Black Friday Horror Stories

Some of us love black Friday. I mean, who doesn't love getting great deals on stuff whether they are for yourself or even for Christmas gifts! Retail workers, that's who. They are the ones who are taking one for the team; losing sleep, constantly getting yelled at and cleaning the mess of the savage customers. Luckily, some of our writers have survived working Black Friday and they are here to share their stories. 



Black Friday is one of the most stressful times of the year for the workers and the consumers, so when the coffee starts to wear off so do people’s patience. Anyone in retail knows that customers can be a little crazy sometimes, but some are far worse than others.

On Black Friday last year, a woman came in and needed to make a return. I work in a makeup store and our return policy is very laid back, meaning that as long as you have your receipt and within 60 days you can return anything, even if you used it. The woman starts off by saying that she doesn’t have her receipt, however, we can look up her purchases on her rewards card so we do that. We are unable to find her purchase that she is talking about because she said she bought it 2-3 months ago. We keep scrolling and discover that this woman actually bought this product 2 YEARS AGO!! We explain to her that this is not able to be returned because of the time she has had it and that’s when she lost it. She keeps denying it was that long ago even tho we have computer records and my boss comes over to help me try and calm the woman down. We kept apologizing that we were unable to refund her purchase and she starts mocking us by repeating everything we say in a high pitched voice, my mouth physically dropped when she started doing that. It didn't stop there.  She keeps calling me and my boss little girls and that she wanted to speak to a manager. As soon as my boss explained that she was the main manager the lady’s voice changed. She was still being very rude, however, she realized she shouldn't disrespect a manager.

That did not last long though because before we knew it she started screaming again about how she didn’t understand the problem like I’m sorry Brenda but we can’t return your crusty anti-aging moisturizer from 2 years ago. She finally was tired of arguing and requested that she get three of the most expensive products In the store which we gave to her right before her walking out and mumbling “[email protected]”. Many other customers gave us issues but she stood out from the rest.

PSA. Be nice to retailers on Black Friday odds are they are more tired than you!


In my time, I have seen quite a few questionable things on Black Friday. Some are better than others, however, here are some of my personal favorites. 

  • The Cheerleading Stunt: When you think you saw it all in retail, something surprises you! I was shocked when I turned around while helping a customer and two girls were boasting their friend up to get a shirt from off the wall.
  • The classic “I can't believe you have to work on Thanksgiving, don’t you want to spend it with your family?". Well yeah, I would love to, but since your shopping, I kinda have to be here.
  • “You need to have better deals” well sorry our whole store is 30% off. Also, our deals and promotions come from headquarters and we have no control over it. Sorry, not sorry. 
  • The fight over the lady sweatshirt: A plain black sweatshirt. I don’t think I have ever seen two middle-aged women get so angry at each other than over this plain black sweatshirt that you could probably get at Walmart, however, they started pulling it back and forth and yelling at each other to the point where I almost got my manager. Luckily, a daughter came told her mom that it wasn't worth it and the battled ended, giving it up to the second woman.


Working in the food industry/retail should be a right of passage for any human being.  You learn how to interact with people from all walks of life in preparation for when you (hopefully) get a real job and never have to look back on the retail horrors you've faced ever again.  I’ve worked in retail for 4 years at Marshall’s and for better or for worse I’ve never had a dull day working there. There are too many stories to keep track of but 2 of them will always hold a special place in my heart.  

The first happened about a year and a half ago in the summer. My friend was working the fitting room and I was on the floor putting clothes away when I heard her trying to calm a man down. I walked over and this man looked like he came fresh out of a crime scene.  There was blood on his shirt, arms and hands; yet he was remaining very calm. He told us that he had a bad cut that he accidentally reopened while trying on clothes and that he got a little blood in the fitting room he was in. He walked away and my friend and I followed to check the room he was in and clean it up.  When we walked back there all 3 fitting rooms that had blood smeared on the walls, doors, and seats. We were so confused so we got our manager and they were just as shocked as us. The fitting room was closed for 4 days because we had to wait for the hazmat team to come in and clean it up so we wouldn’t get sued... :)

The second story happened about a year after I started working there.  It was also summer so crazy people and warm weather must have some sort of correlation. This time I was working in the fitting room, it was an average day so there was a decent amount of people in there. An older lady came out of the family stall and asked me if I could help her. Usually, this entails me helping someone zip a zipper or asking my opinion on an outfit, but not on that fateful day.  She had 6 pairs of jeans and proceeded to tell me her arthritis was bothering her so she was unable to unzip the pants to try them on. Easy enough right? Wrong. The arthritis was also in her knees so she couldn’t bend enough to take her pants off herself. Long story short, I helped this elderly lady try on 6 pairs of jeans, zipping everyone she tried on up and forever burning the image of old lady underwear into my brain.  Once she was done I took the jeans she didn’t want and she thanked me for helping her. An older man walked up to her and told her he didn’t know she went to go try the pants on and that he would’ve helped her if he knew. It was her husband. I continue to ask myself, why did she have me help her when her HUSBAND was shopping with her???