Last night at work, I started prepping for our big Black Friday sales at Walgreens. I'm tempted to put quotation marks around "BIG" (There, I just did.) because Walgreens has a very iffy idea of what it means to have a Black Friday sale. Typically, you go to places like Sears and buy things like $100 pool tables and save $300 on a miter saw. Big, premier stuff that you can't usually afford. Either that, or you hit up places like Wal-Mart for ridiculously cheap prices on a few items and middlin deals on the rest. Like $50 for an off-brand flat screen TV, but they only have... Thirty-Three of them. Clearly, those will sell out in sixteen minutes, so they hope you'll bite on some of the slightly less outrageous deals like Care Bears or memory cards. AT any rate, Black Friday is all about ludicrous prices on pretty decent products, with a small amount on hand. That's why people line up outside of the stores at 5am, hoping to get one of those elusive few. There's all sorts of websites, with driving plans and buying strategies, even the best way to load your cart with the stuff as you race through the store. Crazy, says I.
Back when I ran a Chevron, I used to like opening on Black Friday, chatting with the shoppers as the girded their loins for the assault or helping them lick their wounds with a doughnut afterwards. Now that I work for a major retailer, things a re a bit different, but I still like working that morning. With a few notable exceptions, most of the shoppers are in a pretty good mod and fun to work with. Of course, like I said, my job has a different idea about what Black Friday is. Unlike the big box stores, Walgreens advertises a bizarre mix of no-brand toys, Christmas Decor and everyday essentials. It's evolved over the years too, going from outright deals for a limited time, to mail in rebates, with the products changing a lot over the years too.
This year, they're changing things a bit again, instead of having a three hour sale, they're running little specials on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and running them all day instead of a few hours. For the day itself, I have to confess, it seems like a silly mix of sale items - Fake Potted Trees, some Webkins, LED lights, frozen pizza....It doesn't seem like anything worth getting out of bed on a cold morning to me. Luckily for me, I'll already be up and out of bed. I work Thursday night from Midnight to 9am.
This means my wife and I will jet down to Salt Lake City Wednesday morning, spend the night at her brother's new home for Thanksgiving the next day, take a quick nap and drive back to Idaho in time for work that night. Sounds like a hassle, and it kind of is, but I really don't mind working Black Friday, and though it's in the middle of my "Off Days" the knowledge that I wont have to work Christmas because of the shift makes everything a bit sweeter.
Having Thanksgiving in a different city and with the Graves' should be interesting. My immediate family never really got into Thanksgiving too much. My mom makes the best stuffing around and my extended family always has a big shindig, but for some reason my brother and I never really got into the spirit. Frankly, I think it's kind of a silly holiday. I don't think we need an official holiday to celebrate what we're thankful for, we should do that year-round and as for celebrating family, well, there's other BS holidays for that too. I'm not really sure where my Meh-ness for Turkey-Day (A phrase that drives me nuts, by the way) came from, but even as a young kid, in the midst of two dozen family members, you'd typically find me in the corner with a book, ignoring people.
As we got older, my mom and brother and I started doing our own thing, going to a movie, eating a turkey, decorating the tree, more than anything, reveling in the vacant city that reveals itself during holidays.
So Thanksgiving should be a change, a smaller family group in a different town, football on the TV. In a way, it may be more of a traditional holiday than I've ever really had.
I almost didn't make it to the holiday, Some damned fool at work thought it would be clever to stack the trees we're selling at work as high as possible, going so far as to stand a ladder in top of the top bay in the stockroom, and stack it as high as they could from there. When I went to get them down in preparation of the sale, I quickly realized how precarious the stack really was.
I pulled out one box and the entire stack went down, like a huge game of Jenga. Boxes buffeted me in the face and back, pushing me back and away from the stack, my feet stumbling along the bay, 20 feet above the cement stockroom floor. I felt my feet teeter on the edge and lost track of where I was standing. My glasses were knocked away and everything went fuzzy. Then, there was nothing but air beneath me and I fell.
Luckily, I had stumbled around like Mr. Magoo long enough that by the time I lost my balance, the trees had beat me down to the ground and I only fell around four feet, onto the stack of banged up and bedraggled artificial trees.
Almost had to change my pants that night, I can tell you that!
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from someone who's just happy to be here without any broken bones!