Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cry havoc...Black Friday is coming!

It's been quite some time since I updated, but I've been focusing on my musical endeavors lately. Seeing as how everyone in retail's favorite season is upon us, I thought it was time to pop back in......

It sounds so ominous...so horrific.....like something mothers warn their children about. "Don't go outside on Black Friday!" The real reason it's called Black Friday is because most retailers don't start making their sales plans until this day. Up to this point they've been below sales plan or "in the red" and on Friday they make lots of money and end up "in the black". History lesson over, let's delve into what Black Friday really is....

It's a feeding frenzy of consumerism. It's crowds, grouchy people, and chaos. Perhaps I'm too jaded and bitter seeing as how I have worked every Black Friday, save one (which was the best year ever), for the last 14 years. I get it, people want to save money, but chill the #@$% out! Fights break out, riots occur, and people have died.....DIED! Innocent people killed because of flat screen TVs and XBOX's.

They camp out all week! There are lines of people huddled in tents and sleeping bags around lots of stores already. They've been there since Sunday! There are stores opening on Thanksgiving now. That is just wrong.

Yes, I know not every customer is a crazed lunatic. There are lots of customers that understand the chaos and just go with it. Those ones are fine. It's the ones that expect to get everything they came for and not have to wait in a gigantic line that need a poke with a cattle prod.

For my fellow retailers, if this is your first Black Friday, here are some hints: (Comment with your own)

1. Get to work early. The parking lot may be horrendous, so give yourself plenty of time to find a parking spot and/or to ride a camel to the door because you had to park out in BFE. Most managers will not take, "I couldn't find a parking spot." as an excuse for tardiness.

2. Try to lessen your stress by wearing a festive hat if your dress code permits.

3. Bring your lunch from home or hopefully your store does a potluck/provided lunch. You don't really want to venture out to buy food. Good use of Thanksgiving leftovers.

4. If you encounter a grumpy customer, kill them with kindness. Try not to let what people say get to you. I know it's hard, but let it just roll off your back. If you need to, vent to your co-workers, blog about it, tweet it or update your facebook status about it.

5. The upside is that the day goes by pretty quickly. It'll be over before you know it!

Did you survive? Here's your reward...