Black Friday from Behind the Registers

It’s that time of year, folks! The trees are in the windows, the sale flyers are in the mail. Holiday Season is upon us. What people that have never worked retail at holiday don’t realize is that we’ve been prepping at the store level for this weekend since Columbus Day (and I’m sure that our corporate types have been prepping since last holiday season). So, to make your Black Friday shopping experience more enjoyable for all parties involved, here are some handy tips.

1. Don’t be an asshole.

Listen, I get that you waited in line for an hour just to get into the store to get dibs on that amazing doorbuster. And I understand your irritation. But, as a cashier, I don’t have any control whatsoever over how much of a product gets sent to our store. There are people in a corporate department that work that out with fancy equations. I can’t magically make more appear once it’s sold out.

2. Don’t be an asshole.

So, you cut your Thanksgiving short to go shopping? I cut mine short to go to sleep so that I could come to work all night dealing with impatient people who want everything for next to nothing. I’m grateful for my job and the perks that it has, but if it weren’t for the little bonus we get for working the overnight shift (Thanks, Head Honchos at My Company!!!), I’d be at home in my comfy bed, snoring happily with my partner and our cats.

3. Don’t be an asshole.

As a minion, I don’t have any control over corporate policies, and I’m not in a position to bend the rules. I will happily call over a manager, who is in that position (within reason). If you’re nasty to me, it won’t help your case. I can’t change the rules, but I do have some influence on those that can (once again, within reason, I can’t help if you want us to find you a unicorn or give you something for free).

4. Don’t be an asshole.

It’s 4 a.m., and I’ve been here in what can only be described as organized chaos for almost 8 hours now. The music is blaring and the roar of the crowd is getting to a fevered pitch. To say there are distractions is a huge understatement. I’m doing my best to stay focused, but I’m not a machine, and mistakes can happen. Items get scanned twice, change gets counted out wrong. Due to the sheer volume of transactions, something is going to slip by. There are new associates who are understandably nervous, and fatigue can be a cruel monster. If this happens to you, calmly let the person taking care of you know what happened, and we’ll make it right. Throwing a hissy fit isn’t going to do anything but get everyone upset. I really do take your money seriously and value your patronage. We are doing our best.

And finally…

5. Have fun!

A pleasant, upbeat attitude is contagious. There are many times that a really kind or pleasant customer will completely change the way my shift is going. Make a joke, even if it’s a bad one. I’m surviving pretty much solely on caffeine, so everything is funny at this point! It’ll be great! You’ll leave happy, and I’ll have a (real) smile for the next customer. Everyone wins!

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[E]queSarahSarah

Part-time artist, full-time crankypants who dabbles in knitting, running, and burpees.

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