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How not to do Black Friday

My previous experience with black friday is generally going to stores to watch people go crazy trying to buy stuff. This year I tried out the crazy. On Thanksgiving I saw some Fry’s ads for amazing deals that would be happening on Friday so I considered going early, around 6AM. I was talking to Terry at the Thanksgiving dinner and he said that if I decided to go I should call him. When I got home I decided I would go for it.

I woke up at 5:30AM (no alarm), hopped in the shower, got ready and then called Terry. Terry said he’d be ready so I went over there and picked him up and handed him the Fry’s ads so he could prepare. When we got to the store that had cops out directing traffic. We got out of the Disneyland parking line and parked a block away.

We got to the store and saw more people there than we had ever seen before. We got a cart in case we needed it for bigger stuff and headed to the LCD monitors because there were some sweet deals there. I decided I could hold off on one so I went to get a free 80GB hard drive while Terry looked at the LCDs. Then Terry called me so he could find me (in the networking aisle (I was there mostly because it was quiet)). Terry called his brother from there to ask his advice om LCD panels and I went to look for the SoundBlaster Audigy 2 ZS Video Edition so I could finally record these laserdiscs to DVD (especially the original Star Wars) when I heard an employee yelling that the line started on aisle 13. I went back for Terry and put him in line and continued my search. I found what I wanted and headed back to Terry who was now on aisle 15.

Then we waited in line and got to snake through the video game section (XBox 360 was looking nice!) before I saw that some CDs were on sale. I excused myself and picked up the new Madonna album and the new Enya album for $6.77 each. Terry was still in the video game section when I returned. We finally passed out of the video game section to the computer section where the manager’s special was getting a free printer (a nice one even) if you bought a laptop or desktop computer. The funny part is that he was standing right next to the line and YELLING the deal to everyone who passed. If someone stopped and asked a question about it he would yell the answer even if they were face to face.

We finally made it past the computer section to the A/V section. We envied the huge wall-hanging LCD panels, and continued with the line. A few employees were walking around with hand-baskets full of batteries asking people if they needed batteries. We declined each time.

We finally made it through the appliance section and could see the checkout stands. Yay! And then a few more feet and we could see that the line actually turned left and went across the front of the store and back again before being able to check out. That was a problem since I had to be home by 9AM to take Nicole to work. I relayed this to Terry and he asked “So we have to abandon everything?” I said “Yeah, unless you want to wait here while I go take Nicole to work.” He said he had nothing to do that day so we went ahead with that. I stashed my pile of stuff so I could get it later and went home.

I got home in time, took Nicole to work, and got back to Fry’s to find Terry waiting outside. We went back in to find my stuff which was still where I stashed it, and I check for any deals on the NintendoDS. There was a bundle with two games I had zero interest in, but they also had the standard Nintendogs bundle, and Nicole wanted Nintendogs so that was a good deal. I picked up Trauma Center: Under the Knife because it sounded fun. The checkout line was normal sized at that point so we checked out right away.

What did I learn in case I want to do something similar again? Go with someone else (we did that), park a block away, and get in line as soon as you enter the store. Then you can take turns shopping and be ready to check out at the end.

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