Just as some Black Friday shoppers have been camping out for days in anticipation of snagging a good deal, so too has talk about the infamous shopping day been swirling ahead of its arrival.
Earlier this week, members of the social news site Reddit who worked as retail employees were called upon to share some of their “Black Friday horror stories.”
We pulled out just a few that might have you a) reconsidering heading out at the crack of dawn to get your Christmas shopping done; b) wishing you didn’t have to be at work, subjecting yourself to a potential horror story situation; c) laughing hysterically. Note: We’ve redacted any curse words in the stories, but they are otherwise as posted on Reddit.
The snooping shopper (by Redditor Acharai)
I work back of house at a Toys R Us. I spent Black Friday taking big ticket items to the back where we just loaded them into the customers 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 jack*** 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 a two signs on the swinging door saying “Employees Only” and “Warning: Only authorized personal beyond this point!”
The fight and flee (by Redditor KnowMatter):
Back in my poor college days when I worked at walmart we had a fight break out over a bike. Fists were thrown and there was some blood. Eventually one guy got ahold of it and managed to get away from the crowd, he rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).
The line cutter — or not (by Redditor ms_fits):
Someone punched a security guard in the face because he thought he was a customer skipping to the front of the line..he was just walking in the door to start his shift. So yeah, my town has those kind of people in it.
The restaurant experience (by Redditor Kidou):
I worked for six yrs at a Johnny rockets(sic) 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.
Had people shake our gates screaming that they wanted food. [It] would be just me and a opener getting the chairs set out.
I pointed them towards the food court and told them we didn’t serve breakfast. A lady spit at me and told.me “I know you have bacon”
We do. In a fridge waiting to be cooked and put on a burger.
The “you waited hours for that?” (by Redditor Lineman72T):
Worked security at Target for 5+ years. For being a store in the rougher part of town, I don’t have too many horror stories. The funniest one I like to tell is a couple 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. Thats 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
The “you waited in line and left empty-handed?” (by Redditor smuggling_info):
I think it was around Black Friday 2004 and i was a cart pusher at a Wal Mart. In this particular year, Wal mart offered a plasma tv at an extremely low price and was the hottest deal of the year. A man showed up the Tuesday before the big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, tv and everything he needed to brave the three nights he would be staying over. He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma tv and how he was hosting the next Super Bowl party so this was just going to be the best thing ever. Come around Thursday night, I showed up to my shift and he was still there in a jolly mood thankful he was about to be able to go home and sleep in his own bed. The news came and he did a short interview and explained what he was waiting for, how he was able to get the time off (he was a truck driver) and was overall excited over the whole ordeal and prided himself for toughing out the cold. The line for the entrance wrapped around the whole front of the door and about another 300 yards or so past the store with thousands of people waiting to get in. At 5:00am, 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 10 seconds 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 guys thanksgiving was a bust for sure.
The unexpected fighter (by Redditor Dothelokipokie):
An 80-year-old grandma tackled and then bear-maced a woman over fleece fabric at my store.
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, and we put it in the cart for her so she could continue shopping.) Old lady sees that this woman has “ALL the bolts” and it isn’t right that she’s hogging the entire stock of that particular print. The woman explains the situation and that she in fact special ordered these, and that the reason she was coming in on black friday to purchase them is because they were a major black friday promotion at 60 percent 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. She is a very sweet store regular who pays out of pocket for all the blankets, and so my store held the fabric for her until black friday, when she would come in and purchase them with her coupon.
Old lady doesn’t give a s***. Whips out mace and tackles the woman.
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 in a few months.
The favorite (by Redditor illogical000):
To all those who still are willing to brave the crowds or who will be working retail, good luck.