How to escape a thankless job on the front lines at a department store: Expose the shopper for her every inappropriate return and rude request in a funny new book called "Retail Hell: How I Sold My Soul to the Store - Confessions of a Tortured Sales Associate." So this year, former Nordstrom handbag salesman turned author Freeman Hall will spend Black Friday at a book signing rather than in the midst of shopping chaos. It's a fun book, whether you've worked the cash register or tried to return a handbag after carrying it 10 times. It brought me back to my days in the boys 8 to 20 department at Dayton's. So rather than dwell on the inevitable long lines and staffing shortages we're sure to face at the malls later this week, I devoted my pre-Black Friday Savvy Shopper column to acts of retail kindness...and other ways to avoid getting beat up at the sales. Read before you shop.