The nightmare before Christmas for many people is the cute movie about Jack Skellington spreading Christmas joy. For everyone in the retail industry however, the real nightmare is Black Friday.
Clackamas Community College student Maisey Ortega said of Black Friday, “It’s the shittiest day of your life.” Ortega, who works at Footlocker in the Clackamas Town Center, remembers one lady who came into the store to return a pair of shoes for her daughter. Her daughter’s dad bought the wrong size and the lady didn’t have a receipt. The lady started cussing up a storm and the employees almost had to call security. “She did it all in front of her daughter,” said Ortega. The problem was resolved and Ortega said they returned her the shoes for the store’s original price because customers were coming into the sore.
Picking up socks from the floor in Fred Meyer was not the job for Summer Walston. After dodging stilettos, getting her hand squashed by a pair of giant boots and a cart bashed into her head, Walston said, “F’ the socks.” Rescuing one pair of socks was not worth losing her fingers, so Walston moved on to other duties.
Amy Neelands, a former Fred Meyer employee, had to open doors at 5 a.m. All the other doors had several managers to assist in opening the doors, except hers. As she opened the first set of doors, people outside threw the doors open and shoved past her. Neelands said, “I couldn’t get past these people until they were all inside. Once the coast was clear I was able to safely return to the donut table.”
Children’s toys always seem to bring out the worst in people, even grandma. While volunteering to restock the unwanted merchandise at Fred Meyer, Jessica Stalling saw two elderly women yelling at each other. Stalling said, “Seeing as they were older and hopefully mature women I didn’t see any need to keep an eye on the two ladies. Well, I was wrong.” A few aisles over, Stalling heard a shriek and ran back to the ladies. What she found was one lady’s glasses were crooked and the other on the floor against a gift table holding a toy for dear life. Witnesses of the WWE granny style said the lady on the ground pushed the other lady’s face and that lady rammed her shopping cart into the other lady, knocking her to the floor. Both ladies said the other tried to steal the toy from them. What toy was this? A Pillow Pet.
Former retail worker John Rozzelle said of working on Black Friday, “I blocked most of those memories.” Rozzelle did remember one time he was stuck in the lamp aisle for two hours helping a customer when he should have been covering the whole store.
Retail workers also have lots of advice for Black Friday shoppers. Ingrid Meza, another CCC student, said, “People should know what the sales are and what they want when Black Friday shopping.” Ortega said, “Don’t bring your kids! Be aware of your surroundings and remember that the employees are people too. Black Friday all in all is just barfy for everyone.”