My dad started looking for a new television when they started advertising the analog to digital conversion for all television broadcasts. About the time that he decided that his setup was not going to stop receiving the signal when the switch was made, his television broke. Since then, he decided that he wanted to upgrade to a nice plasma or LCD television.
I came home from a brief outing on Thanksgiving evening to find my mom, dad, and brother sitting around a huge pile of advertising fliers. They had selected a 40" LCD television from Best Buy. I looked at the flier and it promised a minimum of three in stock. Since we didn't want to risk them selling out, we decided to head out early.
My mom dragged me and my brother out of bed at about three and a half hours before the crack of dawn. We got ourselves all hopped up on coffee and hit the road. We got to Best Buy about at about 5:15 a.m., or 15 minutes after the store opened.
There were lots of people and long lines. The television that we wanted was still available, although the people in line right in front of us were there for the exact same television. The people working there had us stand in line in the television section.
Fortunately, the line was not ridiculously long.
Unfortunately, the line failed to move for about 45 minutes. At one of the biggest electronic outlets in the nation, the line couldn't move because their computers were down. Guess they should have called the Geek Squad. Wait a minute. They ARE the Geek Squad!! Whoops.
After a total of about an hour, we worked our way up to the register and made our purchase. Then we went to pick up the television at the loading area. We had a car. The television was being kind of stubborn about fitting into the car. Rather than trying to bend and beat on the $700 television to get it into the car, we opted to call my brothers buddy, Bill, to come and pick up the television for us. Bill has a truck.
My brother is a truck driver, and so is his buddy. Turns out, truck drivers have the same sort of sense of humor as submariners. You know, the one that says it is okay to make other people miserable because it amuses you. Bill and my brother often play pranks on each other.
Anyway, Bill got the phone call at about 6:30 a.m. asking him to come to Best Buy to meet us and drive the television to my parents house. Bill, who was still asleep when the call came in, looked at the clock and decided that my brother must be trying to mess around with him. Who goes shopping for a television at 6:30 in the morning? He told my brother, "I'll be right there!!" and promptly rolled over to go back to sleep.
It took two more phone calls, a reminder that it was Black Friday, and an hour before Bill realized that we were actually stranded outside Best Buy with a 40" television and a brand new television stand. He showed up shortly after that. My brother rode home with Bill while my mom and I, as an afterthought, decided to swing by Target to pick up a surge protector for the television.
WOW!!! That place was packed. The line stretched to the back of the store before bending around a corner and out of sight. The lady at the front of the line told us not to worry, because the line was moving pretty quick. My mom and I left. We ended up picking one up at OfficeMax.
Now OfficeMax is a store that I kind of like, as long as I go in armed with a knowledge of the proper pricing of what I am looking for. It almost made me sad to go in there. They had the whole crew in to help customers, but the customers failed to show up, I guess. There were about a half dozen customers in the store. One of the sales people walked us over to the surge protectors. There was an open register with nobody standing in line. While it is pretty nice to have two customer service people for every customer, it looked pretty empty on the biggest shopping day of the year. Hope that they don't count on Black Friday revenues for most of their business.
We went home after that and spent the remainder of the morning assembling the television stand and setting up the television. It looks great and works great. My parents were very happy, so I guess it was all worthwhile.