Black Friday Stories Told By A Once Retail Worker

Tis the season for shopping! While many of you are either reading this from the comfort of your home doing online shopping or standing in line waiting in the cold for those deals. I don’t miss Black Friday at all. After working in retail for a few years, you cannot pay me anything to get me to venture out to the malls on Thanksgiving evening or Black Friday morning. Nope!

Every retail worker has horror stories of Black Friday, and many have been traumatized by witnessing humanity at it’s worse. Instead of those Black Friday shopping deals most bloggers are posting, I am posting the stories of the Black Friday tales of long ago. Enjoy!

Fighting over a bought TV:

I worked in a department store with tools, electronics, appliances, clothing, etc. Every year there is a mad dash for the electronics section on the second floor for the TVs. One year another customer grabbed a TV from another customer who had recently bought it (had the security tap on the box already!) and proceeded to run towards the check out! Lets just say it was a massive tug of war with both customers screaming at each other over who’s TV it was and security having to convince the customer who took the TV to hand it back to the other customer because they did not have a receipt.

Whole meaning of slapping someone:

Two women got into a fight over a jacket they both had grabbed at the same time. After a tug a war with the garment, and rolling around of the ground in a “cat” fight, one of them walked up to a manque, broke the arm off, and started to beat the other women with it! It took three co workers, myself and security to get the women off the other. The women with the arm ended up being arrested for assault with a weapon (plastic arm).

People Falling from the escalators:

In the high of the mad dash up escalators, one person did fall off the side after trying to run up the side of the escalator wall! He was not hurt because at the bottom was a bin full of Pillow Pet pillows. Still his fall scared a poor lady almost to death who happen to be looking through the bin at the time.

One Black Friday two women started a fight on the escalator and next thing you know both managed to come over the escalator wall and crashed into holiday tool display. One lady nearly missed the upright tool box!

Would You like a gift card sir?

A customer came in looking for the newest Star Wars shirts in the men’s section. After telling him there was no more shirts in the back stock room, he proceed to have a melt down and threw the free standing gift card display at another worker. But that was just the beginning, he started to pick up the cards and throwing them at everyone in the area, took a display sign and threw it as well. All this time screaming profanities and flipping people off. By the time security got to the area he had already started punching the display manques.

its 2 am and I am climbing a ladder:

In order to get into the building for work on Black Fridays, I had to enter through the loading dock or a hidden outside door. One year I had to climb up a ladder to get to the loading dock where trucks unload in order to get in before my shift started. A few people standing in line caught on to this, a tried to sneak into the store this way. It didn’t work, and those who did managed to slip by found it difficult to explain what they were doing there in the first place.

Taking the Display with you:

One year there was a special on rolling tool boxes as a door-buster. The problem, there was only ten in the whole store minus the one on display. One customer was not having it when he was told we were out of them, and decided he was taking the display one ( with a whole set of tools in it!). He rolled it up to the counter, threw the cashier cash for it and attempted to roll it out the store. He didn’t make it far before security caught up with him. After much back and forth with the man, security finally convince him to roll it back to the tool section to unload all the tools he did not pay for out of it. He thought the tools came with it!

Took a high heel for the team:

There is a scare on my back near the shoulder blade where a lady stab me with a high heel after a coworker and I broke up a fight. I am lucky she went for the shoulder and not my head! She was mad the other women grabbed a pair of shoes out of her hands and in her rage of not getting the pair of shoes, she went at me. The kicker, after a police officer patched me up, I still had to go back to work!


Like many retail workers, we all have our battle scares. I have been kicked, spitted on, slapped, punched, pushed into clothing racks, run over with shopping carts, scratched, bit, gone a whole shift without eating, and still manage to survive. These are not all of them, but they are the tame ones.

Have a safe Black Friday Weekend!

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