We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community about the worst thing that happened to them while working retail on Black Friday. Here are the most horrifying (and sometimes grossest) responses.
1. I Don't Feel So Good
I used to work at Maurice's and we had jewelry right by our cash registers. On Black Friday a father had his daughter on his shoulders, and kept spinning her around. She said she didn't feel well and told him to stop. Did he? No! She started throwing up all over the jewelry stands. It caused a chain reaction, and in total, 12 people threw up all over the store. WORST. SMELL. EVER.
2. That's Not Where That Goes
"A woman POOPED in a container full of miscellaneous cosmetics that was part of a makeup display so that she wouldn't have to lose her spot in the long winding line of check out. POOPED."
3. The Human Ladder
"Working in a Victoria's Secret Pink store one Black Friday, I was bending down to check on something for a customer and another used me as a step stool so that they could reach a pair of yoga pants on a top shelf."
4. Granted, A Really Good Deal
"I work at Best Buy. Last year one of the items on our 'door busters' sale list was a 55" HD TV, for $199. Granted, a really good deal. One day I was outside enjoying a break and some fresh air when a car comes screaming through the parking lot. Before the vehicle completely stopped, a lady — who, mind you, is at least nine months pregnant — jumps out and, in a dead run, barrels toward the door. We met at the door leading back in and she, like a hall of fame running back, sliced through the crowd and lunged herself on the stack of TVs in question."
5. You Could Poke Your Eye Out
"A woman once threw shoes at me because they weren't on sale. Just threw spiked heels at me."
"I was working a 13-hour shift at a bookstore in the second largest mall in the country. It was the early 2000s, when cell phones were still a new-ish concept. The line was ridiculously long and our phone was ringing off the hook. I pick up the phone and the person says, 'Have you seen the line in your store? I've been waiting here forever and there are two unused registers. Get up here NOW and ring up my purchases!' And then he hung up. This was before cell phones had the internet, so he must have called information to get our number. Needless to say, I did not go up to the front to help him out."
7. I Smelled It
"A few years ago I was working at a department store at the Mall of America. It's full of crazies every other day of the year, but Black Friday really brings out the best. While doing my rounds of the store, picking up merchandise, redressing mannequins and basically just being a verbal punching bag for rude people, I smelled it: human feces. I called over a coworker, who immediately recognized the stench, and we had to find it. It was a used diaper under a display bed! Someone changed their baby and hid the diaper! What is wrong with people????"
8. Nobody Loves You
"We had just set up our back of the store holiday registers, so they were still a little iffy when it came to glitches. I happened to be ringing up a man with hundreds of dollars worth of jeans on one of these registers, slid his card and the whole thing crashed. After I had told him what happened and tried to reboot the register he gave me the glare of Satan. He then proceeded to yell at me and told me if the payment goes through twice it's all my fault. Before storming off, he looked me straight in the eyes and said 'Nobody loves you.'"
9. A Rare Display of Humanity
"I was hired at a store just for the holidays. Black Friday was to be my first full day. I got a new phone the day before Thanksgiving, and (stupidly) believed I understood how the alarm worked. I didn't. Woke up late, immediately called in expecting to be fired, but was told to come in anyway. When I arrived, quite visibly upset, I was royally chewed out by the manager in front of employees and customers, and spent my first hour at the register blubbering uncontrollably while customers patted me on the back and whispered loudly to each other what an awful store manager that was."
10. F#*$ This Lotion
"I worked at a lotion store for Black Thanksgiving/Friday. I had a woman throw an absolute hissy fit because we were sold out of her favorite holiday lotion. She started throwing those giant three-wick candles — she threw at least ten. Then she flipped a table filled with lotion and started stepping on the bottles. The store's floor was covered in lotion and broken glass! I was the lucky employee who got to clean it up."
11. That's Not How That Works
I will never forget this. I used to work for Abercrombie Kids back in their heyday. Anyway, this one woman came in right at the open on Black Friday to return about $2,000 of merchandise she bought six months earlier. Then proceeded to complain throughout the whole transaction about the evils of Black Friday, and to say that she was tired and she hated shopping. After the whole thing was done, she then asked if she could repurchase it for the sale price. I was like 'No ma'am! We send out all our sale merchandise to outlets.' She was not happy."
12. Your Sexism is Showing
"I worked for WalMart back in 2001, and I started the week before Black Friday in the automotive departmetn. Do I even need to tell you about being a woman there? Our hot item were these 250-piece air compressor sets, came with a larger compressor and 249 tools/hoses, etc. Our store only got three in, and they were gone before the plastic was off the pallet. About 2:00 that afternoon an older guy comes in looking for one. I explain that they sold out, and we can't get more, etc. He starts screaming at me: I'm an 'incompetent bitch,' they must have been desperate to have to hire a 'chick,' I should be in a section I know something about like 'makeup or crafts.' My male manager comes over and asks what is going on. He of course was treated with respect, and the ass willingly accepted his explanation. He also told him to stop hiring chicks who don't know shit, scoffed at me, and left."
—Kristan Pasch (Facebook)
13. The Lonely Panini Maker
"One of our Black Friday specials was a panini maker. 12 hours after the sale had started, a customer asks me where she can find them in the store. I told her that unfortunately we were already sold out. She then literally begins to cry at me and says that the only reason she came out was for the panini maker. After an eternity of awkward crying, I offer to write her a rain check (which we do not normally do on Black Friday), and she left happy. About a week later, we get a new shipment in of said panini maker and I excitedly put one to the side for this woman, knowing that I did something good for someone. I give her a call and happily tell her she can come in and pick it up, to which she responds, 'Oh, I didn't really need it. Thanks anyway.' Now I'm the one crying."
14. More Poop
"One year around 4 a.m. we had left a stock room unlocked in the rush, and upon return, we found out that someone decided to poop on the floor instead of using the bathroom that was less than 100 feet away."
15. The Other Bend & Snap
"The underwire in my bra snapped in half while bending over to get something off the shelf for a customer. It was so loud, the guy thought I had popped my knee when I bent over. When I stood up, one boob was lower than the other. I knew he was trying not to look, but he was. I had to wait for two hours before I could take my break and take it off. I went the rest of my shift braless and it was the most painful and embarrassing day ever!"
16. No Biting Please
"One year, back when I was a teenager and DVD players were still kind of a big deal, I worked at Walmart on a Black Friday. They had some cheap little DVD players for $15, and they had been advertising for them heavily. Everyone made a made a mad dash for them as soon as the doors opened. One elderly woman had managed to fight through these crowds and put three of them in her cart, but when she wasn't looking, a middle-aged man reached INTO her cart to take one. The woman turned around and saw what he was doing. Then, this sweet-looking little old lady leaned over and BIT the guy on the forearm. He yelled and dropped the DVD player. I turned around and pretended I hadn't seen it."