Monday, November 30, 2009
Not So Black Friday
After all the turkey has been served, the parade viewed and all the family traditions of Thanksgiving are through, just one thing remains- waking up at 4am to fight the crowds just to get a jump on Christmas shopping. For the past two years, I have participated in Black Friday. I think the insanity of it appeals to my adventurous side! There is just something invigorating about the adrenaline rush of hunting for that amazing deal.
This year I was down in Florida visiting my husband’s family for Thanksgiving. We decided after seeing a commercial for a few items that we had already considered purchasing, that we would join all the other crazy people lining up outside Wal-Mart at 5am! Our mission: a GPS that we had been putting off buying for awhile as well as a digital picture frame that we intended to download our wedding photos to and give to my parents for Christmas.
I could not believe my eyes! As we pulled into the Wal-Mart parking lot there was not one space open! Today I did a google search to see how many parking spots the average Wal-Mart has- 2,000. And there was not an empty spot in the lot! We made our own spot on a side curb and ran in.
As to be expected, there were people and carts everywhere. Many entire isles were completely blocked in a shopping cart traffic jam of epic proportion! When we had finally reached the GPS kiosk, they were sold out of the one we wanted and only had the more expensive upgraded version. We spotted what we thought was the digital frame on sale and grabbed two; we figured we could use one as well.
When we reached the front of the store, the lengths of the lines were unreal. Every line around us had customers who were arguing with the cashiers. One lady was challenging her total and refusing to pay, another was trying to use a coupon that was not redeemable at that time, while the gentleman in our line claimed he was given the wrong change. I stood back and observed; this was human nature at its best, or should I say worst. It was every man, woman and child for himself.
It was at this point that I realized we had the wrong digital picture frame. I had a feeling as I walked back in search of the right one that it would be too late. I pasted a lady who had five of them in her cart and asked her where she got them. She told me they were all sold out. Not wanting to throw in the towel, I continued walking towards electronics just to be safe. Once I had completely given up I headed back to the line to inform my husband that we could leave. As I rounded the last isle there was the lady with the 5 frames. She smiled and handed me 2 frames. I was totally shocked.
After everything I had seen that morning the last thing I expected was kindness and generosity. I love being pleasantly surprised and plan on looking for opportunities to pay it forward.