I feel like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick the football… I convince myself every year that this year will be different, this year I will get all the great deals I see in the ad’s… and every year Lucy pulls the football back at the last-minute and I land flat on my back.
It started with Wal-Mart. I should have known better than to start at Wal-Mart but in all my Charlie Brown reasoning I thought they would still have something left that was in their advertisement. I was wrong. There wasn’t even dust bunnies left floating around Wal-Mart. In all fairness to the spirit and adventure of Black Friday I do not get up at 4am, I do not camp out overnight and do not carry the ad’s with me along with an attack plan and GPS. Which isn’t to say I haven’t ever done that…. I did once and vowed never to do it again and remain true to that vow today. At 7am as I was walking into Wal-Mart the lines were still 40-50 people deep to check out. Those were the women who got up at 4am and risked life and limb to rush the front doors when they opened. 3 hours later they were still trying to get out of the store. After seeing that Wal-Mart didn’t have anything left… no jeans, no soccer balls, no jammies… just empty cardboard shelves where those things used to be we left.
Lesson learned … never start at Wal-Mart. Just by-pass it at all costs unless you plan on getting up at 2am. We then went to GameStop and found out you had to stand in the check out line and hope that by the time you got to the check out they still had what you wanted in stock. Thirty five minutes later at the register we lucked out and the got the last one in stock! I have to say that does give you a bit of an adrenaline rush. The LAST ONE in stock…. meaning someone 10 minutes behind me in line will have the same dejected feeling I had while leaving Wal-Mart. I also learned some valuable lessons from the people around me in line. According to my new line friends the key to Black Friday is to get up a midnight, drive to small towns to go to stores like Wal-Mart – or stores that are in neighborhoods people don’t usually shop in. The couple in front of me had been going since midnight and put nearly 150 miles on their car but they had gotten everything on their list.
The adrenaline rush still fresh from my recent purchase I decide to push on. Driving past McDonald’s and Starbucks I realized that a majority of the hard-core 4am-er’s had taken a break for breakfast and coffee so I felt pretty good about my decision to carry on. We drove to Kohls…… and kept right on driving…. it looked crazier than Wal-Mart. I wasn’t going to ruin my high. Target didn’t look to bad, but since I refuse to play by the Black Friday rules and carry all the ad’s with me or make a list I couldn’t remember what Target had on sale other than the Xbox Elite that Bill from work wanted. I vaguely wondered how he was doing in his quest for an Xbox. I made the decision to hit the mall, Old Navy had just about everything in their store on sale.
Old Navy looked harmless when you walked in. They had giant bins full of all the clothes they had on sale, over stuffed even. Whoo hoo I thought…. this was nothing like the vast emptiness of Wal-Mart. I ventured further in to the store, heading toward kids clothes when I stopped about mid way through the store to look at some shirts. Two ladies next to me were looking at the shirts too and about the same time all three of us glanced over to see a group of people in a line. One of the ladies asked someone in the line what they were in line for and they said “to check out.” That’s when the two ladies and I looked to the end of the line…. all the way to the back of the store… and all 3 of us walked out.
That was the point when I threw in the towel. I gave up and went home and got ready for work.
And although work didn’t go exceptionally well…. I am thankful that I don’t work retail on Black Friday.
I still hate Black Friday. And I will hate it again when next year rolls around. And next year I will set myself up just like Charlie Brown getting ready to kick that football… and Lucy will pull the football out at the last-minute and I will end up flat on my back.