Well, I survived the pitfall-laden holiday weekend. I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday and took some time to be thankful for all they have.
The post-dinner phase of the Thanksgiving weekend is an interesting time in our house. I had never pegged myself for one of the crazies that flocks to the Black Friday sales like a lemming. However, a few years ago my wife decided to brave the crowds and see what all the fuss was about. The deals, she found, were just too enticing to entirely pass up.
Thus, a tradition began. After Thanksgiving festivities have been completed, my wife and I sally forth to find a newspaper box with the Thanksgiving paper and, more importantly, the Black Friday ads. This is key to our Black Friday strategy. We have not fallen so far that we need to go to each store. We carefully evaluate the ads, weighing the quality or the deal, the desirability of the items, and the chances that the crowds at that particular location will induce blind violence resulting in Christmas funds becoming bail money.
It is a very scientific process.
In previous years, this has been the end of my involvement. I have, until this year, been working a retail job while I either studied for my MCSE exams or worked my current job. This meant that I was working during the Black Friday craziness. This year, however, I was lucky enough to have the day off and was able to participate.
Our perusal of this year’s ads didn’t leave us overwhelmed with their quality. In fact, we planned on hitting only three (and very possibly a fourth) store. The most important of these was Best Buy for an item of particular importance. So, at 11:30 PM we prepared to crash for the short while we had available before sallying forth for their 5:00 AM opening.
It was at this moment that I saw the words “Tickets for door busters will be distributed up to 2 hours before opening” on the Best Buy ad. This meant that the item in question, as not only a door buster but also a limited quantity item, would require us to be there by 3:00 AM not 5:00 as planned. And, of course, getting there at 3:00 would be a recipe for failure, we would need to arrive by 2:00 maybe 2:30.
So much for sleep.
So, we threw in a “Lost” DVD, watched an episode or two and prepared to sally forth into the chill, damp night. We arrived at Best Buy at about 2:20 AM. We, apparently, were late.
Tents were pitched on the sidewalk in front of the store. One group had rented a trailer and cooked out on a gas grill, followed by video games powered by a generator. There was even someone who had pulled their car into the line for shelter, heat, and entertainment. As we followed the trail of humanity to its end we were flabbergasted. The end of the line was behind the building.
These nutjobs had been out here since 9:00 PM and some even earlier.
Luckily, we got our item after much grumpiness brought on by sleep deprivation, crowds, and cold rain. We did make the mistake of going for breakfast once the ticket was in hand resulting in a line wait that easily lasted 2 1/2 further hours once in the building. I did learn two things, however.
A) ‘Tis better to work Black Friday than shop it.
B) I may be a little off, but people are crazy.