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Diary of a Black Friday Shopper (from a Black Friday in the past)
If it seems too good to be true...
Each year, retailers hope to entice people to part with their money in ever more seductive ways: free upgrades, bundles, instant rebates, discounts.
This year as my best friend and I plotted our Black Friday recession strategy, there was one thing we had not planned on—bigger crowds.
It wasn’t because they did such a great job on marketing this year—while I heard that many large retailers were opening their doors at midnight, Arundel Mills opening seemed hushed in comparison.I knew they would be open this year because they were open last year.
At 11:30 pm, the parking lot is a mass of metallic and light.I find a spot right in front of a store we won’t actually be going to that while not ideal at 11:37 in the cold rain, will be prime once we are gone.
“It’s hard to believe this is a recession."
Initially, I agree.
“Maybe,” I reconsider, “all these people are here really trying to save money.”
In years past, Black Friday has been about camaraderie and competitive shopping.This year, for us and many of the novice, veteran and window shoppers joining us, this year it is truly about getting a deal.
Retailers like Echo Unlimited recognize it too.
Gone is the attitude of Black Friday being some sort of favor for shoppers.Most of the insulting 10-15% off sales have been replaced with 30-70% off deals.While many stores wait until the scheduled 12 o’clock mall opening, many capitalize on capitalism and open when the customers arrive—early.
There is a reciprocal shift; an appreciation of commerce seems to have—at least for now—toppled the old way of doing business.
Burlington Coat Factory has multiple cash registers open and we notice at least two managers at the front of the cashiers waiting to answer customer and cashier questions; if their goal is transactional ease—it is achieved and appreciated.
While most of the sale items I want at Toys R US are gone (though available all day online), it’s 3 AM, and I am greeted by eager staff, short lines, and quick service.
Likewise, it takes longer to get to Marley Station’s JC Penny’s than it does to wait in line.As the clock nears 4 AM, they are prepared, chipper, well-stocked and well-attended.
Honestly, Black Friday for me starts 12 hours earlier, at Kmart.Because I’m only going to pick up a few items for the house, I don’t mind sliding in near 10 AM for the sale that started at 7.It took me years to trust holiday sales, as a closet conspiracy theorist, I always worry that the price I pay today is more than the price I would have paid yesterday.
So, when my daughter and I see the slip advertising irons regularly priced $5.99 on sale today for $9.99—a part of me says, ‘I told you so’ to the part of me that didn’t want to know.
Stories at the Storey is proud
to announce the beginning of a new adventure! We are calling on writers from
all across the community to submit their true stories to us for the exciting
opportunity to be featured in the pilot episode of our new podcast. We are
looking to establish the same intimacy, warmth and passion present in any good
storytelling that comes from the heart. Submissions can be on any theme; the
only conditions are that they must be your story to tell and they must be
creative non-fiction. For further guidance on what creative non-fiction might
look like, The New Yorker, Brevity, The
Real Story, and Creative Nonfiction have good examples. Submissions should be approximately
750 words (3-5 sides of A4) so that if your work is selected, it can be read
aloud in a five-minute time slot. Please specify with your submission whether
you would be happy to read your story should you be selected, or if you would
prefer one of our team to read it for you. It would also be a grea…
Dear Diary, A few
months ago, I completed my Creative Writing PhD. During my PhD I researched and
applied for jobs. When I graduated, I researched and applied for jobs. Post-PhD
doesn’t look quite how I planned. In some ways it’s better, in others it’s not. The Good
launching a literary arts organization. During my degree my friend Naomi and I
created live literature events where we built communities around stories.
Stories at the Storey is a true story open mic night where people share their
true stories around a theme. Each month people share pieces of their lives and
it’s pretty close to magical. We also created North West Literary Salon, a
monthly event where writers read to us. The readings are followed by music,
questions, food and really good conversations. Then, because we needed even more stories, we created a writers’
development tool where actors bring new writing to life. Now, with Naomi’s help
and with a growing board of influencers, I am launching an arts organiza…
I’m pursuing a Creative
Writing PhD. “What are you going to
do with that?” People ask. It’s not what some
consider a logical degree choice. Logical
choices translate from degree to bank account; from dollars in cost to dollars
in revenue. Logical degree choices don’t just make sense; they make cents—a lot
of them. I am a writer. What other degree allows
me to write and research engaging topics that interest, love and inspire me? Who
would I be if I didn’t follow my passion? And what will I be if I don’t apply
logic to passion? Broke. It is not logical to
assume I will graduate and no matter how engaging my writing, tumble in to a
full-time Creative Writing faculty position. Despite my modern degree, chances
are I will have to earn my position the old fashioned way: one best seller at a
time. Each conversation I have
with either an established or emerging writer shows me that it is possible to
craft a career as a writer, as long as I keep a day job and a steady stream of
projects and poss…