Recently, I wrote a post from a sales associate's perspective of the retail world and what every shopper should know while browsing. With Black Friday right around the corner, I figured now would be a good time to bring that post back and add in a few Black Friday specific "words of advice." It's easy to get caught up with the excitement of Black Friday: the sales, the energy, the events. Some shopping centers, mall, and stores sometimes host fun games and attractions to welcome the holiday season! But, despite the positive energy, Black Friday is a day many retail workers dread, knowing that their family time is being cut short, people will be rude, and their stores will most likely be chaotic. Here's my friendly post on how to not be a jerk this Black Friday.
You can't be mad about waiting in lines. Shopping on Black Friday was most likely a decision you made for yourself. By choosing to go out shopping on the busiest shopping day of the entire year, you can't be mad at any sales associate if you find yourself waiting in a line that's "too long." Fitting room, register, food, store, and bathroom lines will be a part of this Black Friday (like every year), and you'll have to deal with it.
Some of us cut family time short to work and are working long hours. Don't be a jerk, no matter the situation. I'm working two ten hour shifts this year, starting 5:30 pm on Thanksgiving and ending at midnight on Friday night (Saturday morning). I won't get to spend as much time with my family as I would like (because of people's obsession with Black Friday shopping) and I'm going to be working a lot. I might be tired and a little sad, so give me a break. Plus, you shouldn't be a jerk to anyone, ever.
If you plan on buying a lot, don't bring a drink into the store. Seriously, don't do it. Last year we had a customer spill her venti coffee over an entire table of new sweaters, which means every sweater was damaged. No one could buy any of them, despite how cute and popular they were, and it took a lot of time to damaged out all 50 sweaters, clean up the spilled drink, and find something new to replace it with. It's extremely frustrating and pulls focus away from where it needs to be.
I'm a sales associate - I can't change store policy to please you. I mentioned this in my other post, but it's still important. 99% of the time, there's nothing I can do about store policy. I don't make the rules, I simply follow and enforce them. At the store I work at, we have a five item limit for fitting rooms. That won't change because you really want to try on seven dresses, three pairs of jeans, three sweaters, and four tank tops.
If you have an issue, be respectful and polite when addressing it. This regards the previous point: if you have an issue with the way a store might handle a policy, don't be rude about it. That only makes me as an associate less willing to work with you to find a solution (why would I want to help someone who's mean to me? I'm human too!). There are too many parents who throw tantrums and embarrass themselves and their teenage daughters in front of a crowd of guests. Let me know if you have a problem, be polite, and express to me why you have this issue. I'm more than happy to do what I can to ensure you have a positive experience (that's the truth).
Ask questions and for help when you need it. There's nothing more frustrating and painful than a customer who denies help when they obviously need it. There's no shame in not knowing where to find your size, have questions about a price, or need assistance grabbing an item. We are here to help you and make your shopping experience easier. Watching you struggle while denying help makes my job harder (denying help when needing it often leads to big messes, items out of order, etc.).
If you couldn't tell, Black Friday isn't my favorite day of the year. I used to be a big Black Friday shopper, but I still knew to be polite, kind, and accept whatever waiting lines I would be in. If you're ever questioning yourself and your actions this Black Friday (and literally any other day of the year), just remember it comes down to one thing: be a decent human being.
Do you have Black Friday plans, or are you waiting for Cyber Monday?