Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday Shopping

In that I am about to head back to the UK, I decided a while back that I wanted to have my own PC there so that I don't need to write my blog entries all on my PDA. There is nothing wrong with doing it on my PDA, but it is a bit slower than having a full-sized PC and it also means that I still have to add pictures to my posts after I have uploaded them.

It would also be nice to be able to play a computer game or scan the internet at home without having to schlep the work laptop home. So I (reluctantly) joined the masses celebrating that tradition of the American public: Black Friday Shopping.

It was not a spur of the moment decision, I had done some research online on pricing. But there was nothing too good there. I did get a pretty good deal on a new laptop at Best Buy, but it further confirmed that I hate shopping and even more, I hate shopping at Christmas time!

It was a mob scene. I was up at 04:45 to go to the store and my brother-in-law and I left around 06:00; glad that we hadn't left at 05:00 when the store actually opened, we made it to the store when the line to get in was only fifty-yards-long. It only took a few minutes to get in and inside it was a mob scene. I made a bee-line to the computer department, tried to get the attention of a staff-member, and upon finding-out that the one that was on-sale was sold-out, I picked another that was still a pretty good deal.

The entire transaction took less than thirty-minutes. I was lucky enough to get into a line with only one other person ahead of me. The only noteworthy event was the salesperson chasing me down as I was trying to navigate the weird traffic pattern that they had set-up to handle the clouds. On my way to the register, the salesman came over to me and called:

"Excuse me, sir. You can't walk around with that until you have paid for it." Understand, now... I have been gone from the computer department less than a couple minutes and was making constant and fairly rapid progress toward the check-out stands.

I looked at him incredulously, looked at the stanchion maze that they had set-up, looked at the registers (ten feet away but across the empty queues) and said "I'm not allowed to carry it to the till myself?"

He gave me a kind of sheepish look and said "Oh, yeah! I guess we've messed-up the traffic patter. Sorry." And then he moved off.

Even though the enter venture took me less than an hour, it was not something I want to repeat! I HATE shopping at Christmas time! That done; I was able to go home and start playing with it. My family will be heading-out some time today and hopefully, I'll get some time to play cribbage before they do!

I hope that wherever you are, the unpleasant things you had to do today were at least over quickly!

Don Bergquist - 24 November 2006 - Apollo Beach, Florida

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