I used to work full-time in retail back before “Black Friday” was the common name for the “Day After Thanksgiving.” Each year, I pick up a few seasonal shifts at a Big Box place to pay some bills because The Hotel still pays moderate crap.
Anyway, please remember the following as you venture into the frenzy:
1. We have no control on inventory. If you wanted that $399 TV and they are all gone, don’t bitch at the first employee you see. Management (and more specifically regional distribution) are to blame that we only had 25 and they are gone. Guess what? None of those people are here today and they don’t care.
2. We cannot let you get that item before the start of the sale. Don’t tell us some sob story. Don’t tell us your kid can’t stand in line because he’s autistic or that you have to go to a funeral or your husband is in the hospital or that you have to be at work in 10 minutes. (Heard all of those LAST year!!!) I value my paycheck and being able to make rent more than your personal problems, and I will get fired if I let you get your hands on that merchandise before the start of the sale.
3. We are not babysitters. Don’t park your kids in front of a TV in the electronics section. You do realize the store is packed and someone could easily walk off with your kid, right? Don’t ask a stock employee to “watch your kid” for ten minutes while you fight to the front of the PS4 line. Employees are busy and we are not your personal babysitters. Better yet, if you have a young child, don’t bring them. Find a babysitter or stay home.
4. Be aware of your surroundings. This applies doubly in parking lots. There have been a rash of crimes reported on Black Friday. People leave items in their cars and thieves just hang around parking lots waiting for an opportunity to pull a smash and grab.
5. Be prepared for long lines. Whether you’re camping out for a deal or waiting to checkout, be prepared to wait. We can’t move any faster. And, if that person in front of you insists on writing a check, be prepared to wait LONGER while we verify it.
6. Be nice. To your fellow shoppers, to employees, to everyone. Just. Be. Nice. This is the holiday season, after all.