I used to work in the airline industry and Black Wednesday is all about waiting. 

Black Friday is all about waiting too!  You go shopping to these great DoorBuster sales, it takes you five minutes to find what you wanted or find out that they are already out of what you wanted because they put it in the sale ad to get in you in the store but they only had 3 on the shelf and there were 300 people in line ahead of you (you know it was exactly 300 because the first 300 people got a $25 gift card and when you watched the lady in front of you smile as she was handed her gift card, you thought to yourself ‘cool, $25 extra’ until you realized that the store employee who was handing out those cards to the first 300 people had walked away, and he isn’t coming back with more cards, the cards are gone!) 

After those fast and furious five minutes of hunting down your coveted item or items, the pass slows to a crawl when you see the length of the line.

This scenario started for me yesterday, at around 8:45am (not exactly the first 300 in early hour, but I wasn’t after any doorbuster deals)  I was casually looking through the ads, when I a few things caught my eye, and I realized they were priced for the 6 hour sale. 

My Dear Husband and all the kids were still tucked in bed, I had until 11am to get these items at a great price, so I through on my jeans, got some coffee to go, and hopped in the car for my 10-12 mile drive to the store of choice (I tell you the distance so that you know it took me about 20 minutes or so to arrive at the store, then I had to find parking, this time lapse becomes significant later in the story)

I entered to the store to find that it was so packed,  there were no carts left.  Out of the corner of my eye I caught the checkout line, it was right in front of me, where I entered at the far side of the store. The line was weaving up and down through 10 isles!  It was madness! I hadn’t seen lines like that since Tickle Me Elmo was the doorbuster item at Toys R Us. 

Nevertheless, a deal is a deal, I went to the parking lot, 3 stores down, found myself a cart and headed for the toy section.  I found my item, one left,  took a close look, and uuhhhgggg… this the is not the one on the list!  A quick look back at the sale ad, and I if I had looked closely at home, I would have known the one on sale was not THE ONE! 

I thought to myself “they win, I’m in the store, the sale price item is not what I want, but I might as well look around”

I found a replacement item, more perfect than I could ask for,  picked up a few other things and with only four things in my cart, (my cart that some poor soul who is juggling 23 things in two arms plus a purse and a coat is coveting) I head to the line. 

Now let me just give you a road map of the store.  The toy section is center back of the store. Standing in the toys, just to the left is the shoe section.  From there you go through the Athletic Shoe Dept (quite extensive) then the boys section, the mens section, and then finally the front of the store, with cards, and seasonal items.  The cards and seasonal items are the isles I saw the line weaving through.

Now back to the point…

I start navigating my way to the front corner of the store where I think the line is, and I am about half way there when I hear an announcement “Shoppers ready to get in line, please look for the balloon bouqet for the entrance, now in the shoe department”

‘Are you kidding me?’

Nope, the line is all the way at the back of the store.  This line is worse than when Tickle Me Elmo was the hot ticket item!!!!

I finally arrive at the entrance to the line, with an empty cup of coffee, and I am looking at my four items wondering, ‘are they worth it?’

I ask the balloon lady the dumbest question ever “If none of these items are the 6 hour sale items, will Customer Service hold them for me, and I’ll come back tonight?”

Anyone want to guess the answer “We can’t do that ma’am. Unless the girls at the desk have been told something different”

Now I am usually not a foolish person, but I determined in that moment that there was nothing wrong with asking this dumb question twice, so I headed up to Customer Service and uttered these embarrassing words again

“By any chance can you put this on hold for me, and I’ll come back tonight, none of it is the 6 hour sale price?”

Survey says…

“No Ma’am, we can’t hold anything, I’m Sorry”

I responded politely “I understand, I just have to determine if these things are worth standing in that line for hours”

To my surprise, the angel behind the counter offered another alternative, “do you just need to pay for your items, I can check you out right here”

My conscience got the best of me and I uttered uncontrollably “What about all those people in…”

When I heard myself, I stopped immediately, and said “That would be great!”

With my four items bagged, and a huge grin, I offered my cart to the poor soul walking in the door, giggled at the people in line, headed to the car, and was home within an hour.