It’s really nice to think we’re all sitting in our offices right now, counting down until 5 p.m. when we can finally be free and embark on whatever it is life can/will throw our way. First, because it’s nice that you think I have an office (I’m a freelancer, you guys — I work from my house or wherever a computer plugs in). Second, because the only thing any of us want to do today is shop.
And I get it. Currently, I have no less than 20 e-coupons (is that what they’re called?) sitting in my inbox, and my only real desire is to shop on the Internet accordingly, while I laugh loud and hard at anyone who lined up outside of a Best Buy today. (Like, my Dad. I’m pretty sure my Dad is or has lined up today. The TV is really old, you guys. Like, it was old when we inherited it from my grandparents — and that was 13 years ago. Anyway.) So because we’re all going to bag off at some point and spend our hard-earned cash-dollars, here are my rules for Black Friday shopping.
According to me, a person who’s been there. (On the other side of that register.)
1) Work efficiently and silently. You remember that episode of The Simpsons where Apu points out the line-up at the grocery store that consists of only single men? Channel it. No chit-chat. Get in, get out. Nobody cares about who you’re shopping for. You’re not running for office. Your capacity for conversation will only hold you back.
2) If a customer service associate asks if you need help and you need help, take their help. Do you work at the store? No? Then you obviously have no idea where the extra sizes are kept. Goddamn it, man, stop being a hero. Your ability to mess up a front table will only make you look like a monster, and you will absolutely be made fun of over the headsets (which is the best part of working in retail, TBQH).
3) And speaking of which, don’t you dare raise your voice to a customer service associate. Never. Ever. Who are you? Get out of here. You don’t deserve to shop today, or to shop ever again.
4) Also, don’t raise your voice to another person in general. You’re shopping for clothing and makeup, not for a way to live forever.
5) Walk quickly. Always, all the time, but especially today, on a day where some of us are trying to navigate crowds and retain our sanity. If you have a lot of spare time that is wonderful, but man alive, please at least move to the right because some of us are very anxious and need to walk quickly or will begin feeling very trapped and let me tell you where that leads: to the public restroom, where anxiety attacks breed like rabbits.
6) Please don’t use the public restrooms. Let those of us who get anxious have the space to tell ourselves that soon we can go home and organize our possessions. (Thank you.)
7) If you see somebody you know, don’t you dare stop and talk to them. You’re slowing yourself down, you’re slowing them down, and you’re slowing me down if I was walking at a brisk pace behind you and you’ve stopped suddenly to tell Susan that it’s crazy how long it’s been. Message Susan later. Susan will be checking her Facebook account, I promise you. We all will be. But Susan will not be impressed with you at all (and will hate you forever) if your stop-and-chat caused her to miss out on the Bed, Bath, and Beyond discount on Egyptian cotton sheets, I’ll tell you that much for free.
8) Do not talk smack about Black Friday shopping. I mean, you can if you’re not Black Friday shopping, but you are. So stop it. You’re a part of the problem. I’m a part of the problem. We’re just a bunch of problems trying to get some cheap shit — we’re above no one, we’re the scourge of the earth, all of us.
9) Do not try and befriend customer service associates, which is another thing I can’t stress enough When I worked at American Eagle, it was important to me that you understand that we are on two different teams: me, an employee — you, the reason I’m getting paid, but also the reason I’d cried in the bathroom, earlier that day. We are not friends. We were not friends. We will never be friends. Line up, sign up for whatever card they need you to, and be on your way. Don’t you dare flaunt your freedom.
10) Have fun!!! …JK, this is business. There is no room for fun. Are you kidding me? How dare you. Look around. Are people having fun today? (No, seriously — I’m asking. Right now I’m writing from bed, and I have what I think is an eye infection and I will not be leaving my home today. I’m genuinely curious.)
Anyway, no. They are probably not. Caffeinate. Move quickly. And good luck.