Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

For those of you who don't know, I work night shift at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter. Blitz is our term for "Black Friday Sale". It should be called the "Banzai Charge Sale".

You know that small part of the brain that tells you "maybe I shouldn't act like this in public"? Yeah, you know, the "social network" part of the brain?

Well, that part stopped working for about 400+ people this morning.

There really is no words to describe what I saw. But I shall try. Because people need to know. They need to know that they look completely idiotic when they start rushing for things.

We had people shoving, kicking, and grabbing things out of people's hands. We had two sheriffs at each door, plus two or three in electronics to guard stuff. The sale started at 5:00 AM, and people were not allowed to touch the merchandise until the prescribed time.

Being my first Blitz, I was sent to guard the jackets and hoodies. I was like, "Oh, okay. No big deal. It's just jackets. I won't have a ton of people to watch."

Oh. My mistake. Around midnight, some people started showing up. Two or three people. Nothing big yet. I could look down the isle and see people setting up lawn chairs in front of some TV and computer pallets. That was expected.

What wasn't expected was the 40 women who all gathered around the coats and jackets. Around 4:30 AM, we had gathered quite a crowd. And they all started to get closer to the jackets and I had to keep them off of 'em. Here's how a typical conversation went. Stuff in italics are what I thought but did not say.

"Ma'am, I'm sorry, you can't touch the merchandise before five." Can't you see the five signs that I hung up that clearly say "No Merchandise Before 5:00 AM"?

"Oh, I was just looking at the sizes."

Sure you were. I saw those grubby fingers getting ready to snatch it off. "I'm sorry, but you can't even look at the sizes. You can look all you want after 5."

"Well, she was touching it!"

Are you kidding me? We've resorted to name calling? Kinda like a two year old. "I'm sorry ma'am. I can't watch everyone at once. If I see anyone touch it, I will tell them not to."
At 4:55 people were literally starting to press in on me. I prepared to cut the tape around the section and run.

4:57. People were reaching their hands out to hover over what they wanted. I eyed them and they pulled their hands back.

5:00. Think piranhas and a chicken bone.

5:10. Half of the jackets are gone.

5:20. The jackets are gone.

It was wall-to-wall of people. Literally. We had all 25 cash registers open, plus the four scan-your-own isles. People were backed up from the registers to the merchandise (about 5 or 6 buggy widths), plus more waiting that were lined up to the garden center. You just could not get through the electronics section. I had to use an employee door and walk through the back rooms (they run the length of the floor) just to get to the time clock to clock out.

I heard about the Long Island, NY Wal-Mart this morning. A 34-year-old employee was trampled to death. And somewhere else, a pregnant woman lost her baby from being trampled.

Have any of you gone shopping during Blitz before?
Were you ever caught up in the actions of "snatch and grab"?
Have you ever been hurt or hurt someone accidentally?


Alan Coil said...

People are stupid. Most of what they but on these sales has been or will be available for nearly the same price somewhere else or even at Wal-Mart at a later date.

I have read that the pregnant woman did not lose the fetus.

Brynna said...

you mean the baby.