The Long Dark Friday Of The Soul

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Another Blackest Friday has come and gone, and yet we still persist as a species? How we keep beating the odds and prolonging our toil on this watery space rock despite our best efforts is beyond me. This year Walmart had a 40″ TV for $200. Granted, it was a shitty brand, but if you walked in a store with two crispy Ben Franklins and walked out with a TV that is wider than your neglected children are tall, you’ve got to be feeling pretty good. Of course being at Walmart at 2am, you were probably feeling pretty good because of the meth coursing through your wiry and oddly pocked and speckled body. The meth was also certainly a contributing factor to your tv getting victory. Can you imagine how many deals you would have gotten were you endowed with PCP super strength? Next year. Next year.

COMMENTERS: What’s the worst you’ve every seen a human being treat another human being at a retail/grocery/etc store? Were you one of the human beings involved?

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  1. … My sister once made me sit at Walmart from 6 pm until 1 in the morning so that she could have one of the Twilight movies the moment it came out.

    All of those rabid Twilight fans… staring hungrily at an empty display… *curls up in the corner and shakes*

    Come at the end of everything, my sister got out of work at 10 and had been home for 3 hours before she picked me up. >.> I wasn't allowed near sharp objects or her for a few days….

  2. Nothing near as artrocious as the things that seem to be happening your side of the ocean. But I understand some marketing colleagues of mine are trying to INTRODUCE the concept of Black Friday on this side of the pool, in spite of the total and utter absense of Thanksgiving. If that’s not the most horrible thing you can do to retail customers, I don’t know what is.

    BTW: Isn’t this covered somewhere in the Geneva Convention? I think it should be.

    • "Now that Remembrance Day is good and done with, it's time for all the Post-Remembrance Day Sales! Shop early for doorbusters, no, not bunker busters, that talk was yesterday. Today we've got great deals on all your holiday needs!"

  3. I had to clean a hobo's feces off the floor when I was working in Netto here in Denmark. That smell. That disturbingly sugary smell.

  4. Just went through my third Black Friday working in retail. This was the first year in anyone’s memory where there wasn’t a fist-fight in line on Wednesday over items that these people would have no problems getting. Seriously, first and second people in line last year both ended up in jail over a TV we had thirty off. It’s beyond stupid.

    Thank christ we weren’t a store that decided that a “Day-After-Thanksgiving” sale should start the moment people put their forsks down. We’re now the lucky ones waiting until midnight. *sigh*

  5. When I was in high school, my brother and I witnessed two 80-year-old women get into a slapfight over the last Furby. Complete with face-shoving.

  6. I am always terribly embarrassed to be American when I watch the idiocy of Black Friday or as I like to call it Zerg Rush Friday.

    Consumer culture FTW!

    I never go out the day after Thanksgiving. I have only heard tales, like around the campfire on a hot August night where you learn about Jenny Greentrees and how she haunts the woods looking for souls or 40 inch plasma TVs at a bargain price (found two weeks later online for less)/

  7. When I was working retail 4pm until midnight, this incredibly skinny woman came in dressed in a floor-length lace night gown with no underclothes. She made eye contact with me while scratching her ladybizness. Like, she shoved a hand right up there, like she was rooting around in a purse looking for change. While making eye contact. The whole time. I later found out she wasn't supposed to be in the store because she shoplifted. Shouldn't shoplifters try to be inconspicuous, not showing off their barely-covered-by-lace naughty parts? And maybe pockets would help?

    • Tries not to conclude that there are very, very few places she might stash her loot, and that she was "just scratching.


      Going to find some bleach to drink.

  8. Throw a zombie into the middle of a Black Friday crowd. The biting, gnawing, moaning and growling will go unnoticed as anything out of the ordinary until it's far too late and everyone's infected.

  9. At my first job, two elderly customers verbally fought over my services as a 'courtesy clerk' (think bottom pay grade at a grocery store).

    I later quit to work in a kitchen, which is probably fortunate for all the septuagenarians who bleed easily.

  10. I just remembered that I didn't know what Black Friday was until I was working retail ON Black Friday. I worked in the electronics department of Service Merchandise when I was 17, and the day after Thanksgiving we all had to be at work at like 7am. I saw people lined up outside waiting for the doors to open (my home town was VERY small and didn't have a lot of big box stores. We had just gotten a super Walmart and a Best Buy) and I had NO IDEA what to make of it.

  11. Maybe its a cultural difference, but I never got why people are willing to knife fight for semi-okay discounts on stuff that arent even that great.

    • A lot of us here don't get it either. Like, do I need to buy a flatscreen TV every year? Because that's really the only thing on sale.

  12. I slept overnight in line on the sidewalk once – but it was for a job. There used to be a separate employment centre for students, and it opened on May 1st. This was downtown in a business office area, the closest open bathroom was 10 minutes away at a hotel.
    My friends were first in line, and nearby people were nice enough to let me cut in, as there were only 10 people starting at 2pm Sunday…but the line got longer and longer.
    Anyways, lucky us, it SNOWED, and I had only brought a thin sleeping bag, and was wearing a cardigan because the weather had been pleasant. One friend had a yoga type mat that three of us put our hips on, because damn was that pavement hard! There was lots of camaraderie among all of us students, food sharing (relatives would come by and bring more food), and the guy next to me lent me one of his jackets so I wouldn't freeze.
    Yes, it was worth it, because I was able to get 1 of only 15 applications for a government job. That job lasted for 2 1/2 years (I was re-interviewed every year), with full time in summer and part time during the school year.

    Black Friday sales started here a couple of years ago, but in Canada the day after Christmas, called Boxing Day is when the big sale is. So you buy what you wished you had received, or sometimes buy gifts for next year. Boxing Day has softened into Boxing Week, so I rarely bother to get up early, just to get that extra 5-10% more than the rest of the week. If you're shopping for clothes, morning shopping isn't bad, the craziness is at furniture and electronics stores.

    • I buy most of my electronics in the Boxing Day sales here in Australia, it probably is the best comparison to the Black Friday sales, but with more of a "Take it easy mate" attitude (and a smaller population).

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