I agreed to work an eight hour shift during Thanksgiving for double pay. I thought pre Black Friday would not be a horror. It was probably going to be slow. “I might get some of my college reading done!” I foolishly thought.
As soon as I walked in, a long line stretched to as far as a few feet from the door. The store was handing out the people coupons.
The first thing I noticed was that 97% of the buyers were Indian. I had no idea why on this day I would only see Indian people. It was hard understanding some who had accents. I seriously thought I had visited India.
Then I saw the line go as far as the staircase from the cash registers. I immediately put myself to work!
And then it started. The horrors. And coupons.
Millions of Indian people and trillions of transactions per costumer!!! One made drama because he couldn’t apply a coupon to a folder and sweater. He actually told my manager to “get the manager” and we ended up giving him the discount just to make him leave. He was holding up the line. And his daughters left their stupid folders right there on the counter.
Then other idiots made me ring up all their crap for each separate transaction. My eyes were tired and it was a struggle to even look at the screen. After the last transaction, they went through the receipt and said they wanted to return (Yes, a return in a Black Friday line!) these two items. I was clearly too stressed and told them to just draw a line next to the items they wanted to return.
But, oh, no. The worst memory from Thanksgiving day was this Asian woman who wanted to practically steal a coupon. Her first transaction went remarkably well. Her second, however, was a complete disaster. She asked me THREE times about the cost of the TWO items. I persistently told her that they were on sale. She made me go back to the scanning page, even after I had applied the coupon. She practically wasted my time because I had just placed the coupon inside the register.
“WHERE’S MY COUPON? WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY COUPON??” She was standing right next to me by the register.
Even though I had placed her coupon in the register, I could still apply it manually again.
“Your coupon is here…I placed it here.” I replied, pointing to the register.
“OH, THERE’S MY COUPON!!!” she exclaimed as she picked one up from the floor.
Since childhood, I have believed in doing things the fair way, most of the time. This time I didn’t think it right for her to go behind the cash register and pick up a random coupon from the floor.
“Excuse me, that’s not yours. Your coupon is in here already,” I told her while pointing to register once again.
“YES, THIS IS MY COUPON!!!” she insisted.
“No, it is not yours!” I said as I actually tried to grab the thing away from her hand.
The lady was pissed and started yelling things I can’t remember. Her mother was cursing at me in her own language. We kept arguing.
My boss told me to take a break. I immediately dashed to the break room in a really bad mood. I took out my diary and bitched about the idiots with their coupon obsessions. My feet were hurting like hell and I just wanted to walk out of the job.
The rest of my shift included more Indian people and millions of transactions per person. But, that was not all. They had not made up her mind about what they wanted to buy, nor were actually sure of the price. #WasteMyTime
I soon got fed up with them bringing a lot of clothes and leaving it on the counter behind the register when they changed their minds. The next costumers had to take their crap back themselves.
I can recall feeling bitchier as the hours progressed. One costumer made me re-do the entire transaction after I had scanned everything, so I sarcastically said, “Well, now I’ll have to just redo everything.”
I am terrible at costumer service, I know. At one point I just wanted to tell them all to go fuck themselves, throw their clothes at their faces, and place their coupons in the shredder.
I didn’t even fold clothes before putting them in bags. I just shoved them in there. I don’t even work in the clothing department.
But, it continued on Friday. The lines weren’t as long and my costumers weren’t nearly all Indians.
Ah, but one experience made me actually consider quitting my job. It was another Asian lady and our transaction was going splendid. She appeared a bit annoyed though. When I got to the coupon screen during the transaction, she gave me hers. The thing did not apply when scanned. I read that it had expired on the 15th. I don’t know why, but telling those annoying costumers that their coupons didn’t work just felt great.
“Your coupon expired about ten days ago. I can’t use it.” I told her in a flat voice.
“Well, I just got this in the mail. Can’t you make an exception?” she asked.
“Well, I’d need to get a manager, so let me call one really quick.”
I tried to use the walkie talkie correctly, but I think I was able to speak through it. I called a manager.
Four minutes later, there was still no manager. I told her that they were really busy at that moment.
“Well, I’m just gonna wait for the manager then.” she declared.
“But, ma’am, you’re kinda holding up the line.” I replied. The words escaped from my mouth. I never call anyone “ma’am” except when I intend to sarcastically.
“I know I’m holding up the line. I just don’t see why you would send me expired coupons.”
“It’s not our fault that you got an expired coupon. We don’t send them to you. We just work here.” my co-worker said.
“If you want to wait for a manager, you can wait by the chairs behind us…” I said.
“I’m not gonna wait here all day.”
Suddenly, a manager came and the costumer followed her with her pair of unpaid jeans.
Minutes later, the manager came back looking all serious and telling me that next time I should call a manager. I, annoyed as hell already, told her that I had called one with the walkie-talkie.
“Oh, well, I didn’t hear you…”
More minutes passed and all the big-time managers from the store went behind the register. I had no idea what the hell was going on or what that old hag had told them. This was making me nervous. Even my own manager looked at me weird when she left, but I don’t know if she knew what had happened.
One last memorable story from Black Friday was yet another tragic encounter with Coupon Satan.
This Indian lady wanted to use her coupon, but it wasn’t applicable until 5pm. It was about 4:42, so I was nice and gave her the discount manually. This had happened the day before, so I just did this to avoid any additional drama. You don’t know how insane people can get because of goddamn coupons.
So, she waited until five and was back in line. I realize she had ripped me off when she made me use the actual coupon in her second transaction. Many of these people seemed to be well off financially, but I didn’t understand why they were so cheap and coupon obsessed.
I hated working with such low-end costumers. I was offered a position for full time in a high end department store, but couldn’t take it because of college. No people there would make drama about coupons over ugly clothes.
I did not move back to the USA to give service to people like the ones in the country I had lived in: rude and cheap.
I’m moving to Europe in the future. Yup. I like the culture there better. People there don’t act as primitive. Maybe Norway. I liked Norway a lot. I didn’t see annoying rabble-rousers.
I will eventually quit my job, but I just need to build up a little more experience. Maybe six months?
All I know is that if you have misanthropic qualities, do not work in retail.
I didn’t get any Black Friday shopping done. It seems Black Friday is a scam. Only ugly things are cheaper on that day. Or maybe that is just my taste! I ended up buying a T.Rex sweater online, but it cost me around forty bucks, so yay Black Friday!
Still, I got paid twenty bucks an hour. Then again…more taxes will be taken off. All worth it for giving service to caca people?
I’ll just focus on college.