Black Friday [NOT 25/11/21]

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Triumph of Death (detail)

Hi, friends!

How is your Thursday going?

Are you planning any Black Friday purchases tomorrow?

Do you have fun Black Friday shopping stories?

Do you have Black Friday horror stories from working retail?

Years ago I worked at Target, one located right near the county line between St. Louis county and Jefferson County. JeffCo is basically where conservatives, rednecks, and meth heads live. So we had all sorts of fun people in a normal day, let alone a day where people camp out for hours outside to be able to storm the doors at opening.

One year a customer took a shit on the floor by the men’s jeans wall. That was gross. We’d also find the most random shit in the freezers. I think people were so hyperfocused on shit that then shopping where like “oh I need a frozen pizza, but I can’t carry all this stuff, fuck it I’ll put this lamp in the freezer.”

At another point I worked at Ulta for a few years. First Black Friday there, we opened at like 2am or 4am on Friday. So no big deal, lots of super excited shoppers. Typically crabby because many of the promo items they only sent us like a dozen of, so they sold out quick. But nothing unexpected, the shift went fast.

The second Black Friday, corporate assholes decided we had to open the same time the anchor stores in our shopping plazas opened. Wellllll, there was a Walmart that opened at 10pm on Thanksgiving, so we did, too. Jesus fuck was that boring. Busy for the first hour, then some trickling in, then dead from about 2am until 5am. I remember we had to do hourly check-ins with the other stores in our district and we were “competing” to see who had the lowest hourly sales. One store had a $200 return and no sales in one of their hours, so they clearly won that round.



  1. My former housemate went shopping for crap he didn’t really need on Boxing Day before Canadian retail started copying US Amercian retailers. I preferred sleeping in and keeping warm than head out with mobs looking in vain for deals on crap they didn’t need at 430am.

    I hate shopping in general but I really hate it when it has the potential to be a combat situation.

    I pity anyone who has ever worked at Walmart on those days.

    • Yeah pre-internet shopping I can understand more the appeal of Black Friday shopping, but not really nowadays.

  2. Excellent use of themed image, all the stars, from a fellow past worker in retail.

  3. I worked a register at a smaller store right out of college and remember Black Friday being extremely busy but no horror stories. I seem to recall more of a feeling of desperation around the 23rd or 24th when it dawned on people if we didn’t have something they were out of luck.

    • I understand that for many people it’s an issue of economics to wait for getting gifts until the last minute.

      But in my experience it’s just people who didn’t bother sooner. My dad always waited until like 2pm on Christmas Eve to go shopping for my mom, always made her feel like shit. Like oh hey wow just whatever Dillard’s still has that you can get 2 hours before they close. Wow so thoughtful.

      • Yeah, my dad used to do that shit, too.  He tried to make up for it by buying a lot of shit, but the fact that he routinely waited until the last minute said everything.

  4. I worked in retail grocery, so not prone to Black Friday bullshit–just weeks on end of bullshit from October through December and then from March through April.

    For my part, I’ve never, ever seen the attraction or the point of Black Friday shopping.  Sleep is far more important to me than fighting a crowd of hyperagressive assholes for a bunch of bait and switch tactics from retailers who can’t be bothered to treat their workers with the most basic levels of human respect.

  5. If I’m getting stuff this year–unleeessss I’m the asshole who’s all masked up & sanitized(!!!) go to the local “discount warehouse store” up here to see if they still have any of these for $14.99(which is obviously a great price!) I won’t be doing ANY Black Friday shopping in-person…

    With Dad testing positive for Covid, I’ve been told I “don’t NEED to quarantine since I have been vaccinated, buuuut that (I) ‘should’ test on Day 2-3 and Day 5 ‘just to be sure.'”

    The ONLY reason I have a tiiiiiny bit of “wanting to be  *That (Masked Up) Asshole!*” who’d go out knowing there was a likelihood they ARE most likely positive,  is because that particular store is an “In person sales ONLY!” type of store…

    Because they deal exclusively in goods from “Insurance totals” and other assorted  store-closures, the things that you find there often WON’T be there the next time you shop–and depending on the original retailer & whether they closed because of a “Corporate Downsizing,” Flood, Fire,  Storm Damage, etc., you sometimes never see “that particular thing” cross through again…

    Everything else that Mom wanted,I can get online.

    Already found her the Laminator she wanted from Micheals on Ebay for about $40.00 cheaper, and New-in-Box, so I got it THERE.

    And the other thing she wanted was the discounted Year plan for a Trackfone–which i can get online, AND the offer is good until 11/30😉

    The only other thing is a “no hurry” purchase for her, which will be “order online, pick up in-store later on.


    • Eta, and “Christmas Shopping” this year is mostly going to be “Looking through things at Dad’s” to find the old family pictures, then getting prints of some of THEM & framing them nicely😉

      The Auntie who’s been helping me through *all of this* and going to all the appointments with us (she’s a nurse who just retired this year), has mentioned a couple of pictures that she’d “love to get a copy of, someday, if you ever run across them”

      I already HAVE *one* of the original photos she’d like, and plan to look hard to see if I can’t maybe discover where the OTHER one is, and then those, framed & matted take care of Her & my Uncle (they’re my Godparents, and we typically exchange gifts with the Godparents/God children in our family😉).

      For Mom, I found a copy of HER mom, back when Grandma was in her late teens/early 20’s, which mom has in a 1.5″×1.5″ size, and which she’s seen in a 4″×4″…

      I want to have it blown up, and will mat & frame it once I do, so she can put it on her wall.

      For Dad, if I have time, I’m going to finally start in on putting together & printing out some things he asked me to print for him years ago.


      And, some is family history stuff (like the picture of his Great-great grandfather as a Buffalo NY fireman, back in the 1800’s!😃) that *I* have run across & bookmarked online, but that Dad hasn’t ever seen.


      I know that for folks in memory-care facilities (similar to with pre-K kiddos who have difficulty leaving family members to go off to school, tbh!), having pictures & “Books about Me!” can be helpful–so I’m going to get started with some of that. Annnnd I want to print out copies of the pics, so that, should anything happen, Dad is not in possession of the (single-copy!) originals wherever he lands after this.

  6. ill be raiding the aldi later!

    i dont really give a shit about whatever they have for black friday….i just really fancy some aldi lasagna

    totally worth the detour keeping with the spirit of black friday…i will use a shopping basket

    you can get a good swing on those…..the carts are unwieldy…cant really do any damage with those

  7. I have never (and will never) gone shopping on Black Friday. I have never wanted some crap with fake markdowns that badly that I would throw elbows to get it. Just not my style. I hate crowds and noise and just… nope. Not interested.


    The pizza as Thanksgiving dinner idea went over pretty well! I was honestly surprised at the lack of bitching about it once everyone was here. This miiight just become our new family tradition. Planning to do Chinese takeout for Christmas!

    • I’m with you on Black Friday.  I’ve never gone & never will.  Wife & younger daughter going at 430am.  We are going  you cut  Xmas tree place at 9am to avoid chaos, hopefully.


      I did work retail for two Black Fridays at a camera shop.  It was crazy busy but we worked on commission so I made most of my money for the year in December.  I quit after the 2nd December when they sold to a bigger company & fucked our commission structure.

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