35 Retail Workers Share Their Black Friday Horror Stories
Found on AskReddit.
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 jackass 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!”
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).
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. That’s 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.
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.
Had people shake our gates screaming that they wanted food. It would be just me and an 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.
Working in the electronics dept. A little old lady punched a teenage boy in the face to get the last radio he had picked up. She snatched it up and ran.
Walmart story time. A couple years ago when the sale started there was a surge of people trying to get their stuff. One lady got knocked down and her pen went straight into her neck thankfully missing the jugular. The fucked up part is no one tried to help they just walked over her to get their shitty deal items. An associate that saw it happen had to stand over her to protect her from getting trampled. When the ambulance crew arrived they had to literally shove people out of the way because no one would move. People suck.
I worked at Walmart for 4 years and worked all Black Fridays. I’ve seen a woman hit another woman in the chest with those toddler car boxes you drive in. Woman who got hit was a week or 3 post op of open heart surgery. Lots of blood. Right In front of me. No idea what happened to the woman who hit her. I do think she got the toy car purchased it and left.
My first black Friday, I was working at a Walmart. I was assigned to be one of the employees that would cut open the plastic on the pallets, which contained our merchandise, which were all in the floor. Basically, as I readied box cutter, a customer shoved me and I fell right on it and sliced my hand open. After getting through that and patching it up, I came out on the floor and promptly got punched in the face when I picked up a DVD on the ground. A customer apparently wanted it. Fuck black Friday.
When I worked at Sam’s Club, during the madness one black Friday morning, we caught a woman stuffing the inside of her pants with frozen lobster tail. She would unpack them and throw the trash in a stack of tires that were on display.
A simple one, not a horror story, but funny. I managed a RadioShack store in a mall. An old lady came in with her walker for a new battery for her cordless phone, completely oblivious to what day it was. She asked me if the mall was always so busy.
Lets just say if I hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” it brings back Vietnam-like memories.
Ex Best Buy here. Four Black Fridays at the highest grossing store that day in the company gets you a few wild tales. This one is quick:
Guy tried to shove a Panasonic Blu-ray player into the front of his jeans. He was a rather large man, but dude its a Blu-ray player, seriously.
I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came in to the store looking for them. When I told them there was only one left in the display, the shit was ON.
It turned in to a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one a “fucking bitch” as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.
I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.
Grocery store on Thanksgiving checking in: I got to recently tell a story of how I got in trouble for cursing off a customer who wouldn’t move for an ambulance because a woman had a stroke while inside the store.
I think the stroke victim died, the customer I cursed off got a $200 gift card, and I got reprimanded.
I was fired a week before because I told a very elderly lady she shouldn’t come in on Black Friday. She said she was afraid of getting hurt, and I agreed and let her know that we would have other great sales during the rest of the holidays. Little did I know my HR rep was listening in around the corner. She said that I wasn’t driving sales and she’d have to report the situation to the manager.
I got the axe a week later.
I was a GameStop Worker when the Wii came out. The second we unlocked the doors, shit was a riot. People were fighting one-another, swearing, crying, just about everything. People were so desperate, when people managed to get one, somebody would throw the other person to the ground and buy it.
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.
I watched a woman collapse in hysterics into my manager’s arms because we didn’t have the exact model of cooler she wanted. Thanksgiving must be a stressful time in her family.
I worked at the Walmart in Green Acres mall in Valley Stream, NY. Was working the day one of my fellow co-workers got crushed to death by a large crowd who broke the doors and gate outside. That moment changed Black Friday for the retail world forever. I quit after that, was not ready to lose my life to some TVs.
I saw an elderly woman steal an ice cream maker out of a man in a wheelchair’s electric handicapped cart. He got a security guard, and she flat out denied it saying the man was using his handicap to embarrass her. I lost a little faith in humanity in that moment. I followed her and took stuff out of her cart and put it back on the shelves and put random, embarrassing items in their place.
I used to work at Victoria’s Secret PINK and my first Black Friday, I was at the front of the store. People were already outside waiting to get in at midnight. When the doors opened, I was pushed backwards and almost fell to the ground; luckily I fell on our launch table. I climbed the table and stayed up there throwing customers hoodies and yoga pants. It was fun yelling, “green hoodie, size small, who wants it?” And everyone jumping and yelling for it. Also, a girl fainted and I had to push people from walking all over her.
Former Best Buy employee. First Black Friday, had 9 of them, saw two 60+ elderly ladies get into a fist fight over a 9.99 scanner. Think Lexmark or something. The one lady had an amazing right cross.
I worked one black Friday in the clothes department at Walmart. For like 2 straight hours before the sale began, people hovered over the pallets. The alarm went off and the swarm just went insane.
There were two women in particular on opposite sides, tossing clothes back and forth to each other. I don’t know what their system was because half the stuff they were just catching and tossing aside. But this little teenager (I mean like petite tiny girl) intercepted a pair of jeans being tossed and the women went fucking INSANE and elbowed her in the face. Instant blood and the little girl was so shocked she just stood there shaking and crying. The woman acted like that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I pulled her out of the crowd and started to walk her to get her cleaned up when the sheriff appeared out of nowhere. The best part was she was his kid and the woman was arrested on the spot. She had to post bail AND pay full price for her shitty Levi’s.
Not a worker but a shopper one dark Black Friday morning…
I was at an Urban Outfitters in San Diego looking at clothes at 4:30 in the morning when there is this shriek coming from the girls section. All the guys (there were only like 8 of us) all run over to watch these two 100 pound teenage blonde haired entitled girls just going at it over some dress. No one was stopping them and then this little Asian girl walked out into the middle and slowly grabbed the dress while the girls were fighting and backed out of the circle. She calmly went to buy it while the two girls were ripping out each other’s hair and their mom’s were trying to stop them.
Last year I pointed somebody in the wrong direction to find a toy amidst the river of other crazy people trying to masturbate with my elevated stress level. Quickly realizing my dumb, I ran to find where Dora was really hiding, picked her up, toted her around the whole damn store until I found the lady, and then, as if I was expecting some kind of diamond studded praise like “thanks,” I stupidly hesitated just a second too long.
She grabbed my arm and leaned in a little too close and smiled, “it’s a damn good thing you came back,” motioning down with her chin to her purse, pulled out the butt of a pistol just long enough for me to blink and pull away from her, “because I was coming back to find ya!”
She then waddled her murderous little way back to the line where her kids had been waiting since we opened.
Sam’s Club does a Black Sunday or something before the actual Black Friday for plus members. Some dipshit 20 year old threw food on the floor, purposefully slipped in it and gave himself a concussion, puking all over the place like a goddamn fool.
He got no money from us because Sam’s has cameras everywhere.
I used to work at Circuit City, and I saw an old woman get shoved into a stack of Lava Lamps (that were free with any purchase). It was surreal to see.
Another co-worker and I waded through the crowd to get help her, and she was really shaken up.
Not really a “horror story”, but I used to work at Best Buy and worked home theater my first Black Friday. Store opens at 6am Friday. Guy walks in. Walks up to me, while I’m wearing my khaki pants and best Buy polo. He looks at me and asks, “do you work here?” I look at my Best Buy logo on my polo, then to my name-tag, then up at him and say “Nope”. He just walked away.
I worked at Target for 5 years as an electronics team lead and I saw some gnarly shit. The worst though was probably when I saw a man throw a 42″ TV at another man for cutting in line. The man that received the Westinghouse to the face received a concussion and several stitches while the thrower got multiple blows to the face from surrounding customers, an assault charge, and at least one night in county. Good times. I have more if anyone is interested.
Some one pepper sprayed a crowd of people for an Xbox 2 years ago. Here is the aftermath video. There is a guy on the floor in the middle of the crowd.
So it was Black Friday 2003 and I’m in the “r-zone” in toys R Us ringing up a customer. Suddenly I see a co-worker up on the tallest ladder getting an assembled bike down from the ceiling. Here comes this crazy lady, bangs her cart several times into his ladder saying he’s in her way. He fell a good 10 feet off the ladder and the ladder crashed to the side. Lady said, ” you shouldn’t have been in the way!!” Rolls her cart away. Coworker was rushed to ER! Snapped his wrist in half. I will never shop/work Black Friday Ever!
Working at Best Buy I was in charge of the Home Theater register on Black Friday. There was a woman in line who leaned over vomited in the floor then stepped back in line. Didn’t skip a beat.
My friend worked at a Walmart in our city a few years back during Black Friday when a woman was trampled to death by a mob of shoppers.
I worked at Starbucks, and Black Friday there is a little scary. Everyone at the mall wanting to get coffee and get back to the lines for the big stores. I was the person on the door helping people stay in a semi-organized line as they rushed in. These two middle-aged ladies were arguing about who got there first. Then they started pushing and screaming about getting back to Target in time. Then crazy lady #1 takes a coffee cup off of the shelf and chucks it at crazy lady #2’s head. Only she doesn’t hit crazy lady #2, she hits innocent bystander #1 who retaliates by grabbing stuff off of the condiment bar a throwing it at both crazy ladies. This shortly becomes a free-for-all of people throwing stuff. I, being pretty small and not willing to jump into a group of people chucking stuff, hid behind the counter with my coworkers and called security and the police. We let them sort it out, and ended up closing and serving coffee to the police and security guards while we cleaned up the mess.
Not a horror story, but I got a good one. The best thing I have ever seen was this woman who was acting really suspicious. I followed her around and she ended up in the isle with all the towels. Low and behold she had gone in to the store a couple days before and hid all the sale items in between the towels. I was really impressed so I let her walk.
Sourced from thoughtcatalog.com