minutes of some very heated exchanges.

And we wonder why our kids are so screwed up these days.
2005-11-24 04:23:37 PM  
sparky1013: no..not even close..

*scratches threesome fantasy with sparky and angry retail hottie off of his x-mas list*
2005-11-24 04:24:06 PM  
I was an assistant manager at a toy store for two years. The first year, a lady SCREAMED at me on the phone (she was in the parking lot waiting for the mall to open) because the store manager went to a different entrance than the one the screamer was waiting at to hand out tickets for Furbys- no ticket, no Furby. One of the part-time holiday workers gave her my name and the store manager's name before handing me the phone to deal with her. She started yelling our names to the rest of the crowd outside and screaming, these people are the reason why our children won't have a Furby Christmas morning! When they open the doors, let's get them (or something like that). Fortunately, we had a couple of cops there and one of them got on the phone and dealt with her. No violence at our store that day, but at another store, some lady bit a child.

I still hear her voice in my nightmares and if I ever run into her, she's getting a cockpunch.

//usually, my grammar is better.
2005-11-24 04:25:32 PM  
You_EEEeeediot: *scratches threesome fantasy with sparky and angry retail hottie off of his x-mas list*

sorry.. you'll have to pick another TFette.. :-P
2005-11-24 04:32:45 PM  
Toys R Us, Wherehouse Records... all hellish the day after Thanksgiving (worked them whilst in college)... but forget Black Friday... I've a story about a Sunday that's even worse...[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-24 04:34:57 PM  
One year when I was a kid, I had the stomach flu on Black Friday. I kept telling my mom I didn't feel well, and she thought I was just trying to get out of shopping. I ended up yarking in a punch bowl in the Burdine's china department.

Not so much a horror story for me as it was the poor bastard that had to clean that up. *shudder*

The upside was, I never had to go shooping the day after Thanksgiving again.

Until tomorrow. I have a two-year-old now, and will be braving the masses for the killer sale at Toys R Us.

I am very afraid. I'm not very shopping-aggressive.
2005-11-24 04:35:31 PM  
I don't work in retail but I do work in payment processing (credit cards, atm cards, you swipe card, we move money) and tomorrow I get to spend the day babysitting the servers to make sure they don't melt.

Thought, after reading some of these stories, maybe I'll go to the mall tomorrow and pick fights with soccer moms.
2005-11-24 04:37:38 PM  
Is anyone else appalled by the fact that Target is offering shopping wakeup calls?

I mean, I know I shouldn't be... But damn.
2005-11-24 04:38:17 PM  
This thread got greenlit? This one???? Jesus Christ, I submitted this same thread hours ago about the plight of the retail....wait....ummmmm....this really isn't about that after all....never mind. I hate shopping by the way.
2005-11-24 04:43:59 PM  

When Black Friday comes, I'm gonna dig myself a hole.

Gonna lay down in it 'til I satisfy my soul.

You get my vote, of course.

I've worked retail on black friday for years.

This weekend is shoplifter heaven. Had a "pregnant" woman caught stuffing CDs in her false belly. Parents having their kids steal stuff for them and blaming it on the kids.

I've seen fistfights over cheap goods, and people scuffling over their place in the cashier line.

Good times.
2005-11-24 04:44:14 PM  
Juansmith: Is anyone else appalled by the fact that Target is offering shopping wakeup calls?

But.. but... it's KERMIT! (pops)
2005-11-24 04:50:12 PM  
KCBlueGal: But.. but... it's KERMIT!

Ooh, I like the mariachi band!
2005-11-24 04:53:46 PM  
I know nothing of this black friday you speak of, but someone tried to punch me in the face at a boxing day sale.
2005-11-24 04:55:56 PM  
Mr_Ectomy: someone tried to punch me in the face at a boxing day sale.

Sorry about that.

Frankly, I despise shopping and I will happily be watching all the idjits on TV.
2005-11-24 04:56:09 PM  
My girlfried-then, wife-now was working returns at Best Buy, when a guy got the in the wrong line (he was making a purchase), got the the front, found out he couldn't make a purchase at that register (some idiot manager decreed it so), and promptly hocked a wet one in her face.

I'd have pressed charges, but he was only banned from the store for life.
2005-11-24 04:56:42 PM  
Oh boy. My wife works part time at the Borders book store, and she has to work tomorrow. And has a cold. Should be fun.

I just get to take her there.
2005-11-24 04:59:34 PM  
this is the first year i'm not working black friday. i used to work in the toy department. people were brutal. helping out in electronics one year, i watched a guy walk past a 15-person line at the electronics department, go up to the counter and promptly get decked by the second guy in line before he could even get a word out. which will teach the first guy to never try and ask where the restrooms are, i guess.
2005-11-24 04:59:51 PM  
Haven't been in retail for years ... but once worked for gov't liquor stores in BC ... could not believe the numb-nuts jerkwads who would wait until the last couple of hours of the last day before a major holiday, who would come in and get pissed off at the massive lineups ...

In a similar vein, I have worked a few Canadian federal elections (at polls)... and the pissed off people who would wait until after work to try and come and vote, in a long lineup ... which is particularly stupid, as by law, you are allowed up to 4 hours PAID TIME OFF during business hours to go vote on a Canadian federal election day.

No sympathy for any of these dimwits ...
2005-11-24 05:06:28 PM  
It would take me a lot more than lower-than-low prices to get me into a store on one of the designated National Shopping Days. My sanity is worth a lot more than 33% off MSRP (taxes not included).
2005-11-24 05:16:02 PM  
I had never actually been out of the house on "Black Friday" - that is, of course, until I got my first job as a cashier at a large chain retail store.

We all had to be in wicked early to prepare and were greeted by hordes of people - some had been there since the night before, braving the freezing WI night for a shot at a cheap DVD player.

The store finally opened and I literally had people at my checkout only two minutes after opening the doors. We ran them through as fast as we could. Some corporate idiot thought that it would be a great idea to put those satanic giggling/shaking stuffed Things With Faces On Them riiiight by the checkouts - so all of those whiny children could push all fourty hands at once. Ugh.

The worst part, though, came later. In the mid-afternoon, our entire computer system crashed. None of the registers were working and half of the lights in the store went out. The lights eventually went back on, but the computers had to be re-set and we couldn't check people out for a couple of hours while the front-end managers tried to figure out how the hell to remedy the situation. For some reason, we weren't allowed to do long-hand math or anything, so all of the cashiers just had to stand there and take the abuse from the now pissed-off customers.

Hundreds of irate shoppers with bored children hanging around the checkouts are not fun people to deal with.
2005-11-24 05:24:58 PM  
1985 - my family travels down to Minot for a nice relaxing weekend. The plan was to pick up these Nin-ten-dos that everyone was raving about for us and some family friends.

We check into the hotel on Thanksgiving and the lady at the front desk asks if we will be needing a 5 am wake up call. My dad asks why. The lady tell us that tomorrow is Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.

So we got up at 7 and went to Walmart. It was insane. There were people fighting and screaming. They had put all the Nintendos in the electronics department, but they put the deluxe version by kid's clothes, so we found our 5 and started walking to the check outs. This woman started screaming at my dad saying it was unfair that we got Nintendos. Now her kid wasn't gonna get one. My dad told her where it was and she nearly bowls me over running to get her one (which was about 6).

After 2 hours in the line up (in which the rest of the family got to shop in the insane crowds), my dad was starting to lose his cool. So once we got out of Walmart, we went back to the hotel room and didn't leave until that night. By that time, Target was managable and I was able to buy the toys I wanted.

Needless to say, when I ask my parents if they wanted to go to Black Friday this year (now that our dollar is good), my dad's response was Fark NO! I think it's like a shopping version of Shell Shock.
2005-11-24 05:27:43 PM  
A tip to anyone planning to brave the masses:

Use cash. It's a lot faster and easier, and there are usually cash-only lines.

Oh, and aim for the kidneys. That's the soccer-mom "takedown" spot. So what if she was pregnant, I saw that Furby first god-dammit.
2005-11-24 05:39:29 PM  
Every day working retail was a horror story.
2005-11-24 05:45:08 PM  
i worked at Staples for a couple years. We (the employees) knew we'd have to deal with stupid peopke fist-fighting over $10 scanners so we decided to make the best of the whole day. We all got there super early (we opened at 7; by 5am there was a line of at least 50 in the parking lot), someone brought in donuts and someone else brought in a huge thing of starbucks coffee plus specialty orders, and we had fun. when it came time to open doors, two of the bigger electronics guys had to stand on either side to act as security guards and as the people streamed in, rushing like cattle, one of the electronics guys started going, "moooooooooooooo." it was hilarious and so so relevant.
2005-11-24 05:48:47 PM  
This thread got greenlit? This one???? Jesus Christ, I submitted this same thread hours ago about the plight of the retail....wait....ummmmm....this really isn't about that after all....never mind. I hate shopping by the way.

Come judgement day, the number of greenlit submissions you have won't mean shiat.
2005-11-24 05:57:42 PM  
Oh god, I just remembered: the canned music for over a month. I still feel like a postal worker on the verge of a shooting spree when I hear John Cougar Mellancamp's version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".


"Little Drummer Boy" by David Bowie and Bing Crosby is 2nd.
2005-11-24 06:37:37 PM  
Oh, man. I remember walking around town with a dozen or so friends, helping out here and there reminding people to be nice to each other.

The local version of the soccer moms got so pissed they nailed me to a cross.

/Black Friday? Hmmm...maybe that was good Friday...
2005-11-24 06:40:23 PM  
My Domestic Co-Operative works at Wal Mart and has to be there tomorrow, and she's preggers (gets violently ill in the morning) and I have to bring her in as well. While I do feel sorry for her, we are arguing right now, and I am angry, so the sympathy isn't exactly pouring from me as it probably should be.

I'm such an asshole
2005-11-24 06:42:30 PM  
I worked in a game room in a mall for 3 years.

Black Friday rolls around - 1996 I think, we had 3 people down with the flu, leaving me and a day person during the day, a transition person for a bit 2-6, and a night closer. The idea was to have 3 people on the floor and 2 behind the counter... did not happen.

It was non-stop restocking the token machines, wading through a sea of children dropped off while their parents went and shopped, and machines malfunctioning because it was maybe 95 degrees in our place.

Eh, no real way to describe the hell except really really insanely long lines, insanely hot store, non-stop screaming kids, never fewer than 10 people at the counter, never fewer than 2 games messing up requiring work...

We closed at 10 that night, opened at 9 that morning, I was there an hour early and 2 hours later cleaning up and having to pull and account for tokens from every machine as our entire stock was gone.

A fight broke out at one point, some parents were screaming because in the mob we did not notice a 3 foot kid at the counter...

just was a lot of people, and a lot of work... and I did the day every year I worked there...
2005-11-24 06:43:34 PM  
hah! serves america right for having thanksgiving so late in the season.

/had my obligatory turkey in October, liek the rest of us good little canadians.
//sucks to be you, overly-consumerist america!
2005-11-24 06:46:05 PM  
Every Black Friday, I stay in bed and cower. The thought of so many fat, roving soccer moms, fresh off a day of binge eating and family reverie, beating each other up for next year's garage sale fodder, makes me so frightened I can barely open my eyes.

/only worked retail in the University Bookstore. And thank heaven for that.
2005-11-24 06:50:15 PM  
I worked for JC Penny's Black Friday 2000. NEVER AGAIN.
Thankfully, I worked in the back and didn't have to deal directly with customers. However, one of my duties was going around picking up the hangers from each of the departments. Normally, this was a once a day thing. For the time i was there i must've gone around at least 4 or 5 times, getting a full load of hangers each time.

Mass hysteria is a good way to put it.
2005-11-24 06:54:28 PM  
WhatYouSay: makes me so frightened I can barely open my eyes.

Don't forget the myriad of poor people who have not bathed for weeks.
2005-11-24 06:55:53 PM  
Retail shoppers scare me
2005-11-24 06:56:19 PM  
ZyklonAeon: Don't forget the myriad of poor people who have not bathed for weeks.

shhh, be nice. The technical term for them is "college students"
2005-11-24 07:06:05 PM  
Retail shoppers scare me

[image from too old to be available]
2005-11-24 07:21:34 PM  
tell us your Black Friday horror stories.

[image from too old to be available]

I'm gonna strike all the big red names from my little black book
2005-11-24 07:32:09 PM  
2 years ago I worked at sears in the electronics dept. The had me scheduled to work from 5:45 am to 9:15 pm. 15 and a half hours is a biatch. Everyone was already crowding the doors before I got there, mainly for a DVD played that was down to like $25. Sadly this dvd player was already backordered until december 24. That day managed to get it pushed back until after january. I was yelled at and threatened so many times it wasnt funny anymore.

The year after I worked at target, and I was mainly a toys/electronics team member at the time...enough said.
2005-11-24 07:32:30 PM  
I'm working the opening shift tomorrow for the first time, so I'll keep you guys posted if I have anything to write about.

Also, I died in a stampede to get a Tickle Me Elmo.
2005-11-24 07:35:07 PM  
KCBlueGal: But.. but... it's KERMIT! (pops)

"Wake up to the sweet roar of my hog" (???)

No thank you.
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