I’ve worked in retail for over five years now. And I simultaneously love it, but also think it’s been five years too long. So after working the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of the Black Friday weekend, I came up with 28 reasons, since it fell on November 28th, why retail workers hate Black Friday.
28. You know where all the good deals are by the bags people are carrying into your store, but by the time you’re done your shift you have no interest in waiting in a long line there.
27. Those customers you offer your assistance to and they blatantly ignore you….
26. Black Friday marks the beginning of the “black-out period” where retail workers can book no time off, never miss or be late for a shift, or never get sick. Work becomes your life.
25. Insane lines, which makes you nervous and prone to f*cking up – conclusively making the line even longer than before.
24. The week of Black Friday is hell preparing for it. Extra hours (too many hours) are given to employees: mornings to do price changes, added stock, and changing the floorset in order to get the optimal “aesthetics of the store.”
23. Even earlier mornings than usual. Six AM shifts for malls that don’t open until ten in the morning. Four gruesome hours of cleaning and folding.
22. The excessive amount of cleaning that is done, only to get messed up two minutes later by annoying customers. You just saw me fold that pile and now you’ve thrown the entire thing around the table to get to a large. It’s at the bottom… Now leave me alone so I can refold these clothes, all over again. And then have the same thing happen with a new customer.
21. It coincides perfectly with the end of the University semester when schoolwork and essays are all due at the same time. Your time gets split up between being at the library doing school work, and being at work.
20. Repeating tag lines until it becomes second nature, “If you complete this customer service survey online you’ll get fifteen percent off your next purchase. Have a great day”, “Just so you know, our denim is buy one get one half off right now.”
19. All those annoying customers who take ten items to the changeroom and buy ZERO.
18. When customers complain about the lighting, or the loud music likes it’s your personal fault. I don’t pick the music, sir, leave me alone.
17. When customers come up to the cash desk with over ten items, ask you to check the price of every single item, and then end up getting the two things that are six dollars each… GOOD BYE.
16. “Oh you don’t have tap?” When referring to the debit machine. No… Is it really that inconvenient to type in your pin?
15. When customers ask for a gift receipt after you’ve just completed the transaction…
14. When customers ask how much of a discount is on an item of clothing and you answer, “40% off”. “Ok, so how much is that?” … Ma’am, it’s six am and I’m not a mathematician, you can figure that out yourself.
13. Your boss asks you to stay later, or come in earlier… The day is already going to be hell, and you’re asking me to torture myself even more?
12. If you work in a store where you have to wear those cheesy matching shirts that have awful slogans on them, “I came here to shop till I drop!” Dreadful and embarrassing.
11. If you work commission and as a cashier you try to figure out who helped each customer out, “Oh yeah, that girl in that same shirt as every other employee in the store.”
10. The closing shift. The store has probably never been messier (except maybe on Boxing Day), and it’s yours and three other employees’ jobs to clean up everyone’s mess. Just to have to do it all over again on Saturday, and Sunday.
9. You see all your friends Instagramming all the great deals they got, while you’re on break eating your lunch and getting ready to work four more hours.
8. It’s probably the second busiest day of the year, after Boxing Day, and you don’t get paid time and a half.
7. When customers choose Black Friday to come in and do a return… Like are you serious? You choose today of all days?
6. When customers say annoying comments like, “Oh isn’t this forty percent off? The sign says it is…” Okay, you’ve been to a mall before. You know we’re all scam artists and all the signs actually say “UP TO 40% off” or “40% OFF, *select styles*“. Don’t play dumb with me, we know you saw the sign.
5. The clothing you’ve had your eye on and plan to buy after your shift gets completely sold out before you have the chance to. The super cute knit sweater you’ve been eyeing goes on sale for 14 dollars, and you can’t wait to buy it!! And then, a customer comes up to cash with the very last one. You seriously consider telling them it’s damaged in some way and can’t sell it so you can snag the last one.
4. Talking to other employees becomes strictly prohibited. You say three things pertaining to how busy the store is and your manager pops up out of no where telling you guys to “get back to work.” As you’re walking away..
3. When you actually do go and check the back for a size for someone and come back and can’t remember who the hell it was that you were helping.
2. Or when you go searching everywhere for the clothing item for someone and they don’t end up getting it anyway…
1. That one rude customer that comes in and yells at your for no reason, which is bound to happen, and then ruins your entire shift and day.
Needless to say, Thank God the weekend is over.