Into the depths of black Friday shopping

What is it worth to you? Would you line up in the cold for hours to get a good price on that special item that you’ve been wanting for such a long time? Or would you just bite the bullet and pay full retail? How rude are you willing to get? Exactly. And, how aggressive would you be willing to become as you elbow your way in a little bit closer to that deeply discounted prize?

Patti Carpenter
Patti Carpenter

They don’t call it “black” Friday for nothing. For some, it’s a plunge into the deepest, darkest depths of bad behavior. Like that woman in Los Angeles who pepper sprayed her fellow Walmart shoppers to get her hands on a coveted X-box 360. Or that woman in New York State who got knocked to the floor and kicked in the face trying to get her hands on a $35 smartphone. Or that angry mob in Little Rock that got physical over a $2 waffle iron. Or that poor sap in Arizona who cleverly tried to hide a video game under his shirt so that other shoppers wouldn’t mug him for it, only to get mugged by the police instead.

From fistfights over flat screen TVs to robberies of those very same items in parking lots–it got ugly out there. Folks were out paying the price for a bargain. Whether it was standing in line for hours, getting pushy, outright rude or only a little bit so, it was a study in human behavior like no other.

What scared me the most, when I read the news reports about all the violence that occurred over “stuff” on that day, is that I was out there, too. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I stood in line, I navigated through a sea of shoppers in one of the big-box stores, and I got my hands on a Kindle for $85 off the list price. Score!

Did I elbow, did I shove, did I pepper spray my fellow shoppers to get it? No way. I just slipped through the crowd like a stealth shopper, found it, bought it and got out of there as fast as I could. Would I do it again? Probably not. Well, maybe if the price was right.