Okay, for the moment, let's push all the negativity surrounding Black Friday aside. After fearing the worst, especially after seeing the line outside my store going around the corner, I can honestly say Black Friday was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Not to say that there weren't complaints, there were, but not as many as I feared. The Mighty Thrognar was looking over me this night.
Luckily(?) Soul's decided to open at midnight, not at stupid o'clock on Thursday, when most people would still be eating dinner (although Mrs. NC, who works at Wal-Mart had to be in at 6PM on fucking Thursday night). That didn't stop us from having a shitload of people shopping. So I get to work about 11:45, see the line and get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I get inside, and look at the listing of who goes where in the back... and fail to see my name. Don't tell me I came in for nothing! I go and find the manager, Perky (so named because she has a perky sounding voice) and Cue Ball (so named due to his shaved head) and ask them where they want me. They set me up bagging on one of the registers (each cashier had a bagger). No problem, being behind the register is probably the safest place in the store, out of the way of the stampeding customers and the noise drowns out the shitty music we play.
12:59:50. "Everybody ready?"
No not really, but let the zombie horde in anyway.
LP opens the door and here they come... in a calm and controlled manner? Ok, where the fuck is Rod Serling? Yes, the first few idjits through the door were practically running in, but other than that, because we only had one door open, the custys couldn't trample each other. So a few minutes go by and then the line forms, and the fun starts. Now don't get me wrong, we didn't have a whole lot of crusties, we had a few, but if we had any really bad ones, they didn't come through my register. In fact, a lot of the customers were nice, joking around with us, and genuinely making me smile. Then there were the idiots. Some of our items were items that you got a mail-in rebate for. Not everyone wanted that, they wanted their savings NOW DAMMIT! I understand that sometimes rebates take a while to come in, but that's not our fault. The receipt came with a form to fill out and the address to send it to to get your rebate. Yes, I know snail mail sucks, but if you want your rebate, you gotta mail it in.
Then there were the people who didn't understand how our Soul's Cash promotion works. It works thusly. For every fifty dollars you spend, you get $15 in Soul's Cash. A coupon that can only be used between November 26 - December 3. However, the $50 you have to spend has to be BEFORE taxes and AFTER any discounts (customers had special coupons that could take $10 and/or 15% off their purchase) in order to get the Soul's Cash. We had to explain the above over and over again. People were trying to buy more and more stuff just to get the Soul's Cash. Then there were the people complaining about the sale prices (we had to point out on the register screen that the discount would be taken off at the END of the transaction, not in the middle).
$2 man: This guy was kinda funny in that he paid with (perfectly legal) $2 bills. Luckily not his whole purchase, but it did throw off my cashier and she had to recount his money 4 times because the $2 bills kept throwing her off.
The discount twins: They were having a good natured argument about who was going to end up saving more, and getting more Soul's Cash. Twin 2 ended up saving more than Twin 1 as well as getting more Soul's Cash. Although I did like Twin 1, when getting her Soul's Cash, said "Yeah, bitches I'm rich!", but she only said it loud enough that I could hear it. We both had a good laugh.
Towel lady: "Quick give me another towel!" She had her sister hand her towel after towel to try and push her total over $50 so she could get her Soul's Cash. She missed it by two dollars.
Imelda Marcos: I ended up using six bags to pack all the shoes she bought.
The "I hate shopping with my mom" teens: Kids who swore they would NEVER go Black Friday shopping with their mothers ever again!
I know we all hate it when customers say "If it doesn't scan/have a price tag it must be free" and "I just printed that this morning" when giving you a $50 or $100 bill. Here's the opposite of those types. One woman came up with a shirt she wanted, but before she got to the register she realized the one she wanted didn't have a price tag, so she got one of a different size, with a price tag on it. Turns out it wasn't necessary because the cashier was able to punch in the UPC manually from the size tag, but it was the thought that counted. No one made the joke about just printing money, just the opposite, a woman came up and paid with a couple of $50's. She said, "Trust me, those are real, I didn't just make them." to which the cashier and I replied "Well if you did, I'd ask you to hook me up, because I could use a little extra cash!" and we all had a good laugh. Finally, the cashier was checking ID's on Soul's Credit cards and regular credit cards. People were actually thanking her for checking the ID's saying most people didn't bother checking. I explained "Well, we have to, if we don't they take us in the back and beat us severely." The customer asked "20 lashes with a wet noodle?" Again, much laughter was had. A customer genuinely thanked me when I helped her lug an ottoman out to her car.
All cashiers and baggers were given bottled water, since we couldn't leave the registers, and they bought in breakfast sandwiches from Bojangles (and Quizno's for the afternoon/evening shifts). At about 4am the crowd died down and Cue Ball pulled me from bagging and had me walk the floor to help customers and re shop the store (after I took a fifteen minute break). Even then customers were nice (for the most part). Finally 6am rolled around and I went up to Cool Manager and asked her "Permission to run screaming into the night?"
"It it six am already?"
And with that I was gone. All in all, not a bad Black Friday. Even if I did have to go back that night and work ad set. But if all Black Friday's are going to be like that, I won't mind working them. I don't want to, but with the asshole crustys being far and few between, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
I still think Black Friday should be outlawed.