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Sour Grapes From A Rookie Black Friday Shopper

Toys R Us Launches Holiday Shopping Season On Thanksgiving Day
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So I finally decided to brave the crowds and try to snatch one of the great deals that I saw in the ad for Black Friday.  I only had one item in my sights.  I wanted to get a new laptop.  My old one had died about a year ago and this deal was pretty good.  The advertised laptop was of a well known brand.  It had just enough space for me and it was only going to cost $349!  The deal was perfect.

With turkey still settling in my stomach I decided that THIS was the year that I was going to try to grab up one of those deals.  I mean, what did I have to lose?  All I had to do was get up early right?  And I made it early.  I was out the door at 3:45 and was pulling in the driveway at 4:00 which was plenty of time for their 5:30 opening.

Here’s where I made a rookie mistake.  You see, I don’t do this kind of shopping every year.  I’ve worked a Black Friday in retail once before and that was enough to deter me from going every year like some of the fanatical people do.  So when I arrived at the store, there were only 2 other people there.  One was sitting in his car, and the other was standing outside his car next to him.  No one was in line yet though so I thought to myself that I’d try to stay warm for as long as possible.  This was my mistake.  I got up early…I should have just jumped in line as soon as I got there and be first to go in the store.  Instead, I stayed warm until 4:30 which is when the first two had begun to line up.  My sentence was sitting there in their smoke as they talked about how much they loved Slipknot and other heavy metal bands.  This was the beginning of my misery.  Let me say, I’ve always tried to be pretty open to most music.  I like something in almost every genre.  But I can’t stand metal.  So of course the first person in line has nothing but metal on his phone and he insists on everyone else in line listening to what he thought was “AWESOME” music.  If that wasn’t bad enough, we all had to sit through him  telling tales about all the people that he’s gotten hammered with backstage at various shows around town.  Can someone please open the doors please???

This is right about the time when the game play starts.  Number one in line asks, “So what are you here for?”  I’m thinking, “Do I tell him?”  If I do, I take the chance that he might grab that item first and then I’ve waited in line for an hour breathing in their smoke and listening to their heavy metal for nothing.  “A laptop” spews out of my mouth before I could even think it through.  Hey…it was early.  I don’t function that well that early. 

“That’s too bad,” he says.  “I know the manager here and he told me there’s only one of them here.”  Now I’m thinking to myself that he’s just trying to get me to leave for some reason because I know it says minimum of 2 per store in the ad.  Even still…if there are only 2 per store and there are still 2 people in front of me, it’s easy to do the math and know that I’m out of luck.  I’d take my chances.   I mean, I’m up already right?

So the time has come…the moment of truth.  It’s 5:30 and the manager is making his way to the door.  The familiar click of the lock sounds out and people begin to bunch up by the door.  I’m holding my ground.  As we all file into the store in a single line, the manager yells out, what are you looking for.  Number one in line yells out that he’s looking for the laptop and the manager tells him that all the big stuff is behind the counter.  So now we’re no longer in line…the people behind us are trying to push past us as we all make our way to the counter.  Number one buys a NET-book which is the smaller version of a laptop NOTE-book.  So that means that I’m still 3rd in line and there has to be 2 left!  I’ve done it!  I’m in good shape to get the great deal that I got up so early for.

That is of course until number two in line (a young just out of highschool girl) makes her way to the front of the line.  And she says, “I’ll take the laptop.”  The manager says, “Which one?  I’ve got like 3 different kinds back here.”  And this is the response that kills me.  “I don’t know which one,” she says, “whichever one is the laptop.”  She doesn’t know??  She got up that early to come to a store to buy something and she has NO IDEA what that thing is?  She doesn’t know the name, she has no idea about the product at all!!  And she’s going to get what I’m trying to buy? 

As my eyes are rolling, I look across the way where I see that there’s another register ringing up a sale.  It’s a guy who was 3 people behind me and as we waited in line I learned that his son worked at that store.  What is he buying??  It’s the second laptop!  The one that I wanted.  And there are only 2 there!  Oh no!  Now if this girl chooses a different laptop, I’m still in good shape because I’m next.  But it’s up to her.  “The one that’s $350,” she says.  And all hope is gone.  I’ve just lost.  I got up at 3:30 for nothing.  The guy behind the counter says to me, “I’ve still got this other one for $450 if you want it.” 

Let me get this right.  I got up early because your store offered a great deal on 2 laptops.  One of which you essentially sold to one of your own employees.  The other went to a girl who had no idea what she even wanted.  Now you want me to pay an extra hundred bucks for an item that I know nothing about?  You’re crazy!  I’m not buying anything here today.  And after the skeezy way that you sold my laptop to your employees dad, I don’t know that I’ll be back here again.  Good luck with your sale! 

Sour grapes from a rookie Black Friday shopper?  Maybe.  But that’s ok.  Next year it’s Cyber Monday for me!

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