Once again I survived Black Friday, albeit almost with frostbitten feet from standing in line for two hours (and some people had been there longer than that). But my feet are fine and I’ve completely recovered:).
People have a misconception about Black Friday. Yes, there are the stories of people being trampled to death, of people being shot, etc. Yes, I know those things have actually happened. Luckily I have never experienced any of that. For the most part, in the twenty plus years I’ve been shopping on Black Friday, the event has been pretty uneventful and very successful.
Today’s Walmart experience for me went very smoothly. Say what you want about the conglomerate (and I may disagree a lot with the way they treat their employees and even their customers sometimes), but when it comes to Black Friday, they are fairly organized. They queue everyone up and when it’s time to go in, it’s not a free-for-all. They don’t let everyone in at once. And there is NO RUNNING, as the manager kept reiterating every two minutes over the loudspeaker. If you were caught running, you were asked to leave. I was not the first person in the door (I was probably the 1000th person in the door and there were thousands behind me) and I still got everything that was on my list to get (and there was PLENTY more to be had when I left). Nobody pushed. Nobody shoved. The only negative thing I witnessed was a brief “cat fight” between two women when one of then accidentally hit the other’s leg and then was called a “bitch”. But that was the extent of it. To offset this, I was helped by another customer in locating an item I was looking for (as she had the same thing in her cart) and I also was able to help two other fellow customers find some stuff they were looking for. It’s not the first time I’ve seen shoppers helping other shoppers on Black Friday. Sometimes you’re better off asking another customer than an employee, since the employees are so frazzled.
Following Walmart I went to the Holyoke Mall. I had no problem finding a parking spot. JC Penney still had lots of the annual Mickey Mouse snowglobe ornaments left. In every store I went to I encountered friendly, helpful employees. The mall was not crowded beyond capacity. I was able to get everything I wanted and then some and left very happy.
Many wonder why others risk life and limb to go shopping on Black Friday. They think everyone is out to get the latest TV or computer at an incredible price. That may be the case for some. But for most consumers Black Friday is the one day stores offer items they may need or want for themselves or for others at affordable, sometimes unheard of, prices. With today’s economy the way it is, what is wrong with that?