When you work retail its a given you will work Black Friday and so, like the past handful of years, I’ve opted out of the big family Thanksgiving dinner so that I could mentally prepare myself for the nightmare that is the dangerous shopping event after turkey day. This year I was blessed with a schedule allowing me to miss the initial door opening chaos (yeah this time around I wasn’t that food drunk at 3AM) and with my new position I didn’t have to deal with a 14 hour shift filled with flyer in my face “where can I find this” attitude and the almost definite meltdown when my answer is sold out. Apparently we are supposed to 3-d manufacturer the advertised products on demand despite the advertisement stating while supplies last. But being able to have a few more glasses of wine with dinner this year did come with a downside….I missed out on some of the fun.
M, a sales associate for unnamed big box retailer happens to notice a loving mother in the furniture department with her two children. Not thinking much of it M continues on doing her job. But then, in the corner of her eye she notices something a bit peculiar. Loving mother has now placed her children on one of the demo beds. As M watches, loving mother continues to turn down said demo (sheets and all) and allow her apparently worn out children to get comfortable. I’m assuming the heavy winter coat and shoes were off at this point. Loving mother continues to tuck them into bed nice and tight and proceeds to walk away. Being the sales associate M is, she knows that the furniture within the furniture department is by no means a daycare center and as she makes her way to the now horrible mother, she ensures no other adult is with the under the age of 10 children now on the way to lala land. Upon approaching the mother, M informs her that she cannot leave her children unattended and M also informs horrible mom that her children are not allowed to take a nap on the demo furniture. Astonished Horrible Mom definitively states that her children were tired and needed a nap. Being politely, M insists that the furniture department is not the place for napping children and again insists she wrangles up her children and possibly take them home. Ending statement from Horrible Mom…….”Well I’m not done shopping?!?!”
This year most retailers opened up Thanksgiving evening and when the doors open, all hell breaks loose. Its not unheard of to get tripped, trampled and bruised all on account of steeply discounted coffee pot or TV. Associate T knew this all too well which is why this year she just didn’t open the doors and opted to post up somewhere in her department slightly unready but willing to assist the bargain hungry customers. In the midst of the chaos, T feels a slight tug and looks down to see a petrified face. Yes, when on the hunt for that illusive $10 toaster, one may forget to make sure the child they arrived with is still by their side. So was the case with a young lad who immediately informed T he needed help finding his mom. “Well what’s your mom’s name?” Luckily he in fact knew his mother’s name but the the name itself was not easy to pronounce. T repeatedly asked him if the pronunciation was correct and each time he replied with no. Helpless on account of the language barrier, the announcement over the loud speaker was made and made and made. Each time a different pronunciation was used but still no one was presenting themselves as the owner of the missing child in the linens department. On any other day, the store would have stopped upon the third loud speaker announcement due to sheer laughter as the speaker butchered a customers name but being it was Black Friday, no one stopped to even listen once…..including the mother of the abandoned boy. Then, when all hope was lost and the next step was to bring the child down to the main office, screaming and yelling was heard in the distance. Soon an angry woman was seen charging towards T and the other helpful associate screaming in a foreign language in what could only be described as aggressive. Upon reaching T the yelling did not stop and unfortunately no one knew what was being said. Luckily though it appeared to the missing mom and the little boy left with the screaming woman probably only to be abandoned again in another over crowded store.
The moral of the story…I don’t think children should partake in Black Friday. Thanks to a few of my friends for supplying an endless amount of laughter from their horror stories of the holiday shopping kick off and here’s to the end of one crazy day. By the way if you didn’t manage to nab anything good this year for your dad/brother/uncle/boyfriend/husband I suggest this Cusinart kitchen electric. Not only is it $65 on sale from $235, everytime a man sees the commercial they get a little happy and wonder why exactly they don’t one……..just a suggestion.