I know Black Friday is over, but I figured I needed to document what happened just in case someone comes back a year later and says, “Do you remember what position you were in line when the fist fight almost broke out?” By the way, I edited the time stamp on this one, but I own the blog so my opinion matters more than yours.
Black Friday for those of you who don’t know is the day after Thanks Giving when stores have their really big sales and try to get Americans to spend a lot of money. It works pretty well. Generally, the process starts with the ads being distributed at the beginning of the week and then on Thanks Giving day at around 2300 hours, people go stand out in the cold and wait for their preferred store to open at 5 or 6 A.M. People shop, people get beat up over taking stuff, enough background, on to the story….
The crack squad of elite shoppers consisted of Sara, Marilynn, Dean, and myself this year. Dean and I on the wheel with Marilynn and Sara manning the credit cards. Marilynn and I left Sara and Dean at the house at 22:45 on the day of Thanks Giving to go wait at CompUSA (who was opening at midnight) with the plan that they would come and join/relieve our positions in the BestBuy/Circuit City lines later on through the night. Our post was obtained at 22:50 at CompUSA. Now, normal technology protocol stipulates that for the DB 1200s (Door Busters at midnight), tickets are given for the limited quantity to prevent a crowd maneuver know as the WSM (Walmart Slash and Mash, used by the Germans in the second World War). Unfortunately, CompUSA did not study this maneuver and fell to is speed and brute force quickly. The CompUSA soldiers were also missing a logistics supply chain that left many rationed devices missing and due to a tactical error, the CompUSA grounds were only manned by a small platoon instead of the normal brigades used to wage battle. This was a grim hour for both the shoppers and the workers. During the onslaught, a general disorientation befell both shopper and workers. Disillusioned and unsure of any direction, only some of the items targeted could be salvaged by the shoppers while the CompUSA platoon attempted to volley answers to the locations of all products unsuccessfully. Battered and bruised, yet emerging with our primary objective completed, we saddled up and headed over to BestBuy.
Unfortunately, there was an error on our reconnaissance information. BestBuy in Dayton did not possess our primary objective for this mission (a nice laptop for $200). Quickly drawing up a backup plan, we redeployed to Circuit City where the same objective was advertised. Now there were 15 of these objectives that were guaranteed to be at the location according to recon; however, this was uncertain at this time if we would have an opportunity to complete this objective due to our position (line position #26). At approximately 03:45, reinforcements were called in to bring fresh eyes and legs to the frontline. Dean and Sara arrived shortly and relieved Marilynn and myself to the base vehicle to recuperate. At approximately 04:30, Marilynn and I returned to backup Dean and Sara while the laptop tickets were being rationed out. Somehow, there were only 6 laptops to be rationed instead of 15. Later intelligence shows that several people at the end of the line who filed for credit approval received some of these rations unfairly as well as a few employees receive an unwarranted ration as well. Intelligence also showed that some of the cargo was damaged during transport and was not available to be divided out to the troops. As you can imagine, this blunder lead to mutiny among the ranks. In the ensuing pandemonium, local law enforcement and news crews were called into help quell the situation. Fortunately for our group, an acceptable secondary objective (desktop computer for free with purchase of AOL for 1 year totalling to $180) was able to make our barrage worthwhile. Other smaller objectives were also completed that allowed for a general moral boost among the troops.
Securing our captured supplies, we packed up base camp and joined the caravan back to the central operations facility. Once there, the crack squad of elite shoppers was thanked for their valiant effort and then discharged honorably.