I survived another Black Friday….

….and even managed, again, to do so without murdering a customer member (the new corporate approved terminology)!

The joys of working retail again. 

And just to clarify.  Its not the CROWDS on BF that are the real problem (though they do add to the stress), its the attitudes. 

Just because its BF and you have 10 more stores to hit doesn’t mean you get to treat me like I’m your slave.  Nor does it entitle you to be a rude jackass to me and the other customers around you.  Just because you hit 5 other sales before coming here and we’re out of the one item you wanted doesn’t mean you’re entitled to scream rant and yell when I point out that the ad specifically states that there will be no rain checks.  And no, you’re not clever when you demand to know “is there even a manager in the STORE!!!” because it took them 10 minutes to get back across the store to tell you that I’m right and there will be no rain checks for BF ad items.  And asking me that question WILL get you a rude and sarcastic answer (and no, my manager will not reprimand me for that either).

I’ve worked answering phones for AAA on Thanksgiving and Black Friday.  I knew going into the job that AAA was considered an emergency service and I would likely end up working holidays for them.  But you know what?  90% of the people who called in for help on a holiday or BF, or a holiday eve, were all pitifully grateful that we were THERE on those days.  We got effusive thanks and gratitude for sending someone out to jump start their car, or unlock it, or pull them out of a ditch.

Not so in the stores.  And now far to many stores have decided to try to pre-empt online sales by opening on Thanksgiving itself.  What used to be one of the very few holidays that retail employees could be sure that they could spend time with their families just got taken over by their jobs again.  So now not only do we not get to spend time with our families on what is traditionally a family day, but now we get the equivalent of TWO Black Friday days to deal with jack-asses who think that because they’re spending money they can treat me like dirt.

What I found quite interesting yesterday (and Thursday night), locally at least, there weren’t half the crowds that had been expected.  Local news covered the Thanksgiving opening of a local Target store.  Instead of the expected several hundred shoppers waiting for the doors to unlock…..there were maybe 50 people.  And the folks who worked the 8pm Thanksgiving opening of the store I work at (not a Target), reported that although business was steady for the first few hours, it was by no means a normal “Black Friday” opening.  I also know that although Friday was certainly a busy day for us, it wasn’t a normal BF crush either.

I’m wondering if people are starting to react to the idiocy of corporate America……or maybe just the bad weather Thursday night/Friday morning kept them home.

One last gripe: I know the ad stated “all boys fleece” but if you’re going to picture a very distinctive fleece hoodie in the ad then you damn well need to make sure that its available for sale……

(and no, I don’t think a higher minimum wage is the answer to ” retail employee problems”, I do however think that any employee who works Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) damn well ought to be paid overtime wages for doing so)