black-fridayBlack Friday may only just have caught on in Kenya, but in the US, it is a tradition that stretches years. For decades, Americans have flocked retail stores on the day after Thanksgiving to take advantage of heavily discounted products.

Until the advent of the internet and online shopping, this was mostly an offline affair. Thousands upon thousands make lines in and around major retail stores like Walmart, hoping to land their hands on a bargain. However, it is not always smooth.

Read: Black Friday Sales Set To Break All Records in Kenya 

Some of the products on offer are usually just a few units, and the result is more often than not physical tussles.

Some guys took to Reddit to narrate some of their worst experiences at retail stores on Black Friday. Here are some of the most horrific stories we could find.

**************************************************

Back in my poor college days when I worked at walmart we had a fight break out over a bike. Fists were thrown and there was some blood. Eventually one guy got ahold of it and managed to get away from the crowd, he rode the bike out of the store to flee his pursuers (without paying).

**************************************************

I’ve thrown one punch in my life. It was on black Friday.

So it was the year the 360 came out. I was standing in line to get some external hard drive next to the video games. And there was this 11ish year old kid with a woman in her 60s. He was waiting for his 360 bundle. Woman before him had “gotten the last one,” sighs all around. Then he says “nope one more” and begins the motion of handing it to the kid and this guy comes out of no where and pushed the older woman and the kid. The kid hit his face on the edge of a video game rack, you know the one with the metal and plastic dividers. At 19,years old I don’t know what came over me but I instantly swung for the dudes head and caught him right in the temple sending him into a kurig tower in the middle of the Isle. Everyone froze, including me. Guy had dropped the 360 and got up and walked away. I slid it with my foot to the kid and he didn’t say anything either.

Best part was, as I still wanted the hard drive, I turned to get back in the end of the line. At the same time the rep I’m charge of handing out the other items such as the hard drive asked who was next. The first two people in line just pointed at me, causing me to skip about 5 spots in line.

Tl;dr: punched a guy in the face who tried stealing a 360 from an 11 year old.

**************************************************

Worked security at Target for 5+ years. For being a store in the rougher part of town, I don’t have too many horror stories. The funniest one I like to tell is a couple years ago, I was there early doing crowd control. I would always talk to people in line, try to keep them entertained while they waited in the cold. The first couple in line had been there for about 13 or 14 hours. So we open the store, and we have deals on all sorts of electronics, toys, etc. They get in line and have a shopping cart full of towels that we had on sale for $2. Thats it. Just towels. They were first in line outside and waited over half a day for $2 towels. When I left after my 12 hour shift, we still had shelves full of these towels, along with tons more in the stockroom

********************************

I worked at RadioShack for a year in college. During Black Friday, one of the sale items was a $10 calculator marked down to $5. Two sweet, elderly women came in to the store looking for them. When I told them there was only one left in the display, the shit was ON.

It turned in to a geriatric version of roller derby without the skates. The one grandma who lost the race called the other one a “fucking bitch” as she was standing in the checkout line, gripping her $5 prize.

I always imagined some little kid opening presents on Christmas morning and getting this stupid $5 calculator, not really wanting it and having no clue about the back story behind it, as his grandma, sipping her tea, looks on with a triumphant gleam in her eye.

**************************************************

I think it was around Black Friday 2004 and i was a cart pusher at a Wal Mart. In this particular year, Wal mart offered a plasma tv at an extremely low price and was the hottest deal of the year. A man showed up the Tuesday before the big sale with a tent, ice coolers, generator, tv and everything he needed to brave the three nights he would be staying over.

He continuously talked about being first in line and how he was going to get the plasma tv and how he was hosting the next Super Bowl party so this was just going to be the best thing ever. Come around Thursday night, I showed up to my shift and he was still there in a jolly mood thankful he was about to be able to go home and sleep in his own bed. The news came and he did a short interview and explained what he was waiting for, how he was able to get the time off (he was a truck driver) and was overall excited over the whole ordeal and prided himself for toughing out the cold. The line for the entrance wrapped around the whole front of the door and about another 300 yards or so past the store with thousands of people waiting to get in.

At 5:00am, the doors opened and the man goes straight to the plasma tvs to see that they were all gone. What happened? The garden center at the walmart opened up about 10 seconds before the front doors and those that came the night before scooped up on all 15 plasma tvs. This guy who had been there since Tuesday afternoon was dumbfounded and argued with management but was stonewalled and told there was nothing that can be done. That guys thanksgiving was a bust for sure.

**************************************************

Walmart story time.

A couple years ago when the sale started there was a surge of people trying to get their stuff. One lady got knocked down and her pen went straight into her neck thankfully missing the jugular. The fucked up part is no one tried to help they just walked over her to get their shitty deal items.

An associate that saw it happen had to stand over top over her to protect her from getting trampled. When the ambulance crew arrived they had to literally shove people out of the way because no one would move.

People suck.

**************************************************

So I worked for Mrs. Fields Cookies in my local mall during black friday back when I was in high school. Our manager got called to a store in a different city because a manager had very severely hurt themselves melting chocolate for their chocolate dipped cookies. I end up having to work for the majority of the day with an equally lazy buddy of mine slinging cookies and taking orders for cookie cakes while the mall was packed. Around 4 in the afternoon (and about 1600$ in sales) a gentlemen in a button down Mrs. Fields Cookies Shirt comes to our counter telling us he had to do a mid day drop for us for whatever money we had taken in in the day. I let him in the back. He tinkers for a second on the computer and ends up taking our deposits.

So now its an hour before closing time. My boss is now back to our location to help us close. He starts going through our paperwork and money and realizes we are about 1600$ short. I explain to him that Mr. Soandso came down to our location to do a mid day drop since he didn’t work. He told me Mr. Soandso doesn’t exist and calls the corporate office. It turned out this guy had gone to over a dozen Mrs. Fields in the area and robbed over 10k worth of money. They never figured out who it was. I ended up being fired over it with my buddy. We stole a giant cookie cake as compensation. Worth it.

**************************************************

Working in the electronics dept. A little old lady punched a teenage boy in the face to get the last radio he had picked up. She snatched it up and ran.

**************************************************

I worked at walmart for 4 years and worked all Black Fridays. I’ve seen a woman hit another woman in the chest with those toddler car boxes you drive in. Woman who got hit was a week or 3 post op of open heart surgery. Lots of blood. Right In front of me. No idea what happened to the woman who hit her. I do think she got the toy car purchased it and left.

**************************************************

Never worked retail, but I deliver to alot of retail stores (trucker). Showed up with a delivery at a Wally-World about 8am on Black Friday, and couldn’t even back into the dock, it’s like my rig giving off an aroma that attracts fat dumpy house-frau’s.

Turns out they had some ridiculous price on flat screen TV’s and had run out. The store manager had told them there were more coming in on the next truck that morning. So, naturally, they saw me and thought they’d be allowed to just grab them off the truck?

Man were they disappointed when they saw I had a trailer full of brand new shopping carts.

**************************************************

A simple one, not a horror story, but funny:

I managed a RadioShack store in a mall. An old lady came in with her walker for a new battery for her cordless phone, completely oblivious to what day it was.

She asked me if the mall was always so busy.

**************************************************

I ran an electronics department in a large retail store and was a veteran to Black Friday. My team always had everything under control. We had tickets for everything that would sell out quickly, we knew exact numbers and where everything was, and had signs for lineups for hourly deals. We were always prepared and never had an issue.

One year, the district manager decided to “observe” our store during Black Friday. She stopped by my department in the thick of it to see how things were going on my end. It was insanely busy of course, but we had everything managed. She was carrying a piece of paper which she told me had some unadvertised markdowns for old inventory. This was news to me. She glanced at it, grabbed my phone, and made a store-wide announcement that we had JVC Digital Camcorders marked down to $49, regular price $199.

As she was making the announcement, I stood there with my jaw open. A sense of fear came over me. I knew the model that was just marked down, and we did have it in inventory. The problem was, we only had 4. The store was packed, and a fast-moving zombie horde of shoppers immediately swamped my department from all sides. It was some Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead shit. As the horde swept over my department, I saw my district manager hightail it out of there.

I have never been in more fear for my life.

**************************************************

An 80 year old grandma tackled and then bear-maced a woman over fleece fabric at my store.

The old lady wanted a cancer pink-ribbon fabric, and the woman she ultimately tackled had called ahead and ordered a bulk amount of it, because she works for a cancer organization and makes blankets for cancer patients.

The woman was wheeling a cart in the store with several large bolts of the fabric in it (which she had special ordered, and we put it in the cart for her so she could continue shopping.) Old lady sees that this woman has “ALL the bolts” and it isn’t right that she’s hogging the entire stock of that particular print. The woman explains the situation and that she in fact special ordered these, and that the reason she was coming in on black friday to purchase them is because they were a major black friday promotion at 60% off.

The old lady continues to yell at the poor woman. The woman very calmly keeps trying to reassure her that she is not taking any of the store stock, and that she makes blankets for dying women with breast cancer. She is a very sweet store regular who pays out of pocket for all the blankets, and so my store held the fabric for her until black friday, when she would come in and purchase them with her coupon.

Old lady doesn’t give a shit. Whips out mace and tackles the woman.

Old lady gets kicked out of the store. She would come in once every couple of months, give me the stink eye, and then rebelliously write down recipes from the home and food magazines so she wouldn’t have to buy them. Then she’d scurry out and come back in a few months.

**************************************************

This is not a horror story but it did happen early on Black Friday. In 2008 my son and I stood all night outside Best Buy so he could get a deal on a gaming console. They are really organized and they passed out papers to people for the door busters. They let those in the front of the line pick first. We were 12 back or so. They had laptops for $299, $499, $699, etc., as well as other great prices. So they get 5-6 people past us and a lady asks for the $299 dollar laptop and the clerk says they only have the $499 and up laptops left. Lady starts to cry, says she’s starting night school and can’t afford the $499 laptop and that she waited all night (which she had because she got there shortly after we did). A complete stranger from in front of us in the line walks over to her and says, “I knew I brought so much cash for a reason”, and then peeled off $200 and handed it to her and walked back to his spot. People were losing it. “Do you know him?!” “Nope.” “Did you see that, a guy gave that woman $200.” Coolest thing I’ve ever witnessed at Christmas.

**************************************************

Around 10 years ago, I worked for Best Buy. I was hired as a seasonal employee while in college, and actually enjoyed working there most of the time. Unfortunately, Black Friday ended my enjoyment for the big box retailer. The year that the PS2 came out, I was in charge of issuing the systems to customers with vouchers (the ones who stayed all night camping out). The customers would approach me, and I kept 2 systems in my arms at a time and would go from the stock room to the floor in order to give out each system.

On one trip out of the stockroom, a gentleman (early 40s) approached me and proceeded to (try to) yank a system out of my hands and run with it. As an aside, I’m no small fellow. As the [im]mature gentleman attempted the grab and go, I simply tightened my grip and calmly said, “your ticket first, sir.” He rebutted with,”I don’t have a ticket, and I don’t need one; I ‘seen’ this thing first, so it’s mine.” After a brief explanation of the voucher system, the man and his wife only seemed more angered that I refused to surrender the PS2.

To really convince me to give him the system, the gentleman then proceeded to say, “okay, well I guess I’ll have to whip your ass for it.” Perhaps of my own naivete, or the adrenaline, I responded, “Sounds great, let me clock out first, and I’ll meet you outside shortly.” A little taken back by my response, the gentleman started to profusely apologize and even teared up giving me some sob story over why he deserved it. Of course I didn’t surrender the system.

Needless to say, this was one of the reasons I did not hang around BB for much longer. Sheer stupidity. A grown man trying to fight a 19 year old who made $8.00/hr for a video game system. Brilliant.

**************************************************

My first and only black Friday was my worst. I was 18 and working in digital imaging at Best Buy. To keep the story short and sweet there was your typical (awful) $100 lap top people were flipping their shit over on Black Friday. I saw a mother tell her 10 year old son to run into the horde of idiots to grab one. (Thinking his youth would save him from any harm I guess?)

Kid actually manages to wiggle his way through the crowd and grab one, only to be picked up under the arms by a 20 year old and no joke, thrown backwards into a display of Flash drives. The 20 year old grabs the laptop from the kid and runs like the wind.

Kid cries, the mom, hearing her son cry but unable to see him proceeds to flip her shit. She looks at us at the cash registers like we are responsible and starts to scream at us to call the cops.

IDK what to think about the whole ordeal, of coarse the 20 year old is a dick and is probably the worst person in this story, but the mom is what always agitated me. What is god’s name was she thinking bringing her kid to a 4am cluster fuck, in hopes his bright eyed cheerful face would protect him from a typical black Friday mad house?

The story does have a happy ending, I got the fuck out of retail and never had to experience another one of those ever again. What happened to the mom and son and the other guy? Fuck if I know?

**************************************************

Today, one of our male customers hit another male customer upside the head with a crock pot. What were they fighting over? The crock pot. Both customers had to be dragged out of the store by the police.

**************************************************

Even though I worked at Walmart for almost eleven years, I somehow avoided the worst of the Black Friday crowds. Still, here are some highlights:

  • Cart stealing, every damn year. Never put a doorbuster item in your cart and turn your back.
  • Cops arresting someone for the stealing a cart with a woman’s purse in it.
  • Layaway lines that stretched almost three-quarters of the perimeter of the store. People would try to sneak into line and nearly get beaten by the people behind them.
  • Customers asking electronics associates if they’ll watch their kids so they can shop. Happened more than once.
  • Multiple workers reduced to tears by customers literally screaming at them, including a poor 18 year old girl that was called an ignorant whore because the store ran out of Game Boys. More than one of these people were thrown out of the store.
  • A guy that bought two Tickle Me Elmo dolls, then waited until the store was sold out. He stood in the parking lot trying to sell it for like $300. His 10 or 11 year old stood just behind him holding a bat, “just in case.”
  • By far the best was three grandmothers getting into a literal fist fight over the last Furby. A full on brawl, rolling around on the floor, kicking & punching. Nobody knew what to do. It took two women and a manager to pull them apart. It was the most screwed up thing I’ve ever seen.

**************************************************

I worked in home theater at a best buy in southern California in 2006. We had this really shitty pioneer home theater in a box (htib) that retailed normally for 200 bucks….it was on sale for 150. We had literally 500 in stock. They were fucking everywhere, in every aisle of home theater, in the overstock, warehouse, floor shelves, overhead storage, everywhere. We had a few pallets on the race track that we would keep stocked as best we could throughout the day.

Well, as happens on BF, we got busy and the pile dwindled so there was only one on the pallets. Nevermind that anyone with eyes can see we have hundreds more around, only one on the pallet must be the last one in the store. Well, this lady grabs it, and puts it in her cart….some guy was clearly moving for it but was beat. Lady is oblivious. So she turns sown a movie aisle and proceeds to look through one of the bins filled with random 2.99 DVDs.

The dude sneaks up behind her and lifts the htib off her cart and starts to walk off. He gets about 10 feet before this very large older man (early 50s I’d guess) says “no you dont mother fucker” and delivers him a square punch, more of a jab really, in the jaw. The would be thief falls into one of the DVD shelves and drops the htib. The older guy then picks it up, puts it back on the ladies cart (she’s still oblivious) and walks away.

As the thief, who was clearly shocked and confused more than injured stands up, he sees me and my coworker staring at him bewildered, each holding more of the htib units he was trying to steal in our arms as we were just restocking the pallet. The guy stands up, walks over, grabs one, and walks away without saying a word. That was about the best I’ve ever seen. I worked four black Fridays in all and never saw anything more bizarre and outrageous than that.

**************************************************

In my store, We had a line setup, going from when you enter the store you enter the line (which is near the entrance), and then this line will spand all over the store, so you will be able to pick up any item without leaving the line.

A woman stormed into the shop with an empty shopping cart and her 2 small children. She pushed through the line with the huge cart, elbowing everyone to the side so her and her children could get past. She went to the electronics section and picked up about 50 Dvds. Then pushed to the last register (which was quite hard to reach, since you had to push through 8 different lines), and then just stood there and waited. She waited until someone was not paying attention enough, and then quickly just took the spot and put her stuff on the register.

We had a 16 year old boy in said register, and he had to tell her that this was.. Not the way things worked. She demanded to talk to a manager. So one of our managers came over and explained to her what she did wrong. She explained that she thought the line was too long, so she took the spot because the guy behind her was not paying attention enough, and she didn’t want to wait in the line.

Our manager told her to either get back in the line or out of the store, and then she slapped him. Yes, she openhanded slapped him. I got a little angry even hearing this, but he retaliated and slapped her back. She screamed and called for security. The security laughed at her, after the members of the line backed our manager up, and she and her kids was escorted out the store. I should also mention and took quite some physical force to actually get this woman out of the store.

She tried coming back in doing the same thing another register twice..

**************************************************

Hey everyone. With the Retail Holiday from Hell approaching, I wanted to re-tell a tale of the worst Black Friday I’ve gone through. Hopefully put a little perspective on how much worse things could be for you. I’ve told this tale before, but new rules won’t allow me to repost, so I’m going to type it up as best I can.

It was the good ol’ year of 2007. Barry Bonds broke the HR record and was then indicted for steroid use. The iPhone was unveiled. The last Harry Potter book was released in stores. Oh and some sort of mortgage crisis. But you know, mostly a good year.

I was working at a major electronic retailer, as an LP agent. Mostly standing at the front of the store, watching the cameras, checking receipts. Not the best LP job I had but far from the worst. It was late October when my Manager pulled me into the back office. Store Manager (SM) was concerned. Corporate was being flooded with calls from people complaining about fraudulent credit card purchases. He needed me to investigate. I would get additional hours to work in the office and he needed it done ASAP. Holidays were coming up, sales to be made, yada yada.

Well, I wasn’t to happy about the extra hours, but I like a challenge. I started looking at the complaints and the transactions associated with them. Turns out the complaints were all the same. See a few months previous, around July, the company was pushing magazine subscriptions at the register. You’d come up with your “gold plated” $200 HDMI cables or one of those new high falutin GPS systems everyone was raving about, and during the check out, you’d receive an offer for 3 free months of a magazine, or magazines, of your choice. The store was pushing these hard. At the end of every pay period, the associate with the most sign ups would get at $25 gift card to the store. If the same associate won 3 weeks in a row, they’d earn a pizza party.

Of course, being a shitty retail environment, it wasn’t enough that they push these magazine. They HAD to sell these subscriptions! It was vital to the future of the company! Any good loyal employee would be able to sell these easily! And oh yea if you don’t sell enough your hours would get docked. After all, holidays were coming up, which meant many new hires. If you were getting docked hours, there was a good chance one of the newer associates would take your position come January and you’d be boned.

Of course none of this was ever said out loud, but we all knew the game.

Well, each and every one of these fraudulent charges revolved around magazine subscriptions. People saying they said no, and then were charged 3 months later for magazines even though they never received anything. And the biggest issue was as the months went by, more and more people had complaints.

Through some long investigating we noticed several key things. 1.) One associate was responsible for the first month. She was the weekly winner and won 3 pizza parties in a row. Eventually, every other front end associate started doing it as well. One week they’d have 10 subs, the next, they’d have 50-60. Each. The Front End Managers were ecstatic. They were the #1 store in the country for Subs. Our store was killing it! How could this be a bad thing.

Well, as you have all probably guessed, the first “Golden Associate” was signing people up for magazines without their permission to inflate her numbers. Eventually, she let some people in on what she was doing, and they started as well. Even the new hires for the holidays started doing it. We started monitoring the Front End with cameras, and caught several employees on camera doing it. On top of that, the Corporate Retail discovered one of the geniuses was just sending the magazines to her house. We used that as leverage to get her to talk. We had all the proof we need for Corporate.

This is almost done I swear.

It’s a Monday. Next week is Black Friday. I get pulled into the office again with the entire management team. SM tells me that Corporate has reviewed what I gathered, along with Corporate LP. The entire Front End staff is getting fired. Today. Only one associate wasn’t involved with this scam, some new kid who started about 2 weeks ago. Everyone else was getting fired immediately, in order to avoid lawsuits. The entire management team is aghast. Black Friday is 10 days away. The Front End management starts protesting until SM tells them that they are partially at fault for not paying attention. If our associates were that successful they should have found out why and been using it to teach other stores. Instead they sit all day in there eating and only come out when called. SM doesn’t want to hear any protests from anyone. They are going to work out call in all the Front End associates immediately, and fire them. They will work doubles this weekend, 1 regular shift and 1 shift strictly for hiring. OH and instead of 10 hour shifts for everyone Black Friday, the entire store must work 16 hours. 8 in their department, 8 in register. Anyone who refuses will be fired.

It’s dead silent in there. SM thanks me for my work and asks me to stay late to help escort people out. I’m kinda stuck there anyways so I might as well. Every cashier we have is called in and fired. Word gets out and some of them don’t come in, until they are threatened with police involvement. There are tears, curses, one person being physically restrained. It wasn’t pretty. The management is scrambling to hire people and train them with less than a week of training.

Now, the Front End manager and I didn’t get along to begin with. Long story but basically she was lazy and terrible at her job. After all this, I was Public Enemy #1 in her book. It all came to a head the Tuesday before Black Friday. She comes up and hands me a schedule. It has me on Register from 3am-3pm, and then my previously scheduled LP shift of 3pm to midnight. I laughed and crumpled it up and threw it out. She goes on a tear. I’m called in SM’s office again and she’s raving about how I’m not a team player and I should be fired for refusing.

Me: LP isn’t allowed to handle money except for investigations. It would be against Corporate Regulations for me to work as a cashier. And we wouldn’t want to upset Corporate at this critical time would we?

Insert the world’s biggest shit eating grin. I’ve never seen someone look like they would blow a vein in anger but this woman was 3 steps away from becoming the Red Hulk.

Needless to say, Black Friday was the biggest fiasco you’d ever seen. Untrained employees on registers making mistakes. Old employees leaving after their shift in their department and skipping the shifts on the registers. Lines circling the store and taking an hour plus to get to the cashiers themselves. Management running around like the sky is falling. It was glorious to watch in a way. Some men just want to watch the world burn I guess. Especially when those men make minimum wage.