It’s almost Thanksgiving which means Black Friday is already upon us, and we all know too well the retail horror stories that can come out of it.
What’s supposed to be a happy, money-saving day can turn into one of the most horrid days which leaves us questioning the point in all of it.
Is it worth to hassle to save a few bucks? To some, it’s totally worth it. Here are some of the best curated Black Friday retail horror stories from the people who are brave enough to work in retail on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Back in my poor college days when I worked at Walmart, we fought to break out over a bike. Fists were thrown and there was some blood. Eventually, one guy got a hold of it and managed to get away from the crowd, he rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).
I’ve thrown one punch in my life. It was on Black Friday.
So it was the year the 360 came out. I was standing in line to get some external hard drive next to the video games. And there was this 11ish-year-old kid with a woman in her 60s. He was waiting for his 360 bundles. The woman before him had “gotten the last one,” sighs all around. Then he says “nope one more” and begins the motion of handing it to the kid and this guy comes out of nowhere and pushed the older woman and the kid.
The kid hit his face on the edge of a video game rack, you know the one with the metal and plastic dividers. At 19, years old I don’t know what came over me but I instantly swung for the dude’s head and caught him right in the temple sending him into a Keurig tower in the middle of the Isle. Everyone froze, including me. Guy had dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid and he didn’t say anything either.
The best part was, as I still wanted the hard drive, I turned to get back at the end of the line. At the same time, the rep I’m in charge of handing out the other items such as the hard drive asked who was next. The first two people in line just pointed at me, causing me to skip about 5 spots in line.
I work back from the house at a Toys R Us. I spent Black Friday taking big-ticket items to the back where we just loaded 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 jackass do it, and then decided it was ok if they did too.
I 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 nothing was indicating they couldn’t come back there. We have two signs on the swinging door saying “Employees Only” and “Warning: Only authorized personal beyond this point!”
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, the sh*t 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 “f*cking b****” as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.
I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.
I have witnessed 2 people fist fight…..over a damn toaster.
When I worked at Sam’s Club, during the madness one black Friday morning, we caught a woman stuffing the inside of her pants with a frozen lobster tail. She would unpackage them and throw the trash in a stack of tires that were on display.
I was fired a week before because I told a very elderly lady she shouldn’t come in on black Friday.
She said she was afraid of getting hurt, and I agreed and let her know that we would have other great sales during the rest of the holidays.
Little did I know my HR rep was listening in around the corner. She said that I wasn’t driving sales and she’d have to report the situation to the manager.
I got the ax a week later.
Working in the electronics dept. A little old lady punched a teenage boy in the face to get the last radio he had picked up. She snatched it up and ran.
Worked Black Friday when the first Wal-Mart Supercenter in Stockton opened. They brought out pallets wrapped in black, and we had to guard them until the sale started. They gave us each a new box cutter and said, “When you hear the bells over the intercom, cut the plastic and run.” They weren’t lying. Stampede began.
I worked at Toys R Us when I was younger. It was when the Tickle Me Elmo came out. Couldn’t believe watching adults literally fighting, pushing, shoving to get the Elmo doll. It was pure hell. To top it off, we ran out of big bags before the morning was over, and customers were going off on us cashiers.
This lady with a little kid came up to my register and set her down on the ground. The young girl began complaining about having to use the bathroom and the mom kept ignoring her or telling her to wait until they got home.
The daughter ended up peeing all over my station and the mom didn’t say anything about it. She paid, grabbed her bags, and said that I should clean that up, and just left.
I once worked a Black Friday at TRU. A guest sprayed mace behind them as they ran in front of the pack towards the electronics section.
I worked for M.A.C a great number of years, and during one particularly dark Black Friday I saw a coworker get spit on by a customer who was unhappy with how long she had been waiting to purchase a lipstick. SPIT ON. Let that sink in.
I worked at GameStop and we were not taking trades that day because we only had two registers. A customer ignored the entire line and came straight up to my register and said he had more than 150 items to trade, and I apologized and told him to come back on Saturday.
He proceeded to throw each item he brought with him at me, one at a time, in the face, until I called the cops. Not only did he get arrested that day, but he also isn’t allowed to step foot in another GameStop.
On my first Black Friday, I was watching over the self-checkout at my Super Target. When the doors opened, I saw a woman holding an infant child who couldn’t have been older than three months elbow a lady in the face for a cart even though there were more close by.
I witnessed a mom stick her finger down her throat and projectile vomit in the fitting room because she didn’t get an extra discount.
I work at Walmart and a fight between two women broke out and one woman flipped the other woman’s stroller with her baby in it over and, instead of helping her child, the mother tackled the other woman.
The store manager had to pick her child up and make sure it wasn’t hurt. Turns out they knew each other and had an argument before, and decided the middle of Walmart during Black Friday was the perfect time to fight.
A customer was having problems finding an associate to help them in the shoe department. So what did he do?
Dropped his drawers in the middle of the shoe department and crapped all over the floor. Then another customer didn’t see the mess and stepped in it before it could be cleaned up.
My managers stationed me near the front doors next to several tall cardboard bins filled with $3 scarves, gloves, and hats.
When we finally opened the doors at midnight, all of the customers who had been waiting in a line outside came rushing in and kept pushing me to get further into the store.
One woman placed each of her hands on my shoulders and SHOVED. I went flying into two of the cardboard bins, which then broke and spilled everywhere.
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