|Shoppers vie for copies of video games at a Black Friday sale at a Walmart |
in Mentor, Ohio, on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011.
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
One shopping day - so much controversy.
I don't think I've ever wanted to go shopping at 4 a.m. Stores are crowded enough this time of year, without heading into that frenzy.
I did do a bit of shopping today, in the afternoon: TSC for dog food, Kroger for a bottle of wine and some OJ. The stores were practically deserted. I really wanted to pick up a few Christmas items while I had time for shopping, but today was gorgeous and I didn't want to spend it getting all stabby with people.
The most fun I've ever had on Black Friday was when I worked at a toy store. Yes. A toy store. On Black Friday. I was only there for the weekend, as a holiday temp, and my dad was the manager. It was a blast.
I got there before 4 a.m., and people were already lined up outside, even though the store didn't open till 6. Still, it wasn't anything like the photo above.
The store was part of a chain. Most retail chain stores have no say over what is shipped to them for holidays, and they may not even have received a shipment of advertised goods. It's not unheard of for a store to have no idea what is in the ad until a day or two before the big sale. Keep that in mind next time you want to yell at a store manager for being out of an advertised item, ok?
One man was furious that the store was sold out of a certain toy:
"How can you be out?" he asks, already ticked off.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we did open four hours ago to a pretty big crowd."
"How many did you have?! You have some more in the back! Get me one!"
"I'm sorry, sir, but we only had a few of that item, and there are no more in the store."
"I'm going to have your job! I want to speak to your manager!!" he railed at me.
"Um. Ok," I smile sweetly at him, turn to look for the manager, and yell, "Hey, Dad!"
The man stormed out of the store. Hmph. Just can't please some folks.
Actually, not many people had that attitude. Most of them were pleasant, though harried. I didn't see anyone getting trampled, pushed, shoved, or pepper-sprayed.
The best part was later in the day, when a woman came in with an entire gaggle of little ones in tow. She was juggling baby, toddlers, and preschoolers, so I lent a hand. I played personal shopper, carrying her items to the checkout and even helping her out to her car. See...I really am a nice person. :)
Maybe my Black Friday experience was unique. Overall, the way people are reported to behave on Black Friday, pushing, shoving, even pepper-spraying others, is horrific. After years of seeing crowds get mob-crazy, I really thought any large group of people would turn nasty when things didn't go their way. That's why I'm shocked at how well-behaved the OWS protesters are. I guess it's a pretty sad world, when a civilized crowd is far more shocking than shoppers that act like rabid zombie monkeys on crack.