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.
That Plasma Was Worth Pooping Over
"I worked for Best Buy for six years. Everyone knows about the lines that you stand in outside. Part of the process is once you get into the store you stand in another line to buy your products. Our manger thought he was particularly smart winding the line through our appliance department. Mind you there [are] usually 1500 plus 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 shat right there in front of every one. I decided that day even though I may want stuff; I will never sh*t in front of an entire crowd of people for [a] $799 50" plasma TV."1,43788Is this horrifying?
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."1,35097Is this horrifying?
Not All Of The Balls Were For Purchase That Black Friday
"This one year when I was 15, I worked at Walmart doing shelf stocking. This time, we happened to have this doll on sale for $19.99; Toys R Us had the same doll for $79.99. This was [between 2003 and 2004].
"Anyway, people knew about this; I mean, people were lined up outside five hours before we opened. [They weren't] just your regular bargain shoppers. [They were] a bunch of middle-aged women who have been standing in the cold for five hours for this... doll, and of course the few normal bargain shoppers in the mix also. 15 minutes before open, [we] started hearing this loud bang, so a few of us went to see what's happening.
"They were ramming the door! 200 cold people were trying to take down the gate to the kingdom! Five minutes later you heard the loud SNAP; they broke through the doors! Everybody rushed in the store. Though it was not open yet and nobody was at their cash register, it didn't matter... People thought it was okay to go in through the door that popped off its hinges. I've never seen anything like it, and I've worked retail in total now for almost 10 years...
"First, we had to call an ambulance, as there was one of our elderly customers, a very nice, old man who always made people smile. He was near the front entrance, in the front line of the battle of the bargains (barbarians). He fell to the floor and got run over by countless people. Nobody stopped to help, he just got stepped on. He had a broken hip, broken ribs, and countless bruises and cuts... after getting stepped on with high heels...
"At the same time this was happening, I headed over to the toys section where the three pallets of these dolls were sitting. And what did I see? A crazy woman swinging her cane violently, claiming the whole lot of them! Screaming things like 'I've been here for eight hours! I brought $5,000 and I'm getting them all! If you want some you are going to have to buy it from me!'
"She was crazy and hit two employees along with many customers. Our security guard Robin was there, though... small but she was built. She was trained in martial arts, but you'd never know because she wore baggy clothes. Robin went up to the front of the crowd and just said, 'This is strike two, I want you to leave now or else I'm having you removed' Of course she screams out 'Bring it on, you can't take me!'
"So Robin did the most unusual thing I've ever seen. She slowly walked up to her, put her hands in her pockets, and threw three or four bouncy balls on the floor. Crazy lady was a little thrown off and looked at the balls. Robin... snapped the cane out of her hands while simultaneously smacking her with it on her arm. She spun her around and held her arms behind her back (no cuffs) until the cops showed up a minute later.
"The rest went pretty well, we sold out of dolls in minutes, a limit of one per customer."1,22095Is this horrifying?
MP3 Players Induced A Heart Attack
"I was working for a Media Play during Black Friday. They were going out of business, so there were just liquidation prices, no sale prices. We had made a tower of MP3 Players that were moderately priced, and put them by the front door. I think they were $20 each or something like that - this was back when 512 MB ones were just starting to be phased out.
"People start to line up outside the door at 4 AM. We don't open until our normal 10 AM time. About 8 AM, they start to bang on the door. My manager explains that we don't open for another two hours, and things start to get a little rough outside. At 10 AM, we open the doors...
"Leading the pack is an elderly woman who looked to be a hundred sporting a walker. She waddles into the store, 'running' with her walker, and dives for the MP3 Player Pyramid we'd put up - literally throwing herself into it with her arms out, frantically grabbing all she can get her hands on. She hits the ground, hard, and people start to flood the store. A few of them step on her. Being the normal retail zealots we are, we just sat there and watched the flood come in.
"Meanwhile, on the floor, the fossil that hit the ground hard is suddenly clutching her chest. We're all looking at each other trying to figure out what to do, so we try to help her up. She falls to the ground. Cycle repeats two more times, until we finally realize it's time to call the paramedics. During this entire endeavor, she's holding three MP3 Players and absolutely refuses to let them go.
"My co-worker dials 911 and the paramedics rush over with a gurney moments later. They're loading her on to the stretcher, and she's moaning about Christmas presents while still clutching the MP3 Players. The paramedics determine that between the excitement and throwing herself on the floor, the woman had triggered a heart attack. Let me say that one more time. The woman gave herself a heart attack diving for MP3 Players.
"The paramedics wheel her out and get her to the hospital. It wasn't a major one, but she outright refused to drop the merchandise at any given time. It went in the ambulance with her. My boss went to visit her in the hospital later that day, in uniform, and her first words were 'Oh my God, please don't press charges, I promise I'll pay for it right now.'
"The MP3 players were sitting on her night stand, next to her bed. It'd apparently taken a sedative to get her to let go of them."1,054116Is this horrifying?