What It’s Like to Work at the Mall of America on Black Friday
When I was going to college in Mendota Heights, I thought it was a good idea to work part-time at Spencer's in the Mall of America. I had just moved to the area and didn't have much for friends so I would just go do laps at the mall. I saw they were hiring, applied, and next thing you know I had a lanyard of witty buttons and could tell you anything you needed to know about purchasing a lava lamp.
A couple of months go by, and suddenly the Black Friday work schedules get posted. I was set to work the 4 - 10 am shift. Easy peasy. There was steady foot traffic in the store, and I was set up by the entrance greeting customers and folding t-shirts most of the shift.
I was doing my t-shirt folding duties when a couple with a stroller walked in followed soon by a couple of men. They all had to be in their later 20's. I said hello, and was ignored. Not uncommon for our clientele. I kept on folding and suddenly one of the guys threw off his jacket. In my sweet innocent positive thinking mind I went "oh my gosh it's a flash mob, they're going to dance in our store!". Remember when flash mobs were a trend? This gives you a reference for when this happened.
Anyway, it wasn't a flash mob. The two men and the guy from the stroller couple started throwing punches at each other and I just stood there in shock. Mostly out of disappointment that there was no organized dance number happening. My managers got involved right away, broke up the fight, and called mall security.
I went back to folding shirts and finished my shift.
I continued working at Spencer's through the holidays, and quit in January when bomb threats were coming into malls across the country (also remember when that was happening?). I didn't mind the job. I got to meet a lot of cool interesting people, and sell junky items that made people laugh. But I think the main lesson I took from the experience is that a flash mob will most likely never happen inside of a crowded Spencer's on Black Friday.
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