Ahh, Black Friday shopping. That beloved holiday when people all over the U.S. wait in line for hours and pack into every last breathable space inside stores, hoping for a sick deal that'll make the time spent feel worth it. Black Friday, that torturous, hell-hole of a day where you're fighting tooth and nail with almost everyone in existence for the best deal on a TV. A day that's both rewarding (deals!) but also terribly frustrating.
And since it's about 3:00 a.m. EST, I'm going to guess you're still in the torturous period. Waiting in line. Shuffling your feet as you try to go with the flow of the store traffic. Waiting in the passenger seat as your saint of a mother/best friend/sibling/relative fights for a parking spot with six other minivans. You need some distraction to ease the frustration.
Well, we're here to help you forget all the mind-numbing pain of Black Friday ... by reminding you of the terrible things that could be happening right now if you were working. It's kind of like having your sister punch you in the arm to make you forget about a pain in your leg -- though I hope this post is much less painful than a punch. There are lots of annoying, frustrating, or downright horrible things that happen in your day to day job. Let's revisit a few of them to take our mind off the Black Friday Madness.
20 Things That Are Worse Than Black Friday Shopping
1) Banner ads that hover over your content -- but then move when you're trying to click out of them.
You can never catch them ... most times you just end up clicking on the ad when you meant to just click the X box.
2) Content that requires sneaky captchas to unlock ... or really any captcha at all.
Seriously, who can understand those things well enough to unlock content? I'm convinced the people want you to fail the captchas to prove you're human.
3) Slideshows with each slide located on different website URLs that take forever to load.
You just want to flick through them quickly (seriously, which superfoods should I be binging on this holiday season?!?) but of course the entire website has to reload every time you advance to the next slide. Seriously, slideshow offenders, what gives. (I'm looking at you, Mashable.)
4) Infographics that are tiny when you click to enlarge them.
Helloooooooo ... I clicked "enlarge" for a reason. Please don't turn your 100 pixels wide infographic into something 50 pixels wide when it's viewed alone.
5) Infographics that are huge when you click to enlarge them.
On the flip side are infographics that straight up can't be enjoyed because they are enormous when you click to enlarge them. You want to zoom in on the infographic, not examine it under a microscope.
6) Auto-DMs on Twitter.
We all know when we get a DM automatically sent to us. It's not engaging. It's not clever. It's spam.
7) BCC spam.
Seriously, regardless of whether we're friends, coworkers, or even family, please don't just manually BCC me on a spam email to check out your latest blog post, donate to your newest 5K, or forward on this chain message. It's tacky and frustrating because you can't even opt out of the emails.
8) When people email you on vacation to ask something random and begin with, "I know you're on vacation..."
Your contacts know you're on vacation -- it's in your out-of-office reminder and they acknowledged it in their opening paragraph -- so why are they emailing you? Unless something seriously drastic is happening, respect the out-of-office time!
9) Personalization gone wrong.
You know that personalization is an awesome marketing tactic ... that is, unless the personalization is wrong. There are few things more annoying that getting Dear INSERT_NAME_HERE in your email inbox.
10) When companies ignore your unsubscribe requests.
This is probably my biggest pet peeve -- that also happens to be illegal. But somehow, I still get emails from companies I've unsubscribed from months ago.
11) When you click an unsubscribe link and it forces you to put in all your info all over again.
Then there's the terrible practice of making you fill out all of your info again if you want to unsubscribe. Ugh, you just want to unsubscribe, not sign up for another email list.
12) When you get emails for lists you didn't sign up for.
Buying and selling email lists? That is a HUGE no-no that enrages people everywhere. If I have no idea why someone's emailed me -- or any indication that I may have signed up to receive emails from them at some point in my life -- off they go into the spam bucket.
13) When mobile popup ads have teeny tiny X boxes.
Popup ads themselves are annoying, but they're especially awful on mobile. Often the X box is tiny, making it nearly impossible for you to remove the ad from your screen, and often, taking you right to the ad that you were trying to avoid. The only thing that keeps me calm when this happens is realizing that some ads are pay-per-click, so a company's deceptive ad tactics are actually costing them money.
14) When I miss out on emails because they've been incorrectly filed in Gmail Tabs.
This happened earlier this week, and I almost went into a fit of rage. A professional connection emailed my personal email with a personalized subject line and email body copy, yet still got shoveled into my Promotions tab. I almost missed the email! Not cool, Gmail, not cool.
15) When you're tasked with making a video "go viral" ... with no other metrics available.
We've all had a boss/client/person ask us to "make a video go viral" and then not tell us what viral is to them. Is it getting a certain publication to write about us? Is it a certain number of views/comments/clicks? Help me help you. Stop using fuzzy buzz words.
16) When Facebook Ads in your News Feed get tailored to your guilty pleasure searches.
Tailored Facebook ads are a blessing and a curse. Most of the time, they're relevant pieces of content in the right place -- but sometimes, they don't appear at opportune moments. Like that one time you and your boyfriend were browsing Facebook on your computer together ... and suddenly every sidebar ad is about weddings. Rings, dresses, venues -- you name it. While Facebook ads are certainly targeted, they can be pretty embarrassing if your guilty pleasures get featured.
17) Trying to get your presentation to work on a projector. It never works out right. Ever.
No matter how many times you've used the projector or the computer you're on, something always goes wrong. The projector's bulb is out. You have the wrong Mac-to-PC adaptor. Your computer's out of batteries. The sound system isn't working. The wireless clicker suddenly goes missing. Seriously, having a presentation's technology run smoothly is a divine miracle.
18) Filling out a huge expense report after a conference trip.
Expense reports can be the pits. You're not sure what you can expense -- and what you can't -- and chances are, you're calculating everything in an Excel doc. Every company has its own peculiarities when it comes to filling these puppies out, but it's never a pleasant experience, even with the reimbursement light at the end of the tunnel.
19) When a site that isn't responsive -- or even made for mobile -- tells you "tough cookies."
I got that message when trying to watch Pharrell's viral video last week. Come on, marketers, it's almost 2014 -- there's no excuse for a non-mobile optimized site. Without a responsive or mobile site, you're annoying mobile viewers and missing out on a huge chunk of traffic!
20) Auto-play video ads.
Last, but certainly not least, are those video ads that automatically play on websites. You never notice that they're there until all of a sudden you hear some soft talking in your headphones. Is it your music? No. Do you have another tab open with music on it? No. Does the website you're on have music? No. You drive yourself crazy trying to find the source of the music so you can go back to working ... only to find out that it's a commercial hidden in the footer in one of the open tabs on your browser. The. Worst.
Okay these really aren't the end of the world or anything, but I hope this list gave you a chuckle or two on this chaotic shopping day -- if you dared to brave it.
Good luck to all of our deal-seeking shoppers: Stay safe and sane today!
Originally published Nov 29, 2013 3:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017