5 Black Friday Tips From a Stressed-Out Retail Employee [#SAVETHANKSGIVING]
When the family is done eating the turkey and the pie, there's only one thing on many people's minds: Black Friday – the official start to the holiday shopping season. As a retail employee, I consider this day to be a fate worse than hell.
I worked my first Black Friday three years ago. It was a night shift, I had gotten plenty of rest, and the stuffing had been digested by the time I walked into work around 3 p.m. I didn't have to deal with a lot of customers – only a messy store.
Last year, I wasn't so lucky. I didn't open my store, but I started at 2 a.m. – right in the middle of the morning rush. And that morning taught me a lot and helped me realize how we all should be nicer to those working retail, especially on Black Friday. To help aid your shopping escapades, here are a few tips if you plan on braving the midnight hours for a new TV.
1. Read the coupon fine print before you leave the house. I hate coupons. The only thing I hate more than coupons is when someone yells at me about coupons. My advice? Read them before you go out. More often than not, you can only use each coupon once, and it probably excludes the one thing you want to buy. Instead of fighting with me and holding up the line, just know what you can and cannot get to keep the holiday cheer in the air. (And here’s a tip: Louder talking isn't going to make anyone give you a deal.)
2. Don’t cut the line. If you cut the line, you will be "that guy." And no one likes "that guy." Just don’t cut in line. Ever.
3. Leave your kids at home. I've worked in kids’ retail, and let me tell you, kids + shopping mall/any kind of store = a really bad idea. They scream, they cry, and they generally make a mess out of everything in sight. Strollers take up too much space, and your kids are going to jump on the beds and possibly fall off, and that’s not a good time for anyone involved. Get in, get out, and don’t get dragged down by little rugrats.
4. Have a plan. Plan out what you’re buying and at what store before you get to the mall. If you have a game plan, you’ll be in and out much faster, and you’ll be able to get every gift on your list. And the faster you leave, the easier retail employees’ days are.
5. Be nice to cashiers. Cashiers are human, too. They aren't robots put behind a register with the sole purpose of serving you. They probably woke up earlier than you, or maybe they had their Thanksgiving festivities cut short to be at Target at 9 p.m. As said in tip no. 1, yelling will get you nowhere. Retail employees usually have no control over the price of an item, if you can use a coupon or how fast stock of an item sells. Just remember that person has feelings and isn't allowed to scream back without getting fired.