Be Kind on Black Friday

I’ve been working retail for a little over a year now. I started in a women’s clothing store and am now also a manager at a children’s clothing store. Both stores have shown me a side of women that both disgusts and terrifies me. One would think that other women would be respectful of those working at a retail store, but this is often not the case. In a few weeks, I will once again be in the throws of Black Friday. God help me. So now I will beg you all to take pity on me and the other retail workers you will come across this holiday season and give you tips to not completely tick us off. We’re more likely to help those who are respectful, you know?

  • Most fitting rooms have a designated place to put clothes that don’t work out once you’ve tried them on. Make use of this area. Leaving your clothes thrown around in your fitting room just leaves more work for us, and during this time of year, we don’t have time for it. I am not your mother!
  • I have this friend who would decide in the shampoo aisle that she didn’t want that mac and cheese and put it alongside the Suave. “I’m keeping someone employed,” she would tell me when I gave her a glare. Not cool. Put things back where they belong. I’m not even asking you to fold things properly or straighten anything, just put it back on the right shelf or hook, okay? It’s just respectful.
  • I am required to ask you to open a credit card. It’s part of my job description. I am also required to ask three times. You’d be surprised how often someone changes their mind that third time. Don’t get snippy with me. Don’t get snippy wi–oh, fine, just walk away! 
  • You do get that it’s not my fault that we don’t have your size, right? Like, I have no control over that. At all. Chill out.
  • Probably my biggest peeve is when people ask me to put together outfits for them and hate all of them. If you’re 53 years old and I’m 24, we probably won’t have the same style. And I really can’t help you if you don’t like the clothes we have to offer. There are other stores all around. Enjoy.
  • I swear to crap, if your child touches our jewelry ONE MORE TIME…
  • Okay, this is a big one, ladies. This is the one that really grinds my gears. Our return policy is on the receipt, along with the expiration date. It shocks me how angry people get when I tell them it’s expired or we need a licence for a return. The best part was when a woman tried to return something from last Christmas and when I said we had a 60 day return policy, she said, “And?” Oh, lady. Get out of my face.
  • I once had a woman whose receipt was one day expired. I felt bad, but there was nothing I could do. She left seemingly understanding of the situation, but within five minutes, her husband walked in screaming, “RIDICULOUS! RIDICULOUS!” over and over again. Didn’t help. Cause, you know, screaming at computers doesn’t really get you anywhere.
The worst moment in my retail experience happened on a Sunday when the mall closes at 5pm rather than 9pm. A woman, we’ll call her Crazy, came in at 4:45 and announced, “I know exactly what I need, let me grab it real fast and I’ll be out in a jiff!” Sounded good to me, right? She was aware we were closing and promised to be quick. At 5:02, I was summoned to the cash wrap where I discovered the woman had put a pile the size of…oh my gosh, this thing was so huge, I don’t even know what to compare it to. I mean, it wasn’t the size Mount Rushmore, that’d be totally unrealistic. Okay, you know how if you are really hungry so you put a ton of cereal in a bowl, and then you add your milk and you’re like, “Crap…crap…CRAP, OVERFLOW!” and the little Kix fall to the ground? It was like that. On my register desk.”Okay, honey,” Crazy said to me, “If you could sort these for me by size, that’d be great!” Uh huh. So now it’s past closing and I’m sorting her clothes for her because she’s shopping for herself and for her mother and for probably twenty billion other people. But I’m a nice person, and I said, “Sure, no problem!” and I did that for her while she went and added more to the pile.Her coupon was one of those where if she used her store credit card, she’d get another $10 off her purchase. She didn’t have her card on her, so she said it was okay and not to worry about it, even though I had offered to look it up for her. Two transactions later, she decides she DOES want to save that money. All you really need to get out of this is by the end of it, I had done 5 transactions, 2 post voids, and it was 5:45.

“You know, my friend works at The Limited,” she told us as I finished up her (hopefully) last transaction. At this point, I was no longer friendly, I was rude. I’m not proud of it, but I was so annoyed that I wasn’t even smiling and being all, “No problem, ma’am, I’d love to lick your shoes clean for you! Would you like me to start with the right or left?”

Crazy continued, “She’s the manager there, and she has no problem staying open for a customer!” My manager was with me to help me through the post voids now and gave Crazy a look. “It’s true! She would stay open until…midnight if she had to!” When this clearly did not convince us that her presence 45 minutes after closing was acceptable, she added, “Well, I just gave you ladies a nice commission!”

“We don’t work on commission,” my manager snapped back, and she went to the backroom, probably to swallow a bottle of pills and set herself on fire. I finished up with the woman, she left, my manager came out and said, “Go home. I’ll finish up here, you need to go home before you hurt someone.”

I went home and shot myself in the face.

So Black Friday is coming up and I’ll be opening the midnight shift. I’m begging all of you to take it easy on me and my fellow retail employees. Black Friday can be a lot of fun if people keep from getting too insane. They’re just things, people. Also, be nice to each other. If I hear of another person getting trampled or shot or groped or whatever goes on, I’m really gonna lose it on all of you.

Better yet, stay home. Eat leftovers and hug your kids or your significant other or your cat or your remote or your computer while HelloGiggles is on screen and make hot chocolate and listen to She & Him’s Christmas album. Doesn’t that sound so much better? Yes it does.

(Also, get it? Black Friday? Rebecca Black’s Friday? Hilarious, right?)