Saturday, November 28, 2009
I don't necessarily make it a tradition to get up and go out on Black Friday, although Jeff and I have done it in the past sometimes. This year my friend, Laurin, asked if I wanted to meet her for some shopping and since Jeff had no particular interest and the kids would be sleeping, I figured - why not! I was in my car at 4:30am and excited about Christmas shopping. Just the idea of the hustle and bustle is fun for me, coupled with Christmas music and a good cup of coffee-Love it! I got to W*lmart at 4:40 and there were no parking places left so I parked in an adjoining lot and walked in and the people I came in with were in great moods - laughing, talking, smiling, until we hit the door and then I noticed an eerie silence (as if it was time to get down to business). By the time I got there all the carts were gone. Oh my goodness- I have never been at W*lmart as it opened for Black Friday or any other place for that matter and I was met by an awesome sight- the entire middle of the store was roped off and there were lines all over the place. There were checkers at every stand but no lights were on. In fact there was only one checker open and I bought a Dr. Pepper and proceeded to go stand in a line. The man on the speaker came on a few times to direct people where to pick up holding tickets for certain items. Once you got your ticket you went to stand in that line, and you could only get that item if you had a ticket. If the tickets were gone then the items were gone. I guess that was a really great way to prevent total pandemonium. As the minutes ticked by I noticed that people were no longer in lines they began to group in. It didn't matter if I had been standing there for 20 min if there was a place to squeeze a body in - someone squeezed in. As they began to cut off the plastic from the pallets in the aisle the announcer came on the speaker and asked for there to be no shoving or pushing and to please walk when the ropes were cut. Since I had no agenda, I felt like I was in good shape to just wonder and if I saw a really good deal ok, maybe I would pick it up. The ropes went down and I am not kidding it took me 20 min to get to the back of the store. I saw a whole pallet of something already gone and overheard 2 women who were together but had come from different areas exclaim - "I can't believe they are already gone!" The store had been open for only 10 mins by the time I got to that area. When I arrived at the back - they rolled out a pallet portable DVD players- I didn't know the price but knew it would be nice to have one for the trip at Christmas, so, I picked one up as the plastic fell to the floor. I came back by that pallet 5 min later and it was completely gone- there was something new in it's place. I did find a cart in the toy section that had been abandoned so I was able to get one and by this time had 3 things in it. I have to say it was much easier to shop without it because there was very little kindness when it came to "traffic shopping laws". I must have pushed that cart around with my mouth dropped open because I was appalled at the lack of kindness and the amount of not just rude but blatant disregard for human beings all for the sport of saving the almighty dollar. I've decided that Black Friday at a place like that should be for people who only make a certain amount of money per year and that if you can't show proof of how little you make, then you can't come in until the doorbuster sales are over. That was just one of the thoughts that came into my head as I was standing there waiting to get my cart out into an aisle. If you know me at all, you know I am a people watcher and so I had no problem at all being patient and kind until a man who could see that I was stuck between a pallet and an endcap (the wheel to the cart was stuck) and I was having a hard time getting my cart through, decided to try and squeeze between my cart and the endcap without helping me get unstuck. He could have gone around on the other side of the pallet (although it was somewhat blocked on that side as well). He could have turned and gone down the aisle and gone around and come down the aisle that was behind me. But, NO, he decided he would try to squeeze through my stuck cart and the empty shelves on the end of the aisle. A moment took over me and I said as I touched him on the arm, " Umm sir I would be more than happy to let you go by if you would help me get my cart unstuck." He stopped and looked at me like I was crazy but did go back around and give the pallet a push. That was all it took. I was free! I had to shout thank you to the back of his head- talk about a man on a mission! Waiting in line was pretty much uneventful because I was in the 10 items or less lane. There was a lady in front of me that was a talker and that was nice. She has a tradition of shopping every Black Friday and when I commented about the lady who passed with 2 carts full of toys and asked how that was possible, she said that that lady was the cart woman and she probably had a team of 3 other women or men and each had a list of what they were responsible for grabbing and when their arms were full they would meet at the cart drop off their stuff and go back for more! Ahh, the man on the mission : ) All in all in was an awesome experience and I think next year I would love to have a shopping possy. I won't even ask to be the cart girl- I'll get out there and grab with the best of them! Any takers? As I end this very long post, my favorite quote from yesterday comes to mind. A lady on the phone was overheard saying, "THIS is why I never shop @ W*lmart, it is just chaos!" The lady to the right of me just behind my shoulder started laughing at the same time I did and asked me if I thought she knew it was Black Friday? DUH!!!!