Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Friday Follies


Black Friday....going out and fighting each other over junk we don't need right after being thankful for everything we already have. You've probably seen some variation of that statement on your social media feeds lately. Whether you feel that way about Black Friday or not depends on who you are. 

I have friends that live for the fun and excitement of Black Friday shopping each each year. I also have other friends, who think more like me, that avoid retail stores at all costs on Black Friday. For me, it's mostly because I don't like large crowds of people. The fact that I spent a number of years in the retail industry just sealed the deal on my opinion of Black Friday. Now that many stores are opening on Thanksgiving Day already really makes me thankful that I no longer work in the retail industry. 

Working in the tech industry now, I am really looking forward to technology helping fix this Black Friday chaos. Cyber Monday has been around since around 2004 or 2005, but it hasn't had quite the impact I wish it would have. I think it has lessened a little bit of the madness of the post-Thanksgiving shopping. Then again, starting the shopping kick-off earlier can also take some of the credit...no matter how much I hate to admit it. 

My wife is no stranger to shopping or looking for great deals, but Black Friday was not something she experienced until a couple of years ago. It's now a fun little activity for her and my sister-in-law to venture out into the craziness and snag some deals. I'm just trying to figure out if it's a good thing or not. 

Black Friday has a way of turning good people bad. For instance, my wife wasn't a criminal until she started shopping on Black Friday.  Ok, so maybe she's not really a criminal and it really was an accident, but she almost stole a purse this year. 

This is where technology is actually working against us in a retail environment. My wife found a purse she wanted and decided to use one of those self-checkouts because the line was much shorter. She scanned the purse, swiped her card, grabbed the purse and headed out the door. As she was walking through the security sensors at the exit, the alarms started blaring. She was caught red handed trying to steal a purse....but she didn't know it. 

Apparently, that "self-checkout" was actually a kiosk to order something in the store and have the product shipped to you. A great idea for someone who doesn't want to carry a mountain of Black Friday shopping plunder with them or leave it in their vehicle as they bounce from store to store. I guess they frown upon also taking the (extra) product out of the store with you though. I don't know why since everyone seems to have a buy one-get one free offer on everything these days. 

In the end, it was an honest mistake. Since she didn't tell me about it from a holding cell at the local police department, the store must have understood it was an honest mistake as well. This little mishap does serve to prove a point though.... Black Friday is evil.

If it's not the people attacking each other over slashed prices, it's technology trying to turn you towards a life of crime. If you're daring, feel free to give it a shot. But if you prefer a simpler life like me, stay at home and work your way through the left-over pies from the Thanksgiving feast. It's a lot safer and far more relaxing and enjoyable. Until next time....