This is an admission of self stupidity of which I should have known better. I'll start with some history of my past Black Friday experiences.
Having such a crappy memory, I can only recall maybe 2 or 3 other times that I have done this -- wake up in the crack of dawn to grab some decent deals. I'm not one to snatch up big things like HDTVs and other electronic gadgets. Nope, I always go for the simplest thing. The first outing was for a Belkin wireless router, to complement the Gateway laptop that I received as a birthday gift. I figure that one router is not much different from the rest. Nope. That old saying that you get what you paid for? It's true here. The Belkin router is so crappy that it cannot last the kind of torture that I would put it through. I gave up and snatched up a Linksys WRT54G (revision 3 hardware) just so I can get rid of it. Useless piece of shit crap that was, but I digress.
Anyway, the process was simple -- get in, grab item, checkout, and head back on home. I did the same when CompUSA advertised a 19" LCD monitor for $200 after rebates. At the time, any LCD monitor of that size with a DVI port would have cost you close to $300 and above. So at the time, it was a good pickup. That one also didn't go all that smoothly, as I later found out that the monitor had 9-10 stuck subpixels of all 3 colors -- red, green, and blue. I was fortunate to be able to get an exchange/replacement for it and ended up with a perfect monitor (no dead or stuck pixels). In the end, not a bad deal.
This year, the targets were movies. A Few Good Men, Rocky Balboa, House of Flying Daggers, and Ray were all tagged to be picked up, as they seem to be well worth the price for the kind of movies they are. The first 3 are at Best Buy, with one being advertised for $2.49 as a doorbuster. Doors open at 5AM. So I figure that I would be punctual and arrive a good 5-10 minutes early to scope out the madness. Little did I know just how mind boggling this would become.
Upon arrival with about 5 minutes to spare, I became witness to a huge crowd gathered at the main door at Best Buy. Those who have clicked on the picture to view on a separate window/tab would notice that I drew a few red lines. The short one would be the start of the line. The other one would be the 2nd and continuation of the first line. The screenshot you see there should also display the distance meter at the bottom left corner of the image. It's measured in 50ft per length. By estimation, the line amounts to about 450ft long, maybe longer. And as barely visible from the thumbnail, the line did curved and extend quite far. When the doors finally opened, the first batch of people were permitted to enter. The rest have to wait a while. I knew better than to walk 450ft in the dead cold air only to slowly creep up to the door. Instead, I just waited across the street until the line shorten up. By then I only stood around for about ... maybe 15 minutes? ... and then walked only a short distance.
Once inside, the plan was simple -- grab the movies and checkout. That's all. The process is easy, simple, and not much of a hassle. Checkout was fairly quick and the line was consistently moving. Even though the line curved around aisles like a maze, it seems I didn't have to wait much. After I got out, it was time to go to Circuit City for the pickup of the last movie. By estimation, I should be able to be there for abotu a half-hour at most.
By the time I arrived at Circuit City, it was about 6AM or so. My attention was focused on finding the nearest parking space. After locking up the car, I looked up to see... a line. What the fuck??? A line? The store's already open, as they opened at 5AM! So why the hell is there a line outside?! I then overheard that the Fire Marshall, with all of his wisdom in stupidity, limited stores to have 500 people inside at once. Uh, fucking hell...
The time I spent outside is probably a good 5-10 minutes. Once inside, I find that their bargain movies are bundled into retarded bins and their DVD section is hardly organized in a way to easily find a fucking movie. I eventually found Ray and the Xmas Classic cartoon shows that I needed to get for my sis. Time to pay for 'em. I browsed around to find a line that is short and doesn't wind a lot. I eventually spotted the video game section having a decently short line so I went with that. I guess I started waiting in line at around 6:30AM to 6:45AM. After standing at the same spot for a good 10 minutes, the line wasn't moving a single inch. One of the workers there said that the system went down. Well that is just fucking perfect. What the fuck were these retards running on? Windows 98?
After the system came back up, the line wasn't moving much still. I later found out that the guy who was at the register is retardedly slow. Even worse is the worthless pile of shit Point of Sale system that they had running there. Those machines look like they were more than 10 years old. Their barcode scanners weren't up to stuff either. Some of the people ahead of me had console systems in tow... be it Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, or *ptooie* PlayStation 3. Scanning the UPC barcode was easy. The system recognized it almost instantaneously as it should. The problem was when the PoS system asks for the console's serial number barcode (most likely to prevent hardware swap fraud). I would see the guy spend half a minute to a minute trying to get the fucking thing to register. And it just wouldn't register at all. I would see the guy hold the scanner gun close to it and slowly back it away in hopes of getting that right height that the system would miraculously register the serial number onto the system. Two ladies ahead of me had a Nintendo DS in tow. So I know I'm going to be waiting for a while.
By now you would probably be saying that it cannot get any worse. Yes, it can. It always can and always will.
The guy behind me is a USPS mailman. He had originally planned on getting his stuff and checking out by 7AM. Not happening. All of us stood there and I was getting quite irritated at all the fucking waiting. So many times I wanted to just throw the movies I had in my hand into the air and just yell out "FUCK THIS WAITING SHIT, I'M GOING HOME!" And personally, I could not care less if people would understood me or laugh at me, because I was angry at how fucked up Circuit City is over their damn system.
Amongst all the stupid waiting, I actually spotted a guy purchasing a PS3 system. That wasn't the bad part. And that isn't to say that I like the system either. Rather, it's how the guy paid for it. And that's right. Cold. Hard. Cash. A $400 system paid for in cold hard cash. 20, 40, 60, 80, 100. 20, 40, 60, 80, 200. Oh for fucks sake, just hand the guy four fucking Benjamins and then some and be fucking done with it!
When I was close to the register to actually lay down my movies, I PURPOSELY arranged them so that the UPC barcodes are facing upright, and arranged in a way that you can do 3 scans in 1.5 seconds. When it was finally my turn, what did the guy do? He picks each one up and scans them. Ugh. So finally I got it all paid for, movie's in the bag and everything. The receipt's timestamp: 8:12AM. I started waiting prior to 7AM. I've been waiting my ass off for over an hour. What. The. Fuck.
This year's Black Friday is shitty. I have been consistent in what I needed to get -- the simplest of things. It's an easy go-in-and-check-out deal. I should not have to spend over a half-hour just to get what I wanted. And I still despise the entire idea of a single day out of the entire fucking year where the stores would put up a fucking sale that causes people to camp out in front of the store's door for hours on end. Why that Friday? Why not on a fucking Wednesday? Or separate the sale into smaller ones on certain days? Or instead, simply make the entire sale a week-long thing. I'm tired of having to get there early just to get the stuff that I wanted when all of the stores don't stock up enough to even last into the fucking afternoon.