Well that was my first Black Friday experience. And what an adventure that was!
We have been in desperate need of a new TV. For the past year and half we have been fortunate to 'baby sit' various flat screen TVs, but alas, our good fortune came to an end when 3 different people got married, moved, or got engaged. For about the past month we have been watching TV and playing video games on a small tube tv inherited from my family. (thanks fam!!) I remember thinking "This TV is awesome!" when we got it.... before I went to collage - almost 10 years ago. Now however, not so great. While we were mighty grateful for my parents generosity we could endure no longer. By we I mean Spense... I mean really - who can play Halo or Call of Duty on a tube TV - he was dying all the time! ?But to be honest Once Upon a Time, Revenge and Glee just weren't the same.
We (by we I mean Spense) scoped out all the black Friday ad's looking for the best deal on a TV. Then on Thursday evening, after our fabulous Thanksgiving feast at the Rio Buffet (best in town... so yummy was their Crab & Shrimp... yum yum.. b/c lets be honest I was not ready to do Thanksgiving my own quite yet.) we (this time it was Spense, my sister-in-law Erica & I) set up our borrowed lawn chairs to stake our claim. That was about 6:30 pm Thursday evening.
The next 12 hours went something like this:
6:30 pm - Spense and I hang out with about 16 people in front of us. We catch up on TV shows on Hulu via his Phone. Thank you smart phones! Erica catches a movie with Spense's Brother & Nephew.
9:00 pm - Spense and I trade spots with Erica & head over to catch "The Rise of the Guardians" (great movie)
11:15 pm - Walk back over to Frys, notice line at H & M and Hollister - thought to myself "I got time"
11:30 pm - I take over holding our spot in line, while Spense & Erica obtain food and air mattress to sleep on since Spense & I had to be at work at 8 & 8:30am Friday morning. Took a look at the line, it was around the building, only about 50 people at this point.
12:30 am - Erica and Spense return, line a little longer, we settle in for a Nap.
1:00 am - I can't sleep so I start surfing the web for good deals.
1:45 am - Try to take a nap after looking at various websites and running my battery low.
2:03 am - Decide to go for a walk around Town Square (outdoor mall that we are in) and check out various stores that are now open for "Black Friday Sales". Erica accompanies me, she couldn't sleep either. Spense napping pretty well.
2:45 am - Return to Fry's line with small bag of Loot from American Eagle, namely workout clothes and a few other items.
3:00 am - fall into restless sleep where I wake up every 20 min or so until...
5:00 am - woken by the RUSHING of feet next to my face. I thought I had 30 min. to pick up my stuff and put it away before they closed the line. What appeared to happen was everyone in back of the line (at least 150+ ppl) thought it was time for Fry's to open since the people in the front of the line were starting to take down camp. They rushed to the front, causing about 100 ppl to CUT us and everyone else in line before us.
5:15 am - Almost have to get in someones face as I try to maneuver my way back to where Spense & Erica were holding a spot in line after cleaning up our area. By this point they had gotten so they were about 80th in line, but let's just say that the middle-of-the-line crowd was not happy with the 5am turn of events. But everyone was civil, just a few snide loud remarks here and there from those of us who had been there for 11+ hours.
5:30 am - Fry's employees come out to close & monitor the line - not an easy job. Poor guys got a ear-full from a few slightly disgruntled patrons. All and all no one got kicked out of line, and line-cutters stayed.
6:00 am - Doors open with Police, Fry's Management & Employees manning the front doors. Spense rushes to the TV area to get in line. I tried to get with him with the cart, but ended up having to wait in a different spot b/c there was not room with the cart.
6:30 am - Spense obtains 2nd to LAST Sony 50" 240 htz 1080p LED TV for only $500, we place it in the cart and head to pay. Slight frustration that we almost missed out on the deal b/c of a few dozen rude people, but Grateful & Excited that we did get it!
6:50 am - TV purchased, and we have loaded it in the car (thanks Kim & Geoff for letting us borrow your vehicle!).
7:15 am - Change, Trade cars back, grab Peppermint Hot Choc and Croissant from Starbucks - and make it to work by 8:15 AM. SHEW!!!
Things I would change:
- Take the day off. Going to work after basically being up all night - not fun b/c I closed, so I was at work until about 6:45 pm.
- Have a better plan to use the hours before for other shopping, online, in the mall etc. That way I make better use of the waiting time.
Was it Stressful? YES - esp being woken up - that isn't my best side to see. I almost chewed some guy out because he thought I was one of the cutters. He let me through when I (with a slightly raised and frustrated voice) explained that I was going to stand with my family that had ALSO been there since 6:30PM the evening before. He looked at me, and quietly let me through. Later he came to find me (after I had calmed down) to ask if we had really been there that long, and how many people were in front of us at that time? I apologized for snapping at him, and explained that I had been woken up by everyone rushing past us, and I am a little grumpy when I wake up. He told me he prob would have done the same thing had roles been reversed.
Would I do it again? MAYBE - the TV was worth it - the 5am wake-up call - not worth it.