Friday, December 19, 2008

Black December

Back when I worked in retail, there were two words that were completely taboo to say. When spoken, these two words could chill the blood of every retail employee in earshot instantly. Those two words were... BLACK FRIDAY. To this day, hearing that phrase makes me shudder inwardly. Crazy things happen on Black Friday, unspeakable things. It's the one day a year that sweet old women can transform into vicious hand-slapping, discount-grabbing, monsters from Hell and no one will hold them accountable. Although maybe they should!

I once witnessed a lady beat her friend over the head with a handbag because she thought she was going to grab the same pair of shoes as her. Other years were marked by shoe throwing, shoe shoving, and shoe stealing. As you might have guessed, I worked in a shoe store. At the end of the day, a large group of mall employees would meet out back for a cigarette and to share "war" stories. It was horrible. Fortunately, the madness only lasted for one day. Although the mess lasted for seven. I was glad to leave Black Friday behind the day I left retail.

Little did I know, there was a beer industry equivalent, and this one lasts for 31 days! December is, by far, the worst month to work beer. Most people think it's July, but it's not. On top of Christmas and New Years, there are all the in between parties. It's the end of the year, the end of the month, and the end of a Quarter. More employees (mostly upper management) are on vacation. Traffic is worse. All these factors bunch up to make one long stretch of never-ending work. No matter how much sleep I get (or coffee I drink), I still get home ready to crash out.

So if I've been quiet lately, you know why. It's not because I don't care.

It's because every second of free time I have is being used to plot ways to sneak into the beer vat.

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23 Comments:

At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

work beer.....there are a lot of us who are gratedful for you tireless folks who WORK BEER, you're saints, you really are

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Newt said...

I agree with Gary. And you are right. I've been out of retail for 10 years and I still shudder at Black Friday and the holiday season.

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Jen said...

I only worked retail for a very short time. A blink of an eye, really. Never made to Black Friday and for that, I truly thank the gods that be!

I'm sorry your one Black Friday has turned into thirty-one. But you are loved all the more for it! As Homer would say, "mmmmm. . . .beer. . . . "

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Gramps said...

Mmm...sweet, sweet beer...

I guess you who bring us that vibrant, liquid joy should be considered saints or angels or something.

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Knight said...

I never worked retail but I do remember that when I worked in the Ice Cream store Black Friday had people lined up out the door in the snow just for a scoop of peppermint ice cream. It's like Black Friday actually changes your brain and makes you crazy.

Mmm... now I was a beer float.

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Knot said...

I wonder if strippers have a Black Friday or such.

Wouldn't it be scary if morticians did too?

Knot

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Great. For a second, I must've channeled Van or something, because now I have this "Tink as the header for Mama Tulip's blog only in the beer vat instead of the bath tub" image in my head.

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Reb said...

Yet another thing to be grateful for being a Canadian for. Having worked retail up here through many Christmases I can say I did enjoy them expcept for the non-stop, very badly done Christmas music.

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger Janet said...

beer vat! Woohoo!

 
At 19 December, 2008, Blogger LL said...

If you've got to be blogsilent... searching for the beer vat is definitely the excuse to use...

 
At 19 December, 2008, OpenID kcinnova said...

Grrrr....blogger ate my comment!

Worked a year in retail (or was it two? I blocked it out as best I could) and Black Friday is bad, although working until 6pm Christmas Eve because the boss won't close at 4:30pm like the sign says? That sucks.
My big bro also works beer and is super busy right now. However, I think July is actually busier for him. He's taking a few days off and coming to visit, if the roads clear up a bit. He had his first ever non-working vacation at my house last year: no WiFi when he needed to only use his computer. I guess he loved it so much, he's coming back! (And, he's bringing beer!!)

 
At 20 December, 2008, Anonymous apathy lounge said...

It's bad enough to be a shopper on Black Friday. Not sure there are enough drugs in the world to help me work it.

 
At 20 December, 2008, Blogger Chatty said...

I hope you manage to find a nice quiet vat to sneak into, Tink!
I was just stopping by to with you and Hoop the merriest of Christmases - your very first as Mrs. Hoop and Mr. Tink!

 
At 20 December, 2008, Blogger Chatty said...

now that I've WITHED you a Merry Christmas, I think I'll have another vat of eggnog and hope my annoying lisp clears up...
I WISH you a Merry Christmas!
There. I feel better now *hic*

 
At 20 December, 2008, Blogger Molly said...

Hello Tink,
I have been away from the blogging world for awhile so I missed the wedding and honeymoon. However, I checked the photos to catch up. I wish much happiness to you and Hoop.

(((Black Friday))) makes me shudder. I cannot imagine a whole month of too much work and not enough fun.

 
At 20 December, 2008, Blogger Gin said...

I remember working in retail. I remember Black Friday. YIKES!!!

Hang in there kiddo, it's 2/3rds of the way over.

 
At 20 December, 2008, Blogger CRUSTYBEEF said...

I know what you mean.
My brother in law is dealing with it..my sister barely see's him this time of the year..

but the perks are so delicious.
rest up my dear dear! :)

you need a tinkini! :)

 
At 21 December, 2008, Blogger musing said...

Good luck with the beer vat invasion!

 
At 21 December, 2008, Blogger Michael Knight Rambo said...

How about the Long Island mob that literally pushed down the doors at Walmart in a Black Friday bargain hunting lather and trampled an employee to death only to keep shopping?
Yikes.
Thanks for keeping the beer coming, though!

 
At 22 December, 2008, Anonymous Mike said...

Every day is black friday at wall mart!

 
At 22 December, 2008, Blogger mamatulip said...

Seriously, I could not work in retail. I just don't have the patience for the teeming masses.

 
At 22 December, 2008, Anonymous Susan said...

Huh...for whatever reason, I never think to drink beer during the winter months. Well, maybe a winter ale from a micro brewery, but that doesn't put pressure on you.

Black Friday has gotten scarier every year.

 
At 23 December, 2008, Blogger Woman in a Window said...

A tremendously long straw and a Dewalt drill! That's just about do the trick. (The drill might help with selling in retail now that I think about it.)

 

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