Black Friday is not the worst day ever for store clerks who find themselves at the mercy of crazed bargain-hungry masses. The following week is what they dread.
So says Nia Harman and Tim Krykewycz, a Maple Shade couple that works at Express in the Cherry Hill Mall. The two 20-year-olds agreed to answer a couple of questions as they headed back for a second shift on the retail market's biggest day of the year.
"People were really nice - they feel bad for us and they understand," said Nia, describing her first Black Friday shift. Tim shrugged and said he too didn't feel abused by the hordes of shoppers.
That was true even when a special four-hour sale began on midnight, and "people were just grabbing everything," Nia said.
Unfortunately, many shoppers, she said, then go home and notice they "got the wrong size and the wrong color."
Or, they realize they foolishly bought an item they would never be caught dead in.
This week and even the next, the clerks said they expect to handle return after return. It's a tedious task. And, disappointed shoppers are a little more testy than those who think they're about to get a great deal.
Tim said his biggest problem with working on Black Friday is the parking. The three-story parking garage next to Nordstrom's is often completely full despite an electronic sign that invites motorists in, wooing them with the prospect that a couple of hundred spaces are available.
"The signs aren't accurate," he said, sighing.
The worst part, Tim said, is leaving. "It took me an hour to get out," he said.