I’ve worked my share of Black Fridays both at Toys R Us and then at Circuit City. It is a horrible fucking tradition that brings out the worst in people. At Circuit City I started out working in the small electronics department. Back then we sold portable CD players, boomboxes and cameras that took something we called film. On Black Friday people would start lining up at 4 in the morning in the freezing cold. When the manager would open the door they would push and run into the store so that they could be the first one to buy a piece of shit Jensen CD player that we were selling for five bucks less than normal.
It was even worse when they moved me to the computer department. I remember one year we had a “Free” computer deal. Now if I tell my eight year old he can walk into a store and get a free computer he will ask me what the catch is. But these grown fucking adults would come into the store and expect to walk out with a computer without spending a cent. Did you not see the little star after the word free? That means it’s not free. It means that you need to mail in a dozen rebate coupons AND sign up for 4 years of AOL. When confronted with that information you might think that they would reflect on their own shocking lack of common fucking sense. Sadly that never happened. Instead they would tear me a new asshole because obviously I’m the one who not only printed the advertisement, but I also invented the asterisk and use it to trick people into thinking you can get things for free.
Once they have finished telling me how they are going to call the cops and I’m going to go to jail for “false advertisement” they do one of two things. They either walk out (rare) or suck it up and decide to to buy the computer. Personally I would rather they just leave but most of the time they sigh, look at the machine and all of them ask me the same first question. “So is this a pretty good computer?”
I know what they want to hear from me, “Well of course! It’s the best computer they make, that’s why you can get it for free if you mail in some scraps of paper! All these other computers that cost money are total crap compared to this work of technological art”
The reality is that it’s an emachine and this is the third display unit we have had because they keep breaking down. I don’t really give a shit though and so I just nod. “yeah, it’s pretty good for the price.”
Now it’s time for the second question they will all ask. “So does this come with a printer?”