Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, where people line up and fight for the cheap-o deals that retailers offer. One of these people was me. There were many things I learned and experienced this Black Friday and I think it will make a very interesting and compelling blog post.
The store I chose to visit was Micro Center, a retail electronics store that was offering an unbeatable tablet deal. They were offering a Microsoft Surface tablet with an extra $100 in accessories for less than half the retail price. Naturally, I found this to be a steal, and at 5 AM, my uncle and I pulled up to the store for it.
Micro Center didn’t open until 8 AM, unlike other retailers such as Walmart that decided to start their Black Friday frenzy on Thursday. When we arrived at the store, near five in the morning, there was already a line a quarter of a mile long. This wasn’t the worst part, they were all there for one thing–the Surface tablet I wanted. This line was a challenge I was willing to face, as there was no deal like this anywhere else.
When I got my spot in line, there were some very interesting people around me. An elderly Vietnamese man was behind me, and a man with his son was to my right. For the next three hours, we had a series of interesting conversations in both English and Vietnamese, discussing topics from Black Friday shopping to the situation in Mali.
The people in line at Micro Center were much more civilized than those at Walmart or other retailers. In three different locations on Black Friday, people were shot. Many other Walmarts were scenes of civil disobedience, violence, fights, riots and more. The people at this local store I visited were all orderly and civilized, until another group showed up.
Around 6:30 AM, the manager announced that coffee and donuts were being offered. This is where the vultures came out, as people were chasing out of line to grab a bite. Within 30 seconds, everything was gone, and people were yelling and screaming. The select few of people who caused the onslaught had just arrived, and I saw what they were trying to do next.
These people were casing the line, trying to find spots where they could blend in and cut it. That was unacceptable! These idiots were undermining the system, taking the spots of people who had waited all night for their chance at a deal. The man I was standing next to spotted one of them trying to cut right next to us. He told her off, but she just moved a bit farther back. I’m sure at least 20 people had cut the line, taking the few spots available from those who had waited.
Once we had arrived at the checkout stand, at 10AM after 5 hours of waiting, I was informed by the cashier that “We gave out more vouchers than we had tablets.” Uh-oh. Apparently, my uncle and I had gotten the last ones, and the people who waited for hours in line didn’t even have a standing chance. The people who cut had gotten one, and took from those who legitimately took time out of their day.
As we drove away, we could hear screaming and the sound of angry people, when the manager announced that they were out of stock with his megaphone.
Overall, Black Friday was a very interesting learning experience for me. I got the deal that I came for, but witnessed dishonesty and disobedience everywhere. People need to learn to control themselves, after all it’s just a deal!