Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday is upon us.

Some things women do, I just don't get. For instance, this whole 'Black Friday' thing. Don't they know that retail stores are open almost every day of the year?  Some of them even holding what is referred to as "sales" - sometimes in the middle of the summer!

 I guess it's not just women that fall into the Black Friday trap. When I worked at Target, I noticed there was a good 20% of the line that were men - they most likely have been dragged out of bed to help fend off the crowds. I am sure most guys want to spend their day off waking up at three in the morning, driving to Target and standing in line with a thousand angry women.  It's the perfect post-Thanksgiving treat.

I saw today that a Walmart employee was actually killed today by an onslaught of people that actually broke down the doors. Are people really that eager to spend their money? Yes, yes they are. I witnessed it in the November of 97' when I was supposed to help "secure" the doors at Target. Had I not been quick on my feet, I could just have easily been the dead Target employee. It was in the November of 97 that I learned many of the sad realities of life. Well, not many, just this one. But, I remember that I learned it in the November of 97.  I am still not sure what the lesson I learned was.

I realize there are folks, and many friends of mine, that love the 4:00 AM shopping experience. I am just saying - I just don't get it. There is nothing in this world that I would ever wake up at 3:00 AM to buy, even if it is a $350.00 laptop. And even then, if they only have ten of them, who knows if you'll even get one? That is a sad trip back to the old minivan - knowing that you could still be in bed, but got up three hours ago to be told to go home.

During my time at Target, I spent most of my time in the stock room. It was a great job for those like I that enjoy large, extended periods of time zoning out and doing mind numbing activities. If I could have made $40,000 a year in that stockroom, I would probably still be there, scanner in hand, trying to locate the women's hair brushes for the third time in one day. Unfortunately, besides the pay, there was one drawback to this job: If the store got extremely busy, we were required to help at the registers. This happened once in the six months that I worked at Target - Black Friday, November of 97.

Now, if you had me as your checkout person during that hour that I ran a register that day, you were in luck. I know that there were more than two people that I did not scan their checks and a couple that got away without their credit card going through. But, what did they expect? I had no idea what I was doing and the manager was pushing, pushing, pushing us to get people through those registers. The 20 minute training I had received four months previous just was not cutting it. I actually remember running out of single dollars and giving someone 15 quarters as change.

I hope that Walmart moved those old greeters out of the way when they opened the doors this morning. Perhaps they could at least give them a 20 foot high pedestal to stand on so they could at least smile and wave at the customers. However, that would be quite a reach down to stick a smiley-face sticker on a kid. Perhaps the greeters are just used as extra "security" during Black Friday. You know, patrolling the place with a badge and a nightstick.


Lori said...

Abe, you forgot to mention the people that were camping out at Best Buy starting on Wednesday afternoon! What??? That is no worth the $200 saved.

I would say you did your Christmas part by just letting those customers through the lines at Target...with or without paying. I'm sure there is nothing worse than standing in line for 30 minutes and then the person in front of you has problems with the cashier or in your case, the cashier has problems running the register....resulting in an extra 10 minute delay. We've all been there on a "normal" shopping day...and that's bad enough!

Tammy said...

Totally agree Abe! Nothing's worth the crowd or the early time!

Mike's cousin shops at Walmart later in the day. She said they price match everything. Don't know if that's true or not but I guess that's something to try if someone really wants something so bad!

And those stupid people they had on the news sitting in their tents with TV's and couches!