Every year, retail employees dread the inevitable Black Friday nightmares that most will only know about because of the news. While you experience the shock and awe of Black Friday horror stories from the safety of your homes, retail workers must deal with the worst Black Friday incidents as they unfold in all their discount-induced devastation.
Childhood havens like Toys R Us take a nosedive into anarchy while already obnoxious retail spots like Walmart descend from the third circle of Hell into the seventh layer. Retail employees who work on Black Fridays describe soul-crushing accounts of shoppers yelling, shoving, and full-on assaulting other customers and employees in order to get that plasma flat-screen or Furby.
Black Friday is, indeed, that. It keeps companies in the black but it leaves employees to see humanity through black-colored glasses.
A Nintendo Caused A Bloodbath
"Years ago I got hired as seasonal help for Toys R Us. It was before they redesigned the stores into their current [mess] 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 and hear some yelling. I look down and two kids are shoving each 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 really good. The guy with the bat realizes what he did and grabs his kids and tries to make a run for the door.
"Management is trying to block him from leaving as they go and manage to get the cop that is outside directing traffic. The police come in and wrestle this guy to the ground while his kids watch. He resists and gets a serious beat down in the middle of the store. The other guy that went through the glass is cut up and bleeding really bad. He ends up losing an eye over the whole thing. After this is all over, we have to lock up the SNES and you could only try it out if management opens the case for you.
"The other really messed up part of this whole thing is that people are taking toys out of the cut-up man's cart as EMS works on him and his kid sits there crying. One woman even tries 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."
Even Old Ladies Weren't Immune To Black Friday Madness
From a deleted user:
"This 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% 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.
"The old lady doesn't give a sh*t, 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."
Bike-Fueled Brawls Were A Given
"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, managed to get away from the crowd, and rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying)."
Disaster Ensued When A Black Friday Shopper Was Denied Her Bacon
"I worked for six years at a Johnny Rockets 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 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."