America loves to shop, especially when there is a sale going on or some sort of special deal to be had. There are whole holidays centered around the idea of buying things on sale, most memorable among these for most people is Black Friday. Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving, and it started as simply a big sale for everyone to finish their Christmas shopping on since at that point, the other major holidays had passed. However, the once small day of sales has grown into a massive day of deals, savings, and, in some cases, terror. Major retailers such as Walmart have embraced the holiday and made it a spectacle that has customers lined up in the dark waiting for store’s doors to open. People run into and over each other in their rush to get to items that will be gone the quickest, as staff struggle to keep people from fighting over the last of things on sale… Black Friday can be a horror show.
In the stories that follow, people share their own most frightening moments on Black Friday. Many of these stories come from the perspective of the poor employees trying to reign in the seemingly insane hordes of deal-hungry shoppers. Some of us, no doubt, have our own Black Friday stories, but hopefully none as frightening as these!
42. Punching The 360 Shover
“I’ve thrown one punch in my life. It was on black Friday.
It was the year the Nintendo 360 came out. I was standing in line to get an external hard drive next to the video games. And there was this 11ish-year-old kid with a woman in her 60s. He was waiting for his 360 bundle. The woman before him had ‘gotten the last one,’ sighs all around. Then he says ‘nope one more’ and begins the motion of handing it to the kid when this guy comes out of nowhere and pushes the older woman and the kid. The kid hit his face on the edge of a video game rack, you know the one with the metal and plastic dividers. At 19-years-old, I don’t know what came over me but I instantly swung for the dude’s head and caught him right in the temple sending him into a Keurig tower in the middle of the aisle. Everyone froze, including me. Guy had dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid and he didn’t say anything either.
The best part was, as I still wanted the hard drive, I turned to get back at the end of the line. At the same time, the rep in charge of handing out the other items such as the hard drive asked who was next. The first two people in line just pointed at me, causing me to skip about 5 spots in line.” Ruckus55
41. Customers Wandering In The Back
“I work back-of-house at a Toys R Us. I spent Black Friday taking big-ticket items to the back where we just loaded them into the customer’s car instead of trying to make our way to the front of the store.
Apparently, someone decided it was fine to wander into the back storage room and start opening boxes to find what they wanted. Other customers saw this one jack*ss do it, and then decided it was ok if they did too.
The other back of house guys and I were busy wrestling with a really obnoxious bed set, so when I made it to the other side of our back storage, I found like 8-10 people just taking cases off our bays and opening them, then tossing them aside if they didn’t want it. They claimed there was nothing indicating they couldn’t come back there. We have two signs on the swinging door saying ‘Employees Only’ and ‘Warning: Only Authorized Personnel beyond this point!’” Acharai
40. Geriatric Derby Over Cheap Calculator
“I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came into the store looking for them. When I told them there was only one left in the display, it suddenly became game on.
It turned in to a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one a ‘f*cking b*tch’ as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.
I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.” Jsquaw
39. Customers Shaking The Gates For Breakfast
“I worked for six yrs at a Johnny Rocket’s in a mall as a server and management. We didn’t open early like the rest of the stores because we are a restaurant and well, we don’t serve breakfast.
Had people shake our gates screaming that they wanted food. It would be just me and an opener getting the chairs set out.
I pointed them towards the food court and told them we didn’t serve breakfast. One lady spit at me and told me, ‘I know you have bacon.’
We do. In a fridge waiting to be cooked and put on a burger.
Not all JRs serve breakfast. Some do, some even serve beer. But my location has never been one of them.” Kidou
38. Poor Lady Stabbed, Ignored And Nearly Trampled
A couple of years ago, when the sale started there was a surge of people trying to get their stuff. One lady got knocked down and her pen went straight into her neck, thankfully, missing the jugular. The f*cked up part is no one tried to help. They just walked over her to get their sh*tty deal items.
An associate that saw it happen and had to stand over the top of her to protect her from getting trampled. When the ambulance crew arrived they had to literally shove people out of the way because no one would move. People suck.” wildcard084
37. Was Too Busy To Ask Questions
“So I worked for Mrs. Fields Cookies in my local mall during Black Friday back when I was in high school. Our manager got called to a store in a different city because another manager had very severely hurt themselves melting chocolate for their chocolate-dipped cookies. I end up having to work for the majority of the day with an equally lazy buddy of mine slinging cookies and taking orders for cookie cakes while the mall was packed.
Around 4 in the afternoon (and at about 1,600$ in sales), a gentleman wearing a button-down Mrs. Fields Cookies Shirt comes to our counter saying he has to do a mid-day drop for us for whatever money we had taken in the day. I let him in the back. He tinkers for a second on the computer and ends up taking our deposits.
So now its an hour before closing time. My boss is now back to our location to help us close. He starts going through our paperwork and money and realizes we are about 1,600$ short. I explain to him that Mr. Soandso came down to our location to do a mid-day drop since he didn’t work. He told me Mr. Soandso doesn’t exist and calls the corporate office. It turned out this guy had gone to over a dozen Mrs. Fields in the area and robbed over 10k worth of money. They never figured out who it was. I ended up being fired over it with my buddy. We stole a giant cookie cake as compensation. Worth it.” Hereforthefreecake
36. Fighting And Fleeing Over A Bike
These people children or just really big toddlers? They’re definitely not adults…:
“Back in my poor college days when I worked at Walmart, we had a fight break out over a bike. Fists were thrown and there was some blood. Eventually, one guy got ahold of it and managed to get away from the crowd, he rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).” KnowMatter
35. Brawls Over The Wii
Desperate times call for desperate measures:
“I was a Gamestop Worker when the Wii came out. The second we unlocked the doors, sh*t was a riot. People were fighting one-another, swearing, crying, just about everything. People were so desperate, when people managed to get one, somebody would throw the other person to the ground and buy it.” [deleted]
34. Refusing To Give Up Her Place To Go To The Bathroom
“I worked for Best Buy for 6 years. Everyone knows about the lines that you stand in outside. Part of the process is once you get into the store you stand in another line to buy your products. Our manager thought he was particularly smart winding the line through our appliance department. Mind you there is usually 1500+ people in the building at 6 am (with a line still outside).
Well, we get a complaint from one of our patrons. After checking the dryers we find a nice turd in one. Good size solid constancy just sitting there. A lady who did not want to lose her spot opened the dryer and took a poop right there in front of everyone. I decided that day even though I may want stuff; I will never poop in front of an entire crowd of people for a $799 50″ plasma TV.” Dave_Versus_Volcano
33. Cut And Punched On Black Friday
“My first Black Friday, I was working at a Walmart. I was assigned to be one of the employees that would cut open the plastic on the pallets which contained our merchandise, which was all on the floor. Basically, as I readied the box cutter, I got shoved by a customer and I fell right on it and sliced my hand open. After getting through that and patching it up, I came out on the floor and promptly got punched in the face when I picked up a DVD on the ground. A customer apparently wanted it. Eff black Friday.” Wildfires
32. Black Friday Shopping After Open Heart Surgery
“I worked at Walmart for 4 years and worked all Black Fridays. I’ve seen a woman hit another woman in the chest with those toddler car boxes you drive in. The woman who got hit was a week or so post-operation of open-heart surgery. Lots of blood. Right. In. Front. Of. Me. No idea what happened to the woman who hit her. I think she got the toy car, purchased it and left.” InfinityKitty
31. In The Dark, Surrounded By Customers
“I was working a register at a Circuit City (was typically Customer Service, but there was no chance we were returning anything on Black Friday, and there were plenty of managers on hand for upset customers), and apparently some idiot ran into a transformer nearby and took out the power to the whole retail block. Everyone who had items they wanted to purchase (several hundred people) had to just sit down and chill out for around an hour and a half while we waited for the power to return.
The funny part to me was how many people asked me, often in a very pissy, exasperated tone, ‘When’s the power coming back on?’ Mind you, I was working at an isolated register, hadn’t left or been visited by any other employees as I was surrounded by customers, and the people asking had been standing/sitting next to me the entire time… I understand I was wearing a uniform, but come on people, muster up a little common sense.” zahngol
30. Trying To Force The Doors
“Back when I worked retail, we had people lining up at the doors. We hadn’t finished setting up the signs yet so we were running late. At about a minute after 12, the people outside started pushing on the door and cursing at my manager. The door was a cheap piece of crap so even though it was locked they were able to push it inward. The problem was, it never actually opened but the people at the back of the crowd thought it did so they started pushing and the people at the front started being crushed against the door.
When my manager saw this, she immediately opened it up and about 5 people at the front spilled onto the floor and the rest of the people behind them started trampling over them. They were okay though because they were all young guys and I saw them shopping a few minutes later.” HaberDasherA
29. Delivering Disappointment On Black Friday
“Never worked retail, but I deliver to a lot of retail stores (trucker). Showed up with a delivery at a Wally-World about 8am on Black Friday, and couldn’t even back into the dock. It was like my rig was giving off an aroma that attracts crazy shoppers.
Turns out they had some ridiculous price on flat-screen TVs and had run out. The store manager had told them there were more coming in on the next truck that morning. So, naturally, they saw me and thought they’d be allowed to just grab them off the truck?
Man, were they disappointed when they saw I had a trailer full of brand new shopping carts.” ChickenHauler
28. First Day Fight On Friday
“My first day working in retail was Black Friday. My store was running a promotion where you buy one novelty tee shirt and get another half off. Novelty meaning characters, phrases, things of that sort. NOT tee shirts with the names of music bands.
A woman comes up, asking me to help her pick an even number of band tees for the sale. I kindly told her it was novelty tees only and explained what that meant. She insisted I was wrong and I told her she could check at the register if she didn’t believe me.
Instead, the woman gathers a bunch of band tees and tells my manager at the register I told her it was rock tees, not novelty, despite the signs all over the store saying novelty. She wanted the sale honored because the ‘idiot new employee f*cked up.’ My manager knew I didn’t say that and refused. The woman threw all of her crap around, screamed and stormed out. Whatever. Screw her, right?
When I took my lunch break she hunted me down in the food court threatening to punch me in the face for telling my manager I wasn’t responsible for the mixup, ‘ruining her sale,’ more like foiling her plan to screw over my store. She chased me all the way back to my store screaming with her fists up. I hid in the back for the rest of my shift. I never even got to eat lunch.” DampCottonClouds
27. Arrested For Elbowing The Sheriff’s Daughter Over Some Jeans
“I worked one Black Friday in the clothes dept at Walmart. For like 2 straight hours before the sale began, people hovered over the pallets. The alarm went off and the swarm just went insane.
There were two women in particular on opposite sides, tossing clothes back and forth to each other. I don’t know what their system was because half the stuff they were just catching and tossing aside. But this little teenager (I mean like a petite tiny girl) intercepted a pair of jeans being tossed and the women went INSANE and elbowed her in the face. Instant blood and the little girl was so shocked, she just stood there shaking and crying. The woman acted like that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I pulled the tiny girl out of the crowd and started to walk her to get her cleaned up when the sheriff appeared out of nowhere. The best part was she was his kid and the woman was arrested on the spot. Hahaha. She had to post bail AND pay full price for her lame Levi’s.” [deleted]
26. Store-Wide Announcement For Four Camcorders
“I ran an electronics department in a large retail store and was a veteran to Black Friday. My team always had everything under control. We had tickets for everything that would sell out quickly, we knew exact numbers and where everything was, and had signs for lineups for hourly deals. We were always prepared and never had an issue.
One year, the district manager decided to ‘observe’ our store during Black Friday. She stopped by my department in the thick of it to see how things were going on my end. It was insanely busy of course, but we had everything managed. She was carrying a piece of paper which she told me had some unadvertised markdowns for old inventory. This was news to me. She glanced at it, grabbed my phone, and made a store-wide announcement that we had JVC Digital Camcorders marked down to $49, regular price $199.
As she was making the announcement, I stood there with my jaw open. A sense of fear came over me. I knew the model that was just marked down, and we did have it in inventory. The problem was, we only had 4. The store was packed, and a fast-moving zombie horde of shoppers immediately swamped my department from all sides. It was some Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead garbage. As the horde swept over my department, I saw my district manager hightail it out of there.
I have never been in more fear for my life.” maybepants
25. Fighting Over A Special-Order Cancer Fabric
“One Black Friday, an old lady came into my fabric store because she wanted a cancer pink-ribbon fabric. Meanwhile, another woman had called ahead and ordered a bulk amount of it because she works for a cancer organization and makes blankets for cancer patients. She was wheeling the cart in the store with several large bolts of the pink fabric in it (which she had special ordered, and we put it in) when the old lady goes off about how the woman is hogging the entire stock of that particular print and color. The woman explains the situation and that she, in fact, special ordered these, and that the reason she was coming in on Black Friday is to purchase them is because they were majorly on sale at 60% off.
The old lady continues to yell at the poor woman. The woman very calmly keeps trying to reassure her that she is not taking any of the store stock and that she makes blankets for dying women with breast cancer. She is a very sweet store regular who pays out of pocket for all the blankets, and so my store held the fabric for her until Black Friday when she would come in and purchase them with her coupon.
The old lady doesn’t give a rat’s tail, and whips out mace and tackles the woman.
We kick the old lady out of the store. She would come in once every couple of months, give me the stink eye, and then rebelliously write down recipes from the home and food magazines so she wouldn’t have to buy them. Then she’d scurry out and come back in a few months.” [deleted]
24. Bringing Their Own Razors To Unwrap Pallets
“This is one a buddy of mine witnessed.
At a local Walmart, they started pulling the pallets of Black Friday stuff out on Thursday. These pallets are all set up in the middle of the store with plastic-wrap all the way around, ready to go. An employee just has to slice through it and the product is ready to go!
Black Friday comes around, and people are obviously outside the door. Well, some people apparently realized what Walmart was doing, so they took the liberty of bringing their own razor knife to cut the plastic so they didn’t have to wait for an employee to do it.
The doors open, everyone rushes in, and for some reason, the employees didn’t have all the pallets unwrapped yet. These people don’t care and become so violent over these sales, that the one employee ended up getting cut on his arm and a few other minor cuts from people with razors. The cops are called, 3 people are arrested, and the employee ends up getting like 15 stitches total.” zunnol
23. Dumping The DVD Doubles
“I was working in a video store and we marked down absolutely everything (including our selection of hundreds of used movies) to insanely low prices. I mean 50% or more in most cases. Used movies were practically giveaways.
Among the usual mobs were this guy and his wife who walked in with a box of those giant professional-grade trash bags. They proceeded to fill up four of these trash bags. At one point, they were just going through the used bins and throwing things in there.
Naturally then, when they got to the register, they had quite a few doubles. Every time they would hit a double, they’d remove it. Because of the sheer volume of movies, they had a tough time keeping up with everything and were taking forever to check out.
Luckily, my manager came up and, acknowledging the increasingly angry lines of people behind them, told the couple they can either buy everything they have in the bags regardless of whether it was a double or leave.
After some arguments, the husband eventually grabbed the bags and upended them, spilling the DVD’s on the floor right in front of the register. They then left.
The best part? Customers started to go after the movies on the floor like vultures before we could get to them.” Denton56
22. Kids Fighting Over Super Nintendo Nearly Turns Deadly
“Years ago, I got hired as seasonal help for Toys R Us. It was before they redesigned the stores into their current clusterf*ck and everything was in long aisles. I got stuck in aisle one, which was board games on one side and the big glass case of video games on the other. This was the year that Super Nintendo came out, so we had one behind the glass with a controller outside so you could try out Super Mario Land.
I’m up on a ladder getting more copies of Crocodile Dentist down to restock the lower shelves when I hear some yelling. I look down and two kids are shoving each other in front of the SNES. They start swinging at each other and the parents intervene, only to start fighting themselves. I slide down the ladder and my manager rushes over to try and stop things from getting worse. One of the parents had a bat in his cart and hits the other guy square in the back, knocking him into the display cabinet, shattering the glass and cutting him up terribly.
The guy with the bat realizes what he did and grabs his kids and tries to make a run for the door. Management attempts to block him from leaving as they went and got the cop that was outside directing traffic. The police came in and wrestled this guy to the ground while his kids watched. He resisted and got a serious beatdown in the middle of the store. The other guy that went through the glass was cut up and bleeding really badly. He ended up losing an eye over the whole thing.
After this was all over, we had to lock up the SNES and you could only try it out if management opened the case for you. The other really messed up part of this whole thing was that people were taking toys out of the cart of the cut-up guys cart as EMS worked on him and his kid sat there crying. One woman even tried to take the blood-splattered, demo SNES out of the broken case to try to buy for her kid. People are heartless, mindless sheep when it comes to cheap crap. Ever since this, I spend my Black Fridays at home.” Church_of_Xenu
21. Fighting To Steal A Furby
“I worked at Toys-R-Us when the original Furby came out. I walked in the back doors right before my shift, when doors were supposed to open. I had people follow me in and assault me trying to get a damn Furby. Then when doors finally did open, one parent pushed my coworker to the ground and jumped on top of a pile of people to get one from the display. She ended up kicking some poor schmuck in the head, grabbed a Furby, stuffed it down her shirt, and tried to casually walk out and steal it.” MsKnee
20. Holding Onto The PlayStation Two
“Around 10 years ago, I worked for Best Buy. I was hired as a seasonal employee while in college and actually enjoyed working there most of the time. Unfortunately, Black Friday ended my enjoyment for the big-box retailer. The year that the PS2 came out, I was in charge of issuing the systems to customers with vouchers (the ones who stayed all night camping out). The customers would approach me, and I kept 2 systems in my arms at a time and would go from the stock room to the floor in order to give out each system.
On one trip out of the stockroom, a gentleman (early 40s) approached me and proceeded to (try to) yank a system out of my hands and run with it. As an aside, I’m no small fellow. As the [im]mature gentleman attempted the grab and go, I simply tightened my grip and calmly said, ‘Your ticket first, sir.’ He rebutted with, ‘I don’t have a ticket, and I don’t need one; I ‘seen’ this thing first, so it’s mine.’ After a brief explanation of the voucher system, the man and his wife only seemed more angered that I refused to surrender the PS2.
To really convince me to give him the system, the gentleman then proceeded to say, ‘Okay, well I guess I’ll have to whip your a*s for it.’ Perhaps of my own naivete or the adrenaline, I responded, ‘Sounds great, let me clock out first, and I’ll meet you outside shortly.’ A little taken back by my response, the gentleman started to profusely apologize and even teared up giving me some sob story over why he deserved it. Of course, I didn’t surrender the system.
Needless to say, this was one of the reasons I did not hang around Best Buy for much longer. Sheer stupidity. A grown man trying to fight a 19-year-old who made $8.00/hr for a video game system. Brilliant.” JoeDirtMcGirt
19. Post-Surgery Pain Medication Ends Holiday Shift Early
“I had just undergone shoulder surgery the day prior to Thanksgiving. My boss told me I had better show up on Black Friday anyway, and I liked my job at Circuit City at the time (not for the job but for the coworkers), so I showed up at 5 am, only hours post-operation. I was there in a shoulder sling, popped a Percocet, and started the day.
My job was to handle the computers, so I dealt with the onslaught of people pushing me over to get free CD-Rs. Literally pushing me over. I fell down on my shoulder after some mother pushed me over a little kid, no lie. To squelch the pain, I took a Percocet.
Around 9 am, a man came in wanting to buy a CRT monitor. You know, those big heavy ones. He had a bunch of other items and wanted me to carry the monitor out to his car. I objected, but he started getting upset. So I dragged the monitor with my good arm and put it into a cart. I pushed it out to his car, put the monitor in, and the guy drove away without thanking me. I turned around and bumped into a customer with my bad arm. This sent a discharge of extreme pain running throughout my body. So I went inside and took a Percocet.
Flash forward to around 11 am. Customers look like blurs and I find myself drooling a little bit. A customer comes up and asks where he can find the monster cable. I found the idea of a ‘monster’ cable to be hilarious, so I laughed maniacally in his face. He backed away and asked another employee. I then proceed to sit on a computer box and tell stories about the adventures of Black Fridays of yore. Customers guarded their children. Nobody bothered me.
This went on for a good ten minutes in real-time, which felt like three hours to me. The manager in my department walked over to me, grabbed my good arm, and escorted me out of the building. She looked at me and said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow at 8.’
I missed my next shift.” joshsalvi
18. Avenging The Handicapped Man
“I saw an elderly woman steal an ice cream maker out of a man in a wheelchair’s electric handicapped cart. He got a security guard, and she flat out denied it, saying the man was using his handicap to embarrass her. I lost a little faith in humanity in that moment. I followed her and took stuff out of her cart and put it back on the shelves and put random embarrassing items in their place.” madamimadam89
17. Two Girls Fighting Over A Dress That Another Takes
“Not a worker but a shopper one dark Black Friday morning.
I was at an Urban Outfitters in San Diego looking at clothes at 4:30 in the morning when there is this shriek coming from the girls’ section. All the guys (there were only like 8 of us) all run over to watch these two 100 pound teenage blonde-haired entitled girls just going at it over some dress. No one was stopping them and then this little Asian girl walked out into the middle and slowly grabbed the dress while the girls were fighting and backed out of the circle. She calmly went to buy it while the two girls were ripping out each others hair and their moms were trying to stop them.” nnnaaaiii
16. Crazy Teenage Girl Fights Staff And Police
“I worked at an Ulta Cosmetics store a few years back and everything was crazy but good. Well, a group of teenage girls came in with HUGE bags and went straight to the perfume section. Then on top of that, they were cussing LOUDLY and a lot and were just generally disrupting everything. My manager goes over there and just calmly asking them to quit cussing and talking so loudly, and they f*cking erupted and started screaming and hollering like uncivilized farm animals.
My manager then, of course, told them to leave the store. At that point, I was close to the door along with pretty much all the other employees trying to call police/assess the situation, when this one chick who had been the main one screaming, pulled out mace and sprayed my manager straight in the eyes and then proceeded to do a spray over towards my area with the rest of the employees. Unfortunately for her, there was a f*cking HUGE guy there with his wife and he straight up tackled her and put her in a headlock while her friends ran away as fast as they could. The cops ended up having to tase her in the parking lot because she tried to bite an officer. Crazy stuff. I have never seen anyone behave like that over nothing. Haven’t worked retail since.” Psyqonaut
15. Trying To Hold Too Many Shoes
“I used to work for a large shoe store in an internationally famous outlet. It was only me and one other person working in the clearance section. None of the shoes are held out on the floor, they’re all stored in the back of the store. It was twelve hours of holding shoes between my legs, the crooks of my arms, one between my head and shoulder, frantically calling for sizes into a mic, while half of my customers and I could not communicate due to language barriers.” plum_blossom
14. Fighting Some Old Women And Helping Others
“I didn’t work at the store, but I was dragged by a friend of mine to Walmart to help him get a TV on Black Friday a few years ago.
Let me start by saying that I don’t even particularly like crowds. I am also not a violent person. I had heard lots and lots of Black Friday horror stories and had done pretty well avoiding them. However, about 6 years ago my friend asked me to help him get a second flat-screen television for his family since, at the time, Walmart had a policy that a single person could only reserve one item before midnight. That sounded pretty alright. I mean I just walk in and say I want the item. Simple as that. I was wrong. Dead wrong.
I show up at my local Walmart and there are people EVERYWHERE. I live in Tennessee, and everyone is pretty serious about Walmart here. These people were the worst of the worst. Several of them looked like they hadn’t seen daylight since last years sales. Anyway, I make my way through the crowd of southern fried faces and scoot through to the television section. We are informed that there are only two of the televisions that my friend wanted left on the reserve list. Awesome.
We tell the woman that we want the televisions, and she just sort of laughs. She then informs me that we have to reach over other people for hours and keep our hands on the televisions that we want. When midnight rolls around, they will unwrap all the items and tell everyone to ‘go’ and that is when we could take them.
This is where it gets good. We are waiting there for a couple of hours and we start to notice how many people are disappointed that there aren’t any more of the TV that we have our hands-on. Some women even started to cry. I obviously looked distressed with all the action going on, so two little old women who were next to me told me that it wouldn’t be that bad. I would be out of there before I knew it. I smiled and thanked them for their kind words just as it was nearing midnight.
The employees removed all the plastic from the displays of boxes and wait for the announcement. The P.A. system overhead comes on and just says ‘GO!!’ Then all hell breaks loose.
Apparently, all the people who were disappointed that there weren’t enough TVs had a plan. They just rushed over and started pushing people out of the way. They ran to the roped-off sides of the boxes and started to rip them away from other customers who had BEEN WAITING IN LINE FOR HOURS. Some of them were even succeeding.
I was kind of caught up in the moment and was staring at what was going on while being pushed on all sides. My friend grabs my arm and tells me to hurry and get my TV in the cart before everyone starts fighting. Just as I focus back into reality, a woman starts pulling on the other side of my TV box. I mean, she is really pulling it. I just hold on with all my strength and decide to just let them tire themselves out.
That’s when I notice two nice elderly ladies beside me. One was on the floor and was being stomped on by several other women trying to get to their televisions. The other was wailing and crying for God to help her. God didn’t help her that day, but I sure did.
While still holding onto my box with one hand, I reached into the sea of people and grabbed the television that the older women had their eyes on. I grabbed it off the shelf and started screaming for everyone to back up. That’s when they started hitting me. Women were clawing my face, pulling my hair, kicking my legs, and doing everything they could possibly do to make me let go of the old ladies’ television. I wouldn’t. On the other hand, literally, several women were on the other side of my original box trying to pull it away from my grip.
I yelled out to my friend to help the older women up, who were literally being buried by other women falling over themselves trying to rush up to the displays. As soon as they are out of the way, I just pull their television out, put it in the cart, and then grab my original box with both hands.
I may not be a violent man, but I wasn’t about to lose the original TV that I came in for. I got a great grip on the box and just pushed it towards all the women who were pulling on it. This caused them to all just fall in a big comedic pile on the floor. I made my escape from the sea of ladies and proceeded to the check out counters.
Now don’t get me wrong folks, it was awful and I have never gone back to a Black Friday since. I was covered in cuts and bruises, but it was all worth it just to see the look on those two ladies’ faces. They were so grateful that I helped them get that television. It was apparently a gift for the grandson of one of the women. She informed me that she didn’t have the money to get one that wasn’t on sale and had brought her friend to help her get the thing. They were so happy. They were just hugging me and telling me how I saved their Christmas. They immediately offered me what money they had for helping, but I, of course, I denied it.
And that is how I saved Christmas and knocked a bunch of women on the floor.” CaptainRealObvious
13. Coworker Dies For Televisions
“I worked at the Walmart in Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, New York. Was working the day one of my fellow co-workers got crushed to death by a large crowd who broke the doors and gate outside. That moment changed Black Friday for the retail world forever. I quit after that. I was not ready to lose my life to some TVs.” troublesmoker
12. Punched By An Elderly Asian Lady
“I was working at Target in the electronics department. Guitar Hero 3 was the hot item. The doors open and in pours a tidal wave of people charging my area. A hour or two go by and I’m slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I go to get a GH3 from the stockroom to give to a nice couple. I smile, go to hand it over, they reach out to receive it and……SNATCH!…An old Asian lady intercepts! She’s yanking it out of my hands. Being a strong young man, I decided to give her the physical equivalent of a ‘f*ck off’ and shake her loose. Old lady immediately seizes the opportunity with her newly emptied hands and punches me right in the throat. I instinctively put a hand to my neck as she fled back into the sea of a*sholes with her newly acquired GH3, never to be seen again. I learned a lesson that day, never EVER underestimate the elderly.” Omega777
11. Child Thrown Around For A Laptop
“My first and only Black Friday was my worst. I was 18 and working in digital imaging at Best Buy. To keep the story short and sweet, there was your typical (awful) $100 laptop people were flipping their wigs over to get. I saw a mother tell her 10-year-old son to run into the horde of idiots to grab one (thinking her son’s youth would save him from any harm I guess…).
Kid actually manages to wiggle his way through the crowd and grab one, only to be picked up under the arms by a 20-year-old and no joke, thrown back into a display of Flash drives. The 20-year-old grabs the laptop from the kid and runs like the wind.
Kid cries, the mom, hearing her son cry but unable to see him, proceeds to flip her sh*t. She looks at us at the cash registers like we are responsible and starts to scream at us to call the cops.
I don’t know what to think about the whole ordeal, of course, the 20-year-old is a jerk and is probably the worst person in this story, but the mom is what always agitated me. What in God’s name was she thinking bringing her kid to a 4 am catastrophe in hopes his bright-eyed cheerful face would protect him from a typical Black Friday madhouse?” MidnightSG
10. Massive Man Punches And Complains About Employee
“I was working at Best Buy the year we had the 42″ Sharp TV for $200. This massive guy and his equally massive father asked me to check the warehouse for any more stock on the TVs. I’m a 5’6″ female and didn’t even come up to their shoulders.
As I was looking at model numbers, both customers enter the warehouse. I politely ask them to leave as I am operating heavy machinery and it is not safe for them. They refuse, so I sternly tell them they must leave and I will meet them by the doors. They still refuse. I find their TV but informed them I would not pull it until they exit the warehouse, which they finally did.
As I’m using a dolly to move the TV, I push through the warehouse doors and am greeted by the father’s fist to my face. I stumbled backward into the warehouse doors and drop their TV.
They then told me to find my manager so they could complain that I was rude and intentionally damage their product. Thankfully my management team had paid the PD to be there, but both of them were only escorted out after making their purchases.” SavageCatcher
9. Woman Holds Up The Entire Store For A Return
“I was on the service desk at Toys R Us/Babies R Us handling the checkout overflow and any messed up transactions from that day. So, if a cashier double scanned something or a similar mistake was made that required a return to be run through the system, I would take care of it. We were not accepting any other forms of returns that day due to the high volume of customer traffic, and this was posted all over the place.
The number of people coming to the store for the sole purpose of returning an item was staggering. They didn’t want to buy or exchange anything, they only came in to do a return and then leave. One lady in particular when told that I could not return her item for her since it was not purchased that day said ‘I wanna talk to somebody else. Get your manager.’ So, I get the next person above me who was closest to my register, he tells her the same thing, she asks for somebody else. This woman held up my register for almost 30 minutes as we had to go through each and every supervisor/manager until she reached the Assistant Manager and started yelling for her to call the Store Manager (who was home asleep after working something like 20 hours already). The Assistant Manager finally just did the return to make her leave, but the fact that she was so stubborn about it was infuriating.” TheAmazing148
8. Free-For-All At Starbucks
“I worked at Starbucks, and Black Friday there is a little scary. Everyone at the mall wants to get coffee and get back to the lines for the big stores. I was the person on the door helping people stay in a semi-organized line as they rushed in. These two middle-aged ladies were arguing about who got there first. Then they started pushing and screaming about getting back to Target in time. Then crazy lady #1 takes a coffee cup off of the shelf and chucks it at crazy lady #2’s head. Only she doesn’t hit crazy lady #2, she hits innocent bystander #1 who retaliates by grabbing stuff off of the condiment bar a throwing it at both crazy ladies. This shortly becomes a free-for-all of people throwing stuff. I, being pretty small and not willing to jump into a group of people chucking stuff, hid behind the counter with my coworkers and called security and the police. We let them sort it out, and ended up closing and serving coffee to the police and security guards while we cleaned up the mess.” WomanInTheGarden
7. Three Days Camping Only To Lose Out On The Plasma TV
“I think it was around Black Friday 2004 and I was a cart pusher at a Wal Mart. This particular year, Walmart offered a plasma TV at an extremely low price and was the hottest deal of the year. A man showed up the Tuesday before the big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, TV and everything he needed to brave the three nights he would be staying over. He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma TV and how he was hosting the next Super Bowl party so this was just going to be the best thing ever.
Come around Thursday night, I showed up to my shift and he was still there in a jolly mood thankful he was about to be able to go home and sleep in his own bed. The news came and he did a short interview and explained what he was waiting for, how he was able to get the time off (he was a truck driver) and was overall excited over the whole ordeal and prided himself for toughing out the cold. The line for the entrance wrapped around the whole front of the door and about another 300 yards or so past the store with thousands of people waiting to get in.
At 5:00 am, the doors opened and the man goes straight to the plasma TVs to see that they were all gone. What happened? The garden center at the Walmart opened up about 10 seconds before the front doors and those that came the night before scooped up on all 15 plasma TVs. This guy who had been there since Tuesday afternoon was dumbfounded and argued with management but was stonewalled and told there was nothing that can be done. That guy’s thanksgiving was a bust for sure.” smuggling_info
6. Selling The Last Gameboy SP To The Sad Lady
“The only Black Friday I’ve ever worked, it was at K-Mart, and coincidentally the guy that was scheduled to work the electronics section called in ‘sick’ and I was the only other ‘capable person’ (as the manager described me) to take that position.
This was back when Game Boy Advance SPs were still a hot item, and we had a bundle deal with an SP and two games of your choice, for like $40 or something. It was an insane deal.
We only had 8.
The electronics section at this K-Mart, like most retail stores, was at the back of the store, and I should mention that at this point in the day, the overhead radio hadn’t kicked on yet.
They mentioned over the loudspeaker that they were opening the front doors, and so I got ready to get rid of these 8 SP bundles in the next 9 seconds or so.
I kid you not when I tell you that it was a literal rumbling from the front of the store where people were sprinting back to the electronics section. The first guy I saw started screaming that he wanted an SP, put it on the counter. So I did. It was smooth as could be as he sprinted by, grabbed the SP, and continued on to the sporting goods. The rest of it did not go as smoothly.
We had people pounding on the video game cases, I saw a lady get knocked to the ground and shoved out of the way so people could get to radios and CDs. The SPs were gone in a heartbeat and I spent the next couple of hours getting verbally destroyed by parents whose children now had a ruined Christmas.
There was one lady who still sticks out in my head, though. She was so nice and polite, all she wanted from the entire Black Friday sale was that SP, it’s the only thing her son had even asked for, she said. I was heartbroken that she was literally just a couple minutes too late. She was really, really sad and heartbroken.
As she was walking away, one of my coworkers came up with an SP in her hand saying the guy’s card was rejected at the register, and she handed it back to me. A few people saw it and started reaching at me to get it. But I got that one lady’s attention, told her we just got one back and it was hers if she’s ready to check out in the back right now. I kid you not when I tell you that her face got bright with happiness, and you could just tell 1,000 lbs of stress had been lifted off of her. She came back over to the register, she paid, and I paged one of the big guys to come to walk her out so she wouldn’t get targeted or stabbed on the way out.
The other people that saw probably still have wet dreams of dragging me down a dirt road, but I felt like an awesome person.” jackthebeanstalk
5. Elderly Woman Has Heart Attack Over MP3 Players
“One of the worst stories from my retail years:
I was working for a Media Play during Black Friday. They were going out of business, so there were just liquidation prices, no sale prices. We had made a tower of MP3 Players that were moderately priced and put them by the front door. I think they were $20 each or something like that — this was back when 512mb ones were just starting to be phased out.
People started to line up outside the door at 4 am. We don’t open until our normal 10 am time. At about 8 am, they start to bang on the door. My manager explains that we don’t open for another two hours, and things start to get a little rough outside. At 10 am, we open the doors a little later than the rest, but at least we open.
Leading the pack is an elderly woman who looked to be a hundred years old sporting a walker. She waddles into the store, ‘running’ with her walker, and dives for the MP3 Player Pyramid we’d put up — literally throwing herself into it with her arms out, frantically grabbing all she can get her hands on. She hits the ground, hard, and people start to flood the store. A few of them step on her. Being the normal retail zealots we are, we just sat there and watched the flood come in.
Meanwhile, on the floor, the fossil that hit the ground hard is suddenly clutching her chest. We’re all looking at each other trying to figure out what to do, so we try to help her up. She falls to the ground. The cycle repeats two more times until we finally realize it’s time to call the paramedics. During this entire situation, she’s holding three MP3 Players and absolutely refuses to let them go.
My co-worker dials 911, and the paramedics rush over with a gurney moments later. They’re loading her on to the stretcher, and she’s moaning about Christmas presents while still clutching the MP3 Players. The paramedics determined that between the excitement and throwing herself on the floor, the woman had triggered a heart attack.
Let me say that one more time: the woman gave herself a heart attack diving for MP3 Players.
The paramedics wheel her out and get her to the hospital. It wasn’t a major one, but she outright refused to drop the merchandise at any given time. It went in the ambulance with her. My boss went to visit her in the hospital later that day, in uniform, and her first words were ‘Oh my God, please don’t press charges, I promise I’ll pay for it right now.’
The mp3 players were sitting on her nightstand, next to her bed. It’d apparently taken a sedative to get her to let go of them.
By far, this is the most memorable Black Friday story I have, simply because there was nothing quite like watching a 500-year-old antique dive at a tower of mp3 players.” jaysapathy
4. Desperately Searching For Percy
“Former Toys R Us employee. A woman was frantically going through every rack of Thomas The Tank Engine toys, pulling things out, putting them on the ground and repeating on her search. I offered assistance and immediately she asked for ‘Percy, I need Percy!’ I usually worked in R’ Zone which was video games and electronics so if it wasn’t Thomas I had no clue. She explained he was green and after helping her look and checking out online it appeared we didn’t have it. She looked at me and said ‘I can’t go home without this’ and began to break down and cry. I stood there awkwardly for about a minute, said ‘Let me know if you need anything else’ and slowly walked away.
Happy Holidays.” serpicoded
3. Cleaning Up After Dogs In The Store
“Last year during the PEAK OF BLACK FRIDAY someone brought their two dogs into the store and let these dogs crap all over the place, then the lady who had brought the dogs, and every other person shopping, tracked dog doo-doo throughout the entirety of the store (I work at a small box store, Forever 21). My manger and I had to crawl around and scrap what we could up off the floors with box cutters, disinfectant spray, and paper towels DURING THE PEAK OF BLACK FRIDAY. It’s been a year and I still can’t figure out why you’d bring your dogs Black Friday shopping.” [deleted]
2. Handling Black Friday Returns Alone
“My second Black Friday goes down in the annals of my Black Friday stories. Due to a clusterf*ck of people calling off. I went in with the usual, ‘hey, at least today will go fast’ attitude. But then the people at the service desk called off.
What’s worse, I was manning the service desk by myself. And some of those impulsive shoppers from the morning, actually, a lot of them, were returning these impulse buys from the morning. TV’ and a lot of games and movies and other stuff we were selling.
Well, the problem with the Black Friday stuff is that they had it tagged Black Friday in the system so it wasn’t supposed to come up at all for purchase beforehand in case it ended up on the floor early. Unfortunately, that also meant that once Black Friday happened, some of the things never got unlisted and so came up as not for sale, meaning they had to get a manager override for it.
Well, guess what? That same system is at the service desk. Meaning, that person who wanted to return this item, I had to get a manager override for it, which could take minutes.
This isn’t the worst problem. The worst problem is that due to people calling off, there was a five-hour stretch where I was by myself at the service desk. And the supervisors came over and was like, ‘Your service desk line is out the door!’ I’m like, YOU THINK????
Then, because we had to have electronics approve all electronic returns (had to make sure everything was included), I had pretty much a long line of people waiting for electronics to have half a second to run to the front of the store to look through stuff. Plus, nobody from the departments came to pick up their returns, so I had a whole FUN TIME of trying to play Tetris with returns and I ran out of room at one point for everything.
At the end of the day, we’re supposed to clean up the rest of the returns and the claims. I calmly looked back at everything, laughed and went back to clock out.” chaoticpix93
1. They Waited Over Half A Day… For Towels
“I worked security at Target for 5+ years. For being a store in the rougher part of town, I don’t have too many horror stories. The funniest one I like to tell is a couple of years ago, I was there early doing crowd control. I would always talk to people in line, try to keep them entertained while they waited in the cold. The first couple in line had been there for about 13 or 14 hours. So we open the store, and we have deals on all sorts of electronics, toys, etc. They get in line and have a shopping cart full of towels that we had on sale for $2. That’s it. Just towels. They were first in line outside and waited over half a day for $2 towels. When I left after my 12-hour shift, we still had shelves full of these towels, along with tons more in the stockroom” Lineman72T
People can unleash a whole lot of crazy when faced with big-ticket items for small-ticket prices! From stampedes to bloodbaths, the gloves are off on Black Friday! Got a story to share? Tell us everything!