That other Black Friday denial – pt 1

All right… now, here’s the situation… (my parents went away on a week’s vacation… ha ha ha … um… no…)

I DID go out and wait in line for a Black Friday deal. However.  I was denied…. DENIED!

It was both fun and awful at the same time.

I had reviewed the circulars for the many stores in my area, and ultimately decided that I would do the whole “wait in line” thing if I found the right deal. I was tempted by some of the computer deals, but tech savvy enough to know what I did and did not really want.

I ultimately narrowed the list down to the HP G50 – 112r at Office Depot, a Toshiba laptop at Best Buy, or another HP (essentially the same as the Office Depot machine only a little more RAM and HD space).  Hahaha, can you guess, which one I picked?

the Office Depot laptop I did not get

Yes, I thought this was the best value of the day – and a thorough search online showed many people agreed with me. I was able to get the specs and read enough reviews both of this PC and of the deal itself that I decided I would be a Black Friday line-up person.

I’d been planning the whole adventure in the back of my mind since Wednesday, but by 11 PM Thursday I was still relatively unprepared: I hadn’t charged Jay’s Zune or Nintendo DS, and most importantly I still hadn’t done my online research or finalized a product choice.  [The Cardinals were playing the Eagles on TV, and Jay and I were playing “pick the play” online while watching the game – we came in first in our group and 31st out of over 800 overall by the way.] When the game ended and Jay went to bed, I rushed around and got myself ready.

So, then it was midnight… and I was basically just stalling while Jay’s Zune charged. I wasn’t really sure what time would be best to go out and wait. On the one hand, I don’t think I’ve ever been in Office Depot at a time when the number of customers was greater than the up to 5 employees working. The Office Depot near me is part of a two store “strip mall” – with Toys R US – within the same poorly designed shopping complex as Walmart, McDonalds, a grocery store, and IHOP, and a few other random places.  It’s not that it’s an awful location – but by comparison Best Buy is in a large open strip mall with Target, Dicks, Babies R Us, Staples, Kohls, etc… that place would be packed.  This store, with it’s relatively late 6AM open time and isolated location would be the ONLY stop for people who waited in line there.  So I thought, perhaps I could wait a bit.

But then I thought about what I’d read on the internet: this was the consensus “best deal” on a laptop of the Black Friday shopping specials.  And I live in a suburb of Atlantic City, NJ – with this being the only Office Depot within a 40 minute radius. And, while I personally tought Toys R Us had nothing impressive in their Black Friday deals, it might be that a family would be at Toys R Us anyway and decide “we might as well get in line for the laptop too.”

So, I decided I’d take a ride over (it’s less than 3 miles from my house) and see… maybe I could put a chir down or something.  I quickly grabbed Jay’s electronics, put on a jacket and baseball hat, grabbed a folding chair, and zipped over.

At 12:35 AM, there were 18 people in line.

How many do you count?

It was 28 degrees, what were these people thinking? ( says it got as cold as 22 before sunrise). Meh, I knew what they were doing… they were doing what they had to do to get a good deal on a lap top.  All right… I could do it too. I got my folding chair and “toys” and got in line.

I took a moment to survey the group of 18 people in front of me. I say “18” but the count proved to be fluid.  The first 6 people were actually a collection of 12 who kept shuttling in and out of cars.  No one really said anything, and I just kept counting my position… it was a low as 15 and as high as 20… I could live with that (rookie comment, I know).  But, I kept an eye on what was going on… and I was okay with it.

Positions 7-12 were occupied by what looked like two families.  I was hopeful that the “one per household” rule would be enforced, but I counted them as 6 individuals anyway.

#13, 14, 15, and 16… ugh… the cacklers.  I realize I’m not really in a position to sit and judge anyone these days, but I had to bite my tongue so many times.  The catty, cocky, judgmental, gossipy, ignorant “noise” coming from these four women made me consider getting out of line more than a dozen times.  Oh my god… I just sat and bit my tongue – spoke to them only when spoken to – hid my complete disdain for them (really, I did… honest.I was good).

Positions 17 and 18 were held by a young couple (boyfriend and girlfriend?).  They were definitely not dressed for the weather – they were wearing jeans and a hoodie each.  The guy was there for the same laptop I was, and the young lady was there keeping him company.  They were getting far too much advice from the cacklers (go get a sweater, go sit in the car, he should be giving you his hoodie, don’t you keeep a blanket in the car, go get some coffee, nag nag nag nag nag… gaaaaaaaaaaaah!)  They showed incredible restraint, although being on the opposite side of them than “the cacklers” I caught the many eye rolls and mouthed “shut up!”s the young couple exchanged.

So this sets the stage… I’ll post what happened during the next six hours when I get back from Jay’s hockey practice.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman (Guest Author)


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