Friday, November 24, 2017

A Dip of the Toe in the Black Friday Phenomenon

There has been little more worthy of scorn than the disgusting phenomenon of Black Friday shopping. The scenes of riotous flatscreen hopefuls grabbing at each other's entrails in hopes of an additional 30% off have served to inoculate me from the madness. Additionally, I tend to view those who do join these mobs with circumspection, even beloved family members. As of today, I have joined their ranks. Here is my story.

I woke early today, about 0645, wide awake and jonesing for a cup of coffee. I  fed the beasts and sat down with my smartphone by the fire, a device newly shorn of the Twitter and Facebook apps in support of my plan to back away from them for the rest of the Christmas season. The problem in doing so, is that my main source of news--Twitter--is now not available. Now I know, Twitter is a forum for showing off, but it is also an incredibly efficient source of news. I follow a ton of news organizations and political commentators, and they link to numerous interesting news stories and analysis. Without Twitter, I have to use other ways to get news--major news websites (NYT, WaPost), commentary sites (NR, Weekly Standard, commentary) and headlines (AP)--all of which do a good job, but a hell of a lot less efficiently than Twitter.

Enter "Nuzzel". Nuzzel is a fascinating app that links to your Twitter account, and then mines the feeds of everyone you follow, pulling out what THEY have linked to, and then supplying only the linked to stories to you (me) prioritized by how many of them have tweeted about the story or linked to it. Essentially, you get a curated news service courtesy of the people you follow on Twitter. Said another way, you get the good, non-addictive part of twitter (News) without the showing off and the bullshit.

So there I was this morning in front of the fire at 0745, having thoroughly updated myself on the news of the world overnight, with everyone else in my house asleep, for hours at least. I determined yesterday that I would not do any "real" work today, I have prohibited myself from social media (which I could then spend hours wasting time on), and I wasn't all that thrilled to go read the book I'm halfway through on.

I opened an email from Joseph A. Banks telling me about their Black Friday Sale. And then I saw that Joe opened at 0800. And there is a Joe Banks here in Easton. And I want a new suit (Blue windowpane, flat-front trousers, cuffed). And this is how I joined the Black Friday madness.

Driving there, I steeled myself for the experience. Insufficient staff. Lines. Rudeness. Lines. Maybe bait and switch. Lines.

I arrived at 0815, and there was a single employee in the store. I was the sole customer. I left in less than thirty minutes with two pairs of pants and a suit (ordered). 

How bout that?

1 comment:

"The Hammer" said...

I went into Lowes Home Improvement to actually buy something I needed unrelated to Black Friday deals ($29.95 Chinese plasma TVs, $39.95 Playstation VIII etc.) and got out as quickly as I could. The atmosphere was like the Japanese throwing Red Cross packages at Cabanatuan POWs, only the recipients were angry and weighed four times as much.

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