An Open Letter From A Retail Employee to Black Friday Shoppers

Dear Black Friday shoppers,

There are very few things that I hate more than this made-up holiday.  Working in a mall on the busiest shopping day of the year is like voluntarily admitting yourself to Hell.  From someone who has worked in the retail industry for nearly three years, I have just a few things to say to all of you Black Friday shoppers this year.  Along with my ranting, I will also include some helpful words of advice that will benefit you on your wild overnight excursion.  Don’t get offended, this is just a personal outlet so I don’t take out my frustrations physically..  If you do get offended, you’re probably one of the people that have done these things..jus’ sayin. You put this all upon yourself.

First and foremost, if, for one second, you think you will be getting outstanding customer service while shopping on Black Friday, ohhh do I have news for you.  The last thing retail employees are focused on is being your personal shopping assistant for the entire time you’re in the store.  There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other customers we also have to assist.  Don’t you dare get your panties in a bundle if I only have a minute or two to help you find something that your picky 12 year-old niece would like. Word of advice: check out stores online FIRST to find items you will be looking for.  Print a picture, take a screenshot, make a list, do whatever you have to do. You can get into the store, we can point you in the right direction, and you can be on your merry way.

Secondly, if you arrive at a store and notice that the checkout line is a mile long, YOU HAVE NO ROOM TO COMPLAIN. Listen here princess, if you feel the need to roll your eyes at the long lines on the busiest shopping day of the year, you shouldn’t go Black Friday shopping. Period. Word of advice: bring some crossword puzzles or Sudoku to help you keep your cool, take items off hangers to make things move quickly, and make sure you have your coupons out and ready by the time you reach the register.

Now, don’t even try to convince us to give you more discounts because your coupon is expired or “but the sign said..” or whatever the excuse is. For one, we as sales associates don’t make the prices.  Besides, it’s Black Friday for Pete’s’re getting a million percent off anyway. Word of adviceask an associate about the specific sales and deals as soon as you get into the store in order to avoid conflict at the register.  The signs in the windows are often slightly deceiving since it’s hard to read the fine print (that’s the way the marketing world works). Save yourself the time, and save us the frustration of explaining return policies.

Black Friday is already a very stressful event for both retail employees and customers.  It’s our job to be polite to you. We don’t have a choice, but you do!  It makes for a much better experience for everyone involved if we all keep our dignity and treat each other with respect (this includes fellow shoppers..I don’t want to clean up blood off the floor after an all-out brawl between an old lady and a 40-something soccer mom over the last purple hoodie in stock).

Leave your small children and crappy attitude at home and let’s keep this year’s Black Friday death toll count at zero.


Jessica and millions of fellow sales associates


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