The horror of Black Friday shopping

Staffer braves crowd to experience extreme sale shopping

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ben headshotI had never been Black Friday shopping before, and it always seemed pointless. It seemed like a huge waste of time because there are equally good deals online. The only reason I feel like people go is because they see it as fun.

To me, going shopping is about the most boring thing you can do, doubled that with the fact that I have a weird social anxiety where I hate seeing people I know in public, so I don’t like to take the chance.

But this year I just wanted to experience it for myself. I didn’t have any intention to buy anything. I went for the people-watching. My 7 am experience at Best Buy did nothing but confirm my assumption about Black Friday shoppers.

Friday morning I woke up around six to get to Best Buy around seven in the morning. When I got there, the line was fairly short, which surprised me, but soon it started expanding around the side of the building. There was a woman about 10 people in front of me who was in a tent, and apparently had been since the night before when Best Buy closed for the evening. I asked her what she was waiting in line for.

“Oh, the TVs,” she said. “I am planning on getting like three of those 50 inch Panasonic TVs for my kids. They’re only like 200$ each.”

That cheap a price for a 50 inch TV was astounding, and as she told me that, at least three people around us were nodding their heads and commenting that they were also in line for the 400$ savings the TVs would offer. At that point, I realized I was surrounded by Black Friday pros. During that hour I was in line, at least three other stores in the Mueller shopping center came by with fliers advertising the deals at their stores, including Old Navy which was offering 50 percent off of entire purchases at the store.

IMG_1036The clock struck eight and the doors flew open, but it was surprisingly orderly at first. Everyone filed in one by one and got their carts and started shop like normal people. But chaos soon ensued. I first went over to the video game section of the store; there was no sign of life. The section had been entirely cleared out in the first five minutes of the store’s opening. There were very few games and no consoles left.

I strolled to the back of the store, and when I got to the coveted TV section, you could see the worry slowly growing on the employee’s faces as a crowed gathered. Droves of people behind me were pushing forward as TVs were flying off the shelves. I saw one family rush out with a total of five TVs. Finally, I got a glimpse of the front of the crowd. I witnessed two grown women fighting over a TV, yelling and screaming at each other. They were yanking the TV back and fourth. Finally, it was broken up.

It was at this point I thought it was the perfect time to end my Black Friday adventure. As trekked back out to my car, I discovered my front passenger tire was completely flat, which was odd to me because there was no sign of a leak, but luckily I had a compressor and I aired it back up and made the short trek back to my home. I went to go get it checked out at a garage and they found no sign of a leak. I put two and two together and discovered that someone probably let the air out of my tire. Next year, I won’t be returning to go Black Friday shopping.

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