Black Friday

"Black Friday" they call it. Retailers affectionally came up with the name due to the massive discounts, surge of sales and resultant chaos that is shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Let the festivities begin... 

-------------------CompUSA---------------------------------------------- 

Midnight. Really, I'm thinking, there can't be that many people willing to stay up til midnight to visit CompUSA and take part in thier '24 hour sale.' I was wrong. I arrived in the parking lot at 11:30 and the line was already halfway down the stripmall. By the time the doors opened, I had gone the entire length. I wasn't prepared for this. with only a T-shirt and sweatshirt in my not-to-warm jeans, I huddled in line and made friends with my new neighbors. 

A lot of people came for the Harddrive deals. But make no mistake, this line was not all pocket-protecter-wearing geeks. Some had brought thier kids awaiting the newest FSP, others were the techno-reluctant drama queens waiting to buy cell phone skins to show thier friends, and still others were the senior citizens looking for the eMachines deals so they can finally tell thier grandchildren they have a PC and are now hip. Me? I had made this pilgrimage to expand the home network with a 200GB SAN. I had done the research. $50 was a good deal for the network encloser, plus a couple $30-after-mail-in-rebate HDDs, and I was in business. 

The first snag in the plan came early. In line, going over the sales brochure, I saw my SAN enclosure -- in the $100 side! Geez, how could I be so clumsy? That's not a deal. Oh well, I told myself, I'll still get a good harddrive deal. 

They were passing out vouchers for some higher-demand items like the eMachines, laptops, and plasmas. We anxiously awaited the HDD vouchers, but none showed. The doors opened, making waiting in line obsolete, and we all clamored into the new discount technology mecha. 

Utter chaos inside. The 200GB HDDs were sold out --fast. at my feet were the 169GBs, and I started handing them out to the boyz that were in line with me. we were like that now --they watched my back, I watched thiers. we gave each other the head nod as we parted company and made our way to the rest of our goodies. There was nothing else I could find I wanted, so proceeded to the checkout. 

the checkout line was halfway back through the store; by the time I left, it had grown to touch the back of the store -on all checkouts! Made new friends in line. for the two harddrives, I would have to pay $140 each, and get $110 back through 3-different mail-in-rebate offers that could take 6-8 weeks each. The wisdom of coming to CompUSA in the first place was now in question. After not moving for 20 minutes, I informed my counterparts it was not longer worth the effort and put down my merchandise. 

On the way out, I saw Rich Bennet working one of the cash registers. Rich and I used to be on the Big E together. I asked him how come he didn't let me in the front of the line. His response: "I dont have a problem with that, but these other people might" point to his line of customers. As we were talking, I noticed his register was rebooting WXP. Apparently all the extra rebate slips that had to be printed and warranty info recorded had been locking up the systems and nobody was getting anywhere fast. I bid Rich my goodbyes and left to go home. It was 12:30. 

-----------------Navy Exchange------------------------ 

5:00. A.M. The alarm goes off and Lisa kicks me out of bed. While she hadn't seen anything in the sales ads worthy of shopping this early, she had made a point of telling me exactly what she wanted, exactly where it was, and exactly how much it was on sale for. I got dressed and remember to call her sister to wake her up. I was picking her up to go to the Navy Exchange with me. fun, fun. 

The car was warm. The coffee was warm. The line outside the exchange was not. I had just did this at midnight; you'd have thunk I would be better dressed. Hell no. Don't you know I'm invincible? The line had about 150 people in it, us about halfway. I was stupid for everyone to be in the line; when the doors opened, they opened ours, the food court and the garden section all at the same time. Kicking myself for not thinking of the other entrances, we all jammed in the one door and started our search. 

Wouldn't you know it with my luck, one of the items Lisa wanted wasn't at the Oceana exchange - it was at Little Creek. I gathered my one gift and waited for Becki to get hers -- all 20 items, of which I had to pay (she doesn't have military ID). Geez. 

At Little Creek, we checked the exchange, only to find out we had to go to the furniture store. Fun. 

Got home at 8:00 to start the demo on my house expansion. yah. 

----------------------The Mall---------------------------- 

Lisa, dispite everyone's warnings went to the mall. I guess it wasn't so bad. They got Alyssa's picture taken with Santa Claus. I guess there was no line. They were gone over 4 hours there and only came back with a candle. anyway...