Black Friday, the age old American tradition of waiting on a 4-hour line, then stampeding into a Best Buy only to fight someone’s grandma over which one of you gets to purchase a 2-year-old, off-brand plasma TV at a 10% discount. Black Friday has the unique ability, unlike any other day of the year, to turn regular human beings into enraged, penny-saving, child-trampling savages.
As you can imagine, being a retail worker at a big box store during this day of insanity is no picnic. In fact, since 2008 there have been over 2,700 reports of retail workers being injured by customers on Black Friday alone.
However, injuries aren’t the only result of all this consumer chaos. Often times the events that take place within the masses of pushy customers have resulted in some hilarious, scary and down-right unbelievable tales. So with that in mind, we asked our readers and scoured the internet for the wildest Black Friday horror stories we can find and luckily for you, we’ve compiled our findings here for your enjoyment.
40. Marking Her “Territory”
I worked for Best Buy for 6 years. Everyone knows about the lines that you stand outside. Part of the process is once you get into the store you stand in another line to buy your products. Our manager thought he was particularly smart winding the line through our appliance department. Mind you, there is usually 1500+ people in the building at 6 am (with a line still outside).
Well, we get a complaint from one of our patrons. After checking the dryers we find a nice turd in one. Good size solid constancy just sitting there. A lady who did not want to lose her spot opened the dryer and took a poop right there in front of everyone. I decided that day even though I may want stuff; I will never poop in front of an entire crowd of people for a $799 50″ plasma TV.
39. C Is For Cookie… It’s Good Enough For Me
I worked for Mrs. Fields Cookies in my local mall during Black Friday back when I was in high school. Our manager got called to a store in a different city because their manager severely hurt himself melting chocolate. I end up having to work for the majority of the day with an equally lazy buddy of mine slinging cookies and taking orders for cookie cakes while the mall was jam-packed. Around 4 in the afternoon (and about $1,600 in sales), a gentleman in a button-down Mrs. Fields Cookies Shirt comes to our counter telling us he had to do a mid-day pick up for whatever money we had taken in in the day. I let him in the back. He tinkers for a second on the computer and removes all the cash we have in the register.
So now it’s an hour before closing time and my boss is now back to our location to help us close. He starts going through our cash register and realizes we are about $1,600 short (uh oh…). I explained to him that Mr. So-and-so came down to our location to do a mid-day pick up. He told me Mr. So-and-so doesn’t exist and calls the corporate office. It turned out this guy had gone to over a dozen Mrs. Fields in the area and robbed over $10k worth of money. They never figured out who it was and I ended up being fired over it with my buddy. We stole a giant cookie cake as compensation. Worth it.
38. “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, I’m A Toys R Us Kid”
I worked at Toys-R-Us when the original Furby came out (that alone should tell you how crazy the scene was on that Black Friday). Right before my shift started, I tried to enter the store through the back doors, but I was mobbed by a group of shoppers pushing and shoving trying to get past me and grab a Furby. Thankfully, there was a security guard in the back and he was able to scare off the group of crazy zombie shoppers. But that was just the beginning.
About 10 minutes later, when the doors finally opened, one parent pushed my coworker to the ground and jumped on top of a pile of people to get one from the display. She ended up tripping some poor guy who fell to the ground, she then grabbed a Furby, stuffed it down her shirt and casually walked out without paying for it. At that point, nobody was going to say anything to her.
37. Don’t Mess With Granny!
I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came into the store looking for them. When I told them there was only one left in the display, it was ON! It turned into a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one a bunch of expletive words as she was standing in the checkout line, clutching her $5 prize.
I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this silly $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the backstory behind it. All the while, his grandma, sipping her hot tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.
36. The Bonnie & Clyde of Blockbuster
I was working in a video store and we marked down absolutely everything (including our selection of hundreds of used movies) to insane degrees. I mean 50% or more in most cases. So used movies were practically giveaways. Among the usual mob of crazy shoppers, there was a sketchy looking couple who walked in with a box of giant professional-grade trash bags. They proceeded to fill up four of these trash bags. At one point, they were just going through the used bins and throwing things in there. Naturally then when they got to the register, they had quite a few doubles. Every time they would hit a double, they’d remove it. Because of the sheer volume of movies, they had a tough time keeping up with everything and were taking forever to check out.
Luckily my manager came up and, acknowledging the increasingly angry lines of people behind them, told the couple they can either buy everything they have in the bags regardless of whether it was a double or leave. After some arguments the husband eventually grabbed the bags and turned them upside down, spilling the DVDs all over the floor right in front of the register. Without saying another word, they stormed out of the store. The best part? Customers started to go after the movies on the floor like vultures before we could get to them.
35. All For The Bacon!
I worked for 6 years at a Johnny Rocket’s in a mall as a server and management. We didn’t open early like the rest of the stores because we are a restaurant and well, we don’t serve breakfast. We had people shake our gates screaming that they wanted food. It would be just me and an opener getting the chairs set out.
I pointed them towards the food court and told them we didn’t serve breakfast. One lady spits at me and told me, “I know you have bacon.” We do. In a fridge waiting to be cooked and put on a burger. Not all JRs serve breakfast. Some do, some even serve beer. But my location has never been one of them.
34. People Will Do Just About Anything For A Flat-Screen TV
I never worked retail, but I deliver to a lot of retail stores (I’m a trucker). Showed up with a delivery at a Wally-World about 8 am on Black Friday, and couldn’t even back into the dock. I think my truck was giving off an aroma that attracted crazed housewives with shopping addictions.
It turns out the store had some ridiculous price on flat-screen TV’s, but they had sold out the day before. The store manager had told these crazy shoppers that there were more TVs coming in on the next truck that morning. So, naturally, they saw me and thought they’d be allowed to just grab them off the truck. Man, were they disappointed when they saw I had a trailer full of brand new shopping carts.
33. The Early Bird Doesn’t Always Get The Worm
This story goes back to 2004 when I was a cart pusher at a Walmart. In this particular year, Walmart offered a plasma TV at an extremely low price — it was definitely the hottest deal of the year. So a man shows up the Tuesday before the big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, TV and everything else he needed to camp out for the three nights until Black Friday. He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma TV and how he was hosting a big Super Bowl party that year, so this was just going to be the best thing ever.
Come Thursday night, I showed up to my shift and he was still there in a jolly mood. The line for the front entrance wrapped around the front of the store and another 300 yards or so past the store with thousands of people waiting to get in. At 5 AM, the doors opened and the man goes straight to the plasma TVs to see that they were all gone. What happened? The garden center at the Walmart opened up about 5 minutes before the front doors and those that came the night before scooped up on all 15 plasma TVs. This guy who had been there since Tuesday afternoon was dumbfounded and argued with management but was stonewalled and told there was nothing that can be done. That guy’s thanksgiving was a bust for sure.
32. The Denial Thief
Back in my poor college days when I worked at WalMart, we had a scuffle break out over a bike. Eventually, one guy got ahold of the bike and managed to get away from the crowd. He rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).
This guy must not have been the brightest crayon in the box, because he shows up at the store the very next day with his kids! He claims he wasn’t the guy who stole the bike, even after we showed him a surveillance video of him stealing the bike and riding out of the store. From the look on his oldest kid’s face, you could tell it wasn’t the first time his father had done something outrageous like this.
31. Warning: Only Authorized Personnel Beyond This Point!
I work back of the house at a Toys R Us. I spent Black Friday taking big-ticket items to the back where we load them into the customer’s car instead of trying to make our way to the front of the store. Apparently, someone decided it was fine to wander into the back storage room and start opening boxes to find what they wanted.
Other customers saw this one fool do it, and then decided it was ok if they did too. Myself and the other back of house guys were busy wrestling with a really obnoxious bed set, so when I made it to the other side of our back storage, I found like 8-10 people just taking cases off our bays and opening them, then tossing them aside if they didn’t want it. They claimed there was nothing indicating they couldn’t come back there. We have two signs on the swinging door saying “Employees Only” and “Warning: Only authorized personnel beyond this point!” These people were either the world’s worst liars or they can’t read.
30. It’s The Season To Be Jolly (A Happy Ending)
In 2008, I was able to get off on Black Friday and my son and I stood all night outside Best Buy so he could get a deal on a gaming console. They are really organized and they passed out papers to people for the doorbusters. They let those in the front of the line pick first. We were 12 back or so. They had laptops for $299, $499, $699, etc., as well as other great prices. So they get 5-6 people past us and a lady asks for the $299 dollar laptop and the clerk says they only have the $499 and up laptops left.
The lady starts to cry, says she’s starting night school and can’t afford the $499 laptop and that she waited all night (which she had because she got there shortly after we did). A complete stranger from in front of us in the line walks over to her and says, “I knew I brought so much cash for a reason”, and then peeled off $200 and handed it to her and walked back to his spot. People were losing it. “Do you know him?!” “Nope.” “Did you see that, a guy gave that woman $200.” The coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed at Christmas.
29. From Black To Blackout Friday
I was working a register at a Circuit City (was typically Customer Service, but there was no chance we were returning anything on Black Friday, and there were plenty of managers on hand for upset customers), and apparently some jerk ran into a transformer nearby and took out the power to the whole retail block. Everyone who had items they wanted to purchase (several hundred people) had to just sit down and chill out for around an hour and a half while we waited for the power to return.
The funny part to me was how many people asked me, often in a very pissy, exasperated tone, “When’s the power coming back on?” Mind you, I was working at an isolated register, hadn’t left or been visited by any other employees as I was surrounded by customers, and the people asking had been standing/sitting next to me the entire time… I understand I was wearing a uniform, but come on people, muster up a little common sense.
28. The Most Painful Sneeze Of Her Life
A couple of years ago when the sale started there was a surge of people trying to get their stuff. One lady got knocked down and her pen went straight up her nose. The messed up part is no one tried to help they just walked over her to get their silly deal items. An associate that saw it happen had to stand over top of her to protect her from getting trampled.
When the ambulance crew arrived, they had to literally shove people out of the way because no one would move. This poor lady was probably sneezing ink for the rest of the week.
27. Here’s Another Story With A Happy Ending. Enjoy!
I went to the midnight release of the Wii at Walmart. We were given numbers and everyone just chilled in chairs outside the store. One guy had a generator in the back of his truck and ran an extension cord to where we were sitting.
He set up his laptop and a small projector with a small screen. Everyone just sat together, watched movies, shared popcorn, food, and drinks. It was awesome and I’m sad this is such a rare case.
26. Take This Punch
I’ve thrown one punch in my life (I’m 55-years old). It was on Black Friday. So it was the year the Xbox 360 came out. I was standing in line next to a kid who couldn’t have been older than 11 and a woman in her 60s (probably his grandmother). He was waiting for his Xbox 360 and could barely contain his excitement. The woman in line before him screams out; “I got the last one!” — the kid’s heart stops.
Then the guy behind the counter says “nope one more” and begins the motion of handing it to the kid, but this guy comes flying out of nowhere and pushed the older woman and the kid. The kid and the older lady tumbled to the ground. At 51-years old, I don’t know what came over me but I instantly swung for the dudes head and caught him right in the temple sending him into a DVD rack in the middle of the aisle. Everyone froze, including me. The guy dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid who quickly hands it to the cashier.
25. Full Speed Ahead!
Back when I worked retail, we had people lining up outside the doors at least five hours before we were set to open. We were running a little late, so at 12:01 AM, the people outside started pushing on the door and cursing at my manager. The door was cheap so even though it was locked they were able to push it inward. Problem was, it never actually opened but the people at the back of the crowd thought it did so they started pushing and the people at the front started being crushed against the door.
When my manager saw this, she immediately opened it up and the five people at the front spilled onto the floor and the rest of the people behind them started trampling over them. They were okay though because they were all young guys and I saw them shopping a few minutes later.
24. Is That A Lobster In Your Pants?
When I worked at Sam’s Club, during the madness one black Friday morning, we caught a woman stuffing frozen lobster tails inside of her pants. She would unpackage them and throw the trash in a stack of tires that were on display.
Whenever I tell this story to my friends they always ask me, “what did you say to her?!” My response is always the same… absolutely nothing! There is NO WAY I was approaching that lady! Someone willing to go that far to get some free lobster is clearly not someone you want to mess with. I avoided eye contact with the lobster lady and let her walk right out the front door. With that visual burned into my memory, I haven’t been able to eat lobster since that day.
23. Here’s How My Boss Completely Ruined My Day
I ran an electronics department in a large retail store and was a veteran to Black Friday. My team always had everything under control. We had tickets for everything that would sell out quickly, we knew exact numbers and where everything was. We were always prepared and never had an issue. But one year, the district manager decided to “observe” our store during Black Friday. She stopped by my department in the thick of it to see how things were going. She was carrying a piece of paper which she told me had some unadvertised “secret sale items.” She grabbed my walkie talkie, and made a storewide announcement that we had JVC Digital Camcorders marked down to $49, regular price $199.
As she was making the announcement, I stood there with my jaw open. A sense of fear came over me. I knew the model that was just marked down, and we did have it in inventory. The problem was, we only had 1 left in stock. The store was packed, and a fast-moving zombie horde of shoppers immediately swamped my department from all sides. As the horde swept over my department, I saw my district manager hightail it out of there. I have never been in more fear for my life. I think I still have some PTSD from that Black Friday…
22. With Her Fists Up!
My first day working in retail was Black Friday. My store was running a promotion where you buy one novelty tee shirt and get another half off. Novelty meaning characters, phrases, things of that sort. NOT tee shirts with the names of music bands. A woman comes up, asking me to help her pick an even number of band tees for the sale. I kindly told her it was novelty tees only and explained what that meant. She insisted I was wrong and I told her she could check at the register if she didn’t believe me.
Instead, the woman gathers a bunch of band tees and tells my manager at the register I told her it was rock tees, not novelty, despite the signs all over the store saying novelty. She wanted the sale honored because the “jerk new employee screwed up.” My manager knew I didn’t say that and refused. The woman threw all of her crap around, screamed and stormed out. Whatever. Screw her, right? When I took my lunch break she hunted me down in the food court threatening to punch me in the face for telling my manager I wasn’t responsible for the mixup, “ruining her sale,” more like foiling her plan to screw over my store. She chased me all the way back to my store screaming with her fists up. I hid in the back for the rest of my shift. I never even got to eat lunch.
21. Catching And Tossing
I worked one Black Friday in the clothes dept at Walmart. For like 2 straight hours before the sale began, people hovered over the pallets. The alarm went off and the swarm just went insane. There were two women in particular on opposite sides, tossing clothes back and forth to each other. I don’t know what their system was because half the stuff they were just catching and tossing aside.
But this little teenager (I mean like a petite tiny girl) intercepted a pair of jeans being tossed and the women went INSANE and elbowed her in the face. Instant blood and the little girl was so shocked, she just stood there shaking and crying. The woman acted like that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I pulled the tiny girl out of the crowd and started to walk her to get her cleaned up when the sheriff appeared out of nowhere. The best part was she was his kid and the woman was arrested on the spot. Hahaha. She had to post bail AND pay full price for her lame Levi’s.
20. Bringing Their Own Cutter
This is one a buddy of mine witnessed. At a local Walmart, they started pulling the pallets of Black Friday stuff out on Thursday. These pallets are all set up in the middle of the store with plastic-wrap all the way around, ready to go. An employee just has to slice through it and the product is ready to go!
Black Friday comes around, and people are obviously outside the door. Well, some people apparently realized what Walmart was doing, so they took the liberty of bringing their own cutter to cut the plastic so they didn’t have to wait for an employee to do it. The doors open, everyone rushes in, and for some reason, the employees didn’t have all the pallets unwrapped yet. These people don’t care and become so violent over these sales, that the one employee ended up getting cut on his arm and a few other minor cuts from people with razors. The cops are called, 3 people are arrested, and the employee ends up getting like 15 stitches in total.
19. That’s Foul, Man!
A few years ago, I got hired as seasonal help for Toys R Us. It was before they redesigned the stores into their current clusterf*ck and everything was in long aisles. I got stuck in aisle one, which was board games on one side and the big glass case of video games on the other. This was the year that Super Nintendo came out, so we had one behind the glass with a controller outside so you could try out Super Mario Land. I’m up on a ladder getting more copies of Crocodile Dentist down to restock the lower shelves when I hear some yelling. I look down and two kids are shoving each other in front of the SNES. They start swinging at each other and the parents intervene, only to start fighting themselves. I slide down the ladder and my manager rushes over to try and stop things from getting worse. One of the parents had a bat in his cart and hits the other guy square in the back, knocking him into the display cabinet, shattering the glass and cutting him up terribly.
The guy with the bat realizes what he did and grabs his kids and tries to make a run for the door. Management attempts to block him from leaving as they went and got the cop that was outside directing traffic. The police came in and wrestled this guy to the ground while his kids watched. He resisted and got a serious beatdown in the middle of the store. The other guy that went through the glass was cut up and bleeding really badly. He ended up losing an eye over the whole thing. After this was all over, we had to lock up the SNES and you could only try it out if management opened the case for you. The other really messed up part of this whole thing was that people were taking toys out of the cart of the cut-up guys cart as EMS worked on him and his kid sat there crying. One woman even tried to take the blood-splattered, demo SNES out of the broken case to try to buy for her kid. People are heartless, mindless sheep when it comes to cheap crap. Ever since this, I spend my Black Fridays at home.
18. I Had To Numb The Pain
I had just undergone shoulder surgery the day prior to Thanksgiving. But my boss didn’t care, he told me I had better show up on Black Friday. I showed up at 5 AM in a shoulder sling, just hours post-op. I popped some pain meds, and started the day. My job was to handle the computers, so I dealt with the onslaught of people pushing me aside to get free electronics. Literally pushing me over. I fell down on my shoulder after some mother pushed me over a little kid, no lie. To ease the pain, I took some more meds. A few hours later, a woman bought five huge monitors and insisted I “do my job” and carry them out for her. I objected, but he started getting upset, so I dragged the monitor with my good arm and put it into a cart. By the time I was done loading the equipment into her car, I had extreme pain running throughout my body. I went back inside and took more meds.
Flash forward to around 11 AM. Customers look like blurs and I find myself drooling a little bit. A customer comes up and asks where he can find the monster cable. I found the idea of a “monster” cable to be hilarious, so I laughed maniacally in his face. He quickly backed away and speed-walked towards the front of the store. Customers guarded their children and nobody bothered me for a while. This went on for a good ten minutes in real time, which felt like three hours to me. The manager in my department walked over to me, grabbed my good arm, and escorted me out of the building. I have no idea what she said, but I’m sure she wasn’t giving me compliments. That was my last day working in that store.
17. Never Judge A Book By Its Cover
I once witnessed an 80-year-old grandma tackle and then mace a woman over fleece fabric at my store. Here’s how it started… The old lady wanted a cancer pink-ribbon fabric, and the woman she ultimately tackled had called ahead and ordered a bulk amount of it, because she works for a cancer organization and makes blankets for cancer patients. The woman was wheeling a cart in the store with several large bolts of the fabric in it (which she had special ordered in advance). The old lady sees that this woman has “ALL the bolts” and freaks out. The woman explains that she has, in fact, special ordered these in advance, and that the reason she was coming in on Black Friday to purchase them is because they were 60% off.
The old lady continues to yell at the poor woman. The woman very calmly keeps trying to reassure her that she is not taking any of the store stock, and that she makes blankets for dying women with breast cancer. Old lady doesn’t care at all. Whips out mace and tackles the woman. The old lady gets kicked out of the store. She would come in once every couple of months, give me the stink eye, and then rebelliously write down recipes from the home and food magazines so she wouldn’t have to buy them. Then she’d scurry out and come back again in a few months.
16. A Childish Grown Man
Around 10 years ago, I worked for Best Buy. I was hired as a seasonal employee while in college and actually enjoyed working there most of the time. Unfortunately, Black Friday ended my enjoyment for the big-box retailer. The year that the PS2 came out, I was in charge of issuing the systems to customers with vouchers (the ones who stayed all night camping out). The customers would approach me, and I kept 2 systems in my arms at a time and would go from the stock room to the floor in order to give out each system. On one trip out of the stockroom, a gentleman (early 40s) approached me and proceeded to (try to) yank a system out of my hands and run with it. As an aside, I’m no small fellow. As the [im]mature gentleman attempted the grab and go, I simply tightened my grip and calmly said, “Your ticket first, sir.” He rebutted with, “I don’t have a ticket, and I don’t need one; I ‘seen’ this thing first, so it’s mine.” After a brief explanation of the voucher system, the man and his wife only seemed more angered that I refused to surrender the PS2.
To really convince me to give him the system, the gentleman then proceeded to say, “Okay, well I guess I’ll have to whip your butt for it.” Perhaps of my own naivete or the adrenaline, I responded, “Sounds great, let me clock out first, and I’ll meet you outside shortly.” A little taken back by my response, the gentleman started to profusely apologize and even teared up giving me some sob story over why he deserved it. Of course, I didn’t surrender the system. Needless to say, this was one of the reasons I did not hang around Best Buy for much longer. Sheer stupidity. A grown man trying to fight a 19-year-old who made $8.00/hr for a video game system. Brilliant.
15. She Threw Her Child For A Laptop
My first and only Black Friday was my worst. I was 18 and working in digital imaging at Best Buy. To keep the story short and sweet, there was your typical (awful) $100 laptop people were flipping their wigs over to get. I saw a mother tell her 10-year-old son to run into the horde of jerks to grab one (thinking her son’s youth would save him from any harm I guess…). The id actually manages to wiggle his way through the crowd and grab one, only to be picked up under the arms by a 20-year-old and no joke, thrown back into a display of Flash drives. The 20-year-old grabs the laptop from the kid and runs like the wind.
The kid cries, the mom, hearing her son cry but unable to see him, proceeds to flip her crap. She looks at us at the cash registers like we are responsible and starts to scream at us to call the cops. I don’t know what to think about the whole ordeal, of course, the 20-year-old is a jerk and is probably the worst person in this story, but the mom is what always agitated me. What in God’s name was she thinking bringing her kid to a 4 AM catastrophe in hopes his bright-eyed cheerful face would protect him from a typical Black Friday madhouse?
14. Don’t Worry Grandpa, I Got Your Back!
I saw an elderly woman steal an ice cream maker from a handicapped man who was in a wheelchair. He got a security guard, and she flat out denied it saying the man was using his handicap to embarrass her. I lost a little faith in humanity at that moment.
I followed her and took stuff out of her cart and put it back on the shelves and put in random embarrassing items in their place. It might sound petty, but it made me feel like I got some kind of revenge for the poor old guy she had just terrorized. Take that grandma!
13. How Badly Do You Want That Perfume?
I worked at an Ulta Cosmetics store a few years back, the store was mobbed, but nothing bad had happened (yet). Well, a group of teenage girls came in with HUGE bags and went straight to the perfume section. Then on top of that, they were cursing LOUDLY and were just generally disrupting everything. My manager goes over there and just calmly asks them to quit cursing and talking so loudly, and they erupted and started screaming and hollering like uncivilized farm animals. My manager then, of course, told them to leave the store.
Well at that point, I was close to the door along with pretty much all the other employees trying to calm everyone down, when this one chick who had been the main one screaming, pulled out mace and sprayed my manager straight in the eyes. Unfortunately for her, there was a HUGE guy there with his wife and he straight up tackled her and held her down while her friends ran away as fast as the could. The cops ended up having to take her in the parking lot because she tried to bite an officer. Crazy stuff. I have never seen anyone behave like that. I haven’t worked retail since.
12. This Security Guard Could Have Used Some Backup
I’ve worked in retail for years. But I work in the stock room, so I don’t get out onto the floor to see the madness on Black Friday. I was given the day off this past year, so I thought it would be fun to go shopping and see if Black Friday was as crazy as most people say it is. Boy was that a bad idea… It was absolute chaos from the moment I tried pulling into the parking lot at the mall. The yelling, screaming, and “adult language” were on a whole new level. Then there was the nonstop sound of car horns, which was absolutely deafening. But that wasn’t even the worst part…
My wife and I join a line outside of an electronics store because we heard they were having a great sale on flat-screen TV’s and surround sound systems. The store hadn’t opened yet, but the line was already at least 200 people long and you could tell most of them had been waiting for at least a few hours. Right as the store was set to open, some nut-job tackles a security guard to the ground and starts yelling at him. Turns out that this crazy shopper thought the security guard was a customer trying to cut the line. He was just walking in the door to start his shift. So yeah, my town has those kinds of people in it.
11. It’s Time To Throw In The Towel
I worked security at Target for 5+ years. Even though the store was in a rougher part of town, I don’t have too many horror stories. The funniest one I like to tell is a couple of years ago, I was there early doing crowd control. I would always talk to people in line; try to keep them entertained while they waited in the cold.
The first couple in line had been there for about 13 or 14 hours. So we open the store, and we have deals on all sorts of electronics, toys, etc. They get in line and have a shopping cart full of towels that we had on sale for $2. That’s it. Just towels. They were first in line outside and waited over half a day for $2 towels. When I left after my 12-hour shift, we still had shelves full of these towels, along with tons more in the stockroom.
10. Plus The Language Barrier
I used to work for a large shoe store in an internationally famous outlet. It was only me and one other person working in the clearance section. None of the shoes are held out on the floor, they’re all stored in the back of the store.
It was twelve hours of holding shoes between my legs, the crooks of my arms, one between my head and shoulder, frantically calling for sizes into a mic, while half of my customers and I could not communicate due to language barriers.
9. The Reason I Will NEVER Work In Retail Again
My first experience with Black Friday came when I was working at a Walmart in my hometown. I was assigned to be one of the employees that would cut open the plastic on the pallets, which contained our merchandise.
As I opened my box cutter, a customer shoved me and I fell right on it and sliced my hand open. After getting through that and patching it up, I came out on the floor and promptly got hit in the face when I picked up a DVD off the ground. A customer apparently wanted it. Needless to say, I hate black Friday.
8. “Excuse Me, Sir, What’s That In Your Pants?”
Ex-Best Buy employee here. Four Black Fridays at the highest-grossing store in the company gets you a few wild tales. This one is quick: A guy tried to shove a Panasonic Blu-ray player into the front of his jeans. He was a rather large man, but dude its a Blu-ray player, seriously?!
I approached the guy and said, “Excuse me, sir, is that a giant black rectangle in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?” His face turned as red as a tomato and he spent the next 10 minutes following me around the store explaining that he was simply trying to hide it from other shoppers.
7. My First Black Friday Was My Last Black Friday
My first week of retail was Black Friday. Three days of training, one to prepare, day off. BOOM BLACK FRIDAY! I had a woman almost make me cry the first hour. My muscles and joints ached, I could barely speak. “I can help whoever is next”… swipe, bag, repeat. I made so many mistakes, it was a complete nightmare.
That was my first and last time working in retail. I honestly don’t know how people do it because some customers are absolutely crazy! God bless your hearts, you deserve a raise or some kind of medal.
6. The Guitar Hero Lady
I was working at Target in the electronics department. Guitar Hero 3 was the hot item. The doors open and in pours a tidal wave of people charging my area. An hour or two go by and I’m slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I go to get a GH3 from the stockroom to give to a nice couple. I smile, go to hand it over, they reach out to receive it and……SNATCH!…An old lady intercepts! She’s yanking it out of my hands.
Being a strong young man, I decided to give her the physical equivalent of a “screw off” and shake her loose. The old lady immediately seizes the opportunity with her newly emptied hands and punches me right in the throat. I instinctively put a hand to my neck as she fled back into the sea of jerks with her newly acquired GH3, never to be seen again. I learned a lesson that day, never EVER underestimate the elderly.
5. Massive Punches From The Massive Guy
I was working at Best Buy the year we had the 42″ Sharp TV for $200. This massive guy and his equally massive father asked me to check the warehouse for any more stock on the TVs. I’m a 5’6″ female and didn’t even come up to their shoulders. As I was looking at model numbers, both customers enter the warehouse. I politely ask them to leave as I am operating heavy machinery and it is not safe for them. They refuse, so I sternly tell them they must leave and I will meet them by the doors. They still refuse. I find their TV but informed them I would not pull it until they exit the warehouse, which they finally did.
As I’m using a dolly to move the TV, I push through the warehouse doors and am greeted by the father’s fist to my face. I stumbled backward into the warehouse doors and drop their TV. They then told me to find my manager so they could complain that I was rude and intentionally damage their product. Thankfully my management team had paid the PD to be there, but both of them were only escorted out after making their purchases.
4. Who Got First?
I worked at Starbucks, and Black Friday there is a little scary. Everyone at the mall wants to get coffee and get back to the lines for the big stores. I was the person on the door helping people stay in a semi-organized line as they rushed in. These two middle-aged ladies were arguing about who got there first. Then they started pushing and screaming about getting back to Target in time. Then crazy lady #1 takes a coffee cup off of the shelf and chucks it at crazy lady #2’s head. Only she doesn’t hit crazy lady #2, she hits innocent bystander #1 who retaliates by grabbing stuff off of the condiment bar a throwing it at both crazy ladies.
This shortly becomes a free-for-all of people throwing stuff. I, being pretty small and not willing to jump into a group of people chucking stuff, hid behind the counter with my coworkers and called security and the police. We let them sort it out, and ended up closing and serving coffee to the police and security guards while we cleaned up the mess.
3. The Manager Just Gave Her A Chance
I was on the service desk at Toys R Us/Babies R Us handling the checkout overflow and any messed up transactions from that day. So, if a cashier double scanned something or a similar mistake was made that required a return to be run through the system, I would take care of it. We were not accepting any other forms of returns that day due to the high volume of customer traffic, and this was posted all over the place. The number of people coming to the store for the sole purpose of returning an item was staggering. They didn’t want to buy or exchange anything, they only came in to do a return and then leave.
One lady in particular when told that I could not return her item for her since it was not purchased that day said “I wanna talk to somebody else. Get your manager.” So, I get the next person above me who was closest to my register, he tells her the same thing, she asks for somebody else. This woman held up my register for almost 30 minutes as we had to go through each and every supervisor/manager until she reached the Assistant Manager and started yelling for her to call the Store Manager (who was home asleep after working something like 20 hours already). The Assistant Manager finally just did the return to make her leave, but the fact that she was so stubborn about it was infuriating.
2. I Bet You Think This Sale Is About You, Don’t You?
People are complete savages on Black Friday. But the worst are the people that don’t like what the sales are… as if we expect to mark down the exact item they wanted.
Sorry, but I don’t really care if the Bose headphones aren’t on sale but the hot pink Beats are. Sales are to get you in the door, which is why I am glad the store I work at has very few sales.
1. The Definition Of Hell On Earth
I used to work at a family-owned vintage video game store at a mall in north Austin. Naturally, the mall opened early for Black Friday (5:00 in the morning). When I unlocked the door at 4:30 I was absolutely blasted by heat.
For some reason, the mall’s heating system was outta whack, so one side of the mall was freezing and the other was sweltering hot. I remember looking at the store’s thermostat and seeing that it read 95 degrees. Working in a mall on Black Friday in a nearly hundred degrees store is probably the closest literal example of Hell on Earth.