It’s back! The Black Friday nonsense! Actually, as of this writing, the infamous Black Friday is not yet here but the nonsense towards that day has already begun! I’m talking about the so-called “bargain shoppers”; the people camping out at some major “box” store, many as early as today (Monday) and throughout the rest of the week until late Thanksgiving Day Thursday when many of the stores here in Saginaw and across the country will open in the evening, at around 8 o’clock local time (give or take an hour), kicking off the frenzy that is Black Friday. Camping outside a store is, in my opinion, taking holiday shopping – and human vanity just a bit too far! It is ridiculousness and frankly, it sickens me!
I can appreciate people wanting to save some money whenever the opportunity presents itself. I try to do the same. Yet, I could never understand why merchants had to have a Black Friday in the first place, creating the potential for people who claimed to be “thankful” for everything at one moment only to end up acting like wild animals several hours later.
At this time every year, people line up at stores, dressed in multiple layers of clothing and live in tents. Other than the merchant’s need – and greed – for money, I wonder why merchants permit camping outside their place of business. It’s very unsightly. Regular customers are subjected to seeing this nonsense every year! It’s bad enough that we see and have to walk by, around or over these bargain-shopper campers simply to enter a store! I don’t even want to talk about the amount of trash that often accumulates and clutter outside the stores and often finds its way into the parking lot! I’m not too concerned why bargain-shopper campers station themselves outside of a store for days at a time, often enduring the cold and inclement weather. It already seems apparent to me that these are some c-r-a-z-y, people. However, I do have some questions. For example, assuming merchants allow use of their restroom facilities to bargain-shopper campers during normal business hours, where do these campers go when the store is closed? As far as I know, neither the store nor the city arranges the stationing of port-a-potties for them. Do bargain-shopper campers bring their own camping pottie? Or do they head over to which ever gas station or 24-hour convenience store that happens to be open or nearby? I wonder where the bargain-shopper campers go to wash up or brush their teeth – assuming they bother to do either whenever they are NOT camping out at some store! I’m not sure if it’s true but I hear that some merchants issue some sort of “placement number” to each camper on a first come-first served basis so that campers don’t lose their place in line. Still, for those stores which don’t issue such numbers, I have to also wonder if a bargain-shopper campers ever leaves the tent to go get food, take a piss or a shit, do will he/she/they lose their place in line or is their tent supposed to “hold” their place in line? I suppose there must be some sort of bargain-shopper campers etiquette that exists; some unwritten courtesy which only remains valid until the store doors open either late Thanksgiving evening or early the following Friday morning when all bets are off! I also wonder if any of these people have jobs, school, or families. I sure hope they aren’t unemployed – choosing to sit outside some store for days at a time simply to buy something instead of looking for work. I can just imagine one of them telling their boss, professor, or some significant other something to the effect of:
“I’m off to camp out like some homeless person on a concrete sidewalk or slab in the city at the (insert box store name here). If I survive, I’ll see you when I get back on Friday or Monday, with all the Christmas presents I could snatch steal buy!”
Finally, I’ll never understand why people of good sense continue to condone this store-front camp out nonsense in their city or why the media would sensationalize it in the first place. This leads me to further address ask the following questions to the bargain-shopper camper:
- What the fuck? (I mean, really: WHAT THE FUCK!)
- Why would you want the stress associated with this kind of shopping?
- Why would you want to risk your safety or be that willing to tolerate bad weather – all just to save a few dollars?
- Would not the store(s) have enough of any new item in stock for everyone that wanted to buy one during their regular operating hours?
- Could not the merchants always order more – even if it required some PATIENCE on your part as the customer?
- It’s the 21st century. Why aren’t you shopping online?
It seems to me that most of the people camping outside are likely there to buy electronic gear like big screen televisions, computers, iPads or some similar devices. Surely, they must be well aware of the alternative shopping option called “on-line shopping”!
Over the years, many people have fought other early bargain-shopper campers over some lifeless product or thing and every year, there are news reports about shoppers fighting, biting, stabbing and maiming someone else in the store. Evidently, many Black Friday shoppers have the potential to be nasty, inconsiderate, disrespectful and violent, like savages or animals fighting over carrion. Listen: No temporarily low-cost thing ever justifies being nasty or physically harming another person!
In all the years of my life and all my travels of the world, I’ve never understood this insane need to out-do other people with wanting to be “the first” to own some sort of product or thing, particularly things which may are imperfect, may have a factory defect, may need immediate (and often constant) updates to fix post-release problems of functional operation or are considered obsolete the moment it comes off the shelves. Consider the kind of message these adult bargain-shopper campers send to children! Read my post about one such instance here.
Imagine, in this season of thanks, giving, benevolence and a look forward to the beginning of a new year, if people applied the same dedication, patience and energy used in being the first to buy or own something towards those things which are more worthwhile such as volunteerism, community clean-up or some other social contribution – things which are more important and which actually pays in huge, socially beneficial dividends!
I may laugh at these crazy nutty people but I also shake my head in disgust and disappointment of their vanity.