I had one of those, “Why am I doing this?” moments yesterday.
I was at an electronics store (Best Buy to be specific) on Black Friday.
And, the absurd thing of it all is I wasn’t even there at the crack of dawn to get the 50 percent off iPhone 5c or super-great-door-buster-deal on an HD flat-screen TV or whatever the promotions were. I was there to exchange my iPhone 5 at 8 p.m.
I made the mistake of thinking the store would be “normal” a few hours before its closing time. And, since my dad and I had originally gone to the store and purchased our new smartphones together, he was with me for the exchange. (An hour into waiting he was like, “See, Kristin, we should have just left and come back early in the morning!)
We ended up waiting longer to see a customer service representative than I did for any ride at Disneyland earlier this month. We waited for just a little over two hours. (Yes, I could have watched a full-length feature film in that time or raced a half-marathon with time to spare in that time!)
Why was I needing to exchange my phone when it was only six days old? It was acting “glitchy” all day Friday. It was “pressing buttons” when I wasn’t even holding the phone. (Examples: While talking on speaker phone, multiple buttons “were pushed” and the beep sound kept going off every time this happened! The phone called one of my contacts when I didn’t touch the screen at all. When I was in the middle of texting, random letters would appear and I couldn’t delete them!) It was basically acting possessed. I wasn’t going to deal with it. I was going to get a new phone.
I just did it on the wrong day.
I waited in line and my dad periodically went off to go look at other products around the store. Every time someone knew came to the line and asked me how long I had been waiting, they couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it either. (“Why am I here again?”)
On top of it all, I wasn’t even sure if the store had the iPhone 5 (regular one) in stock! The phone lines were backed up and I couldn’t get to a real person when I tried calling Best Buy before we went to the store. I guess the employees were just busy assisting all these people who were waiting in the super-long line!
When it was finally our turn, it felt like we had won the lottery. (I know, dramatic, right?) When we told the guy what we were here for he quickly responded and walked over to the cabinet to get a new phone. He was rummaging moving boxes around, checking each shelf for an iPhone 5.
My palms were starting to perspire. Did I just wait in that line — and make my dad wait in that line — for more than 2 hours for nothing? They can’t be sold out of the phone! This one is not a Black Friday deal!
The man seemed to have found the right phone and came back to the counter. It was the last iPhone 5 in stock. It was in white (the same color as my original) but had the last one been black I wouldn’t have cared. I was tired. I was exhausted. I had not gotten “real sleep” since the night of the 27th, which was the night before Thanksgiving. Besides a few car ride naps, my cousin and I hadn’t slept! We had been out shopping — but not really buying much since the deals were not that great — from midnight to 10 that morning! That’s insane, right?? Next year I am sleeping! (You can quote me!) I was even dozing in and out while watching the Apple Cup later in the day! That’s how tired I was!
So, after all of that, I was here at Best Buy.
Because I had backed up everything on my iPhone to the cloud, we didn’t have to stay longer than necessary at the store. I could just transfer my apps, contacts, photos, etc. when I got home, the employee said.
But, we did have to wait for the phone to turn on. He wanted to make sure that it was a working new phone. That took what felt like an eternity.
“I’ve been working the past seven Black Fridays and this has been the worst Black Friday,” the man said as he waited for my phone to charge up even a little bit to turn it on. At this point, it was 10:30 p.m. and the store had closed at 10 p.m. There were two other guys helping other customers with three more customers waiting in the phone line.
When the guy helping us added that he worked until 1:30 in the morning that day and had to be at work at 7 a.m. to closing (which was now past but he was obviously still there) and then had to be at work again at 7 a.m. the next day, all I could think was “Dear, god, why???? Why do have a day of shopping that just makes everyone tired???”
Finally the “eternity” passed and the phone turned on! My dad quickly called my number and the phone rang. (His name did not appear since nothing new was loaded but at least we knew it was working!)
This morning when I was syncing my new phone to my computer to restore the “old phone” settings (everything that was on my first iPhone,) I had feelings of “Ahhhh, technology!” combined with “Ughhh, technology! (I hate you, if this was my flip-phone, I would be having no problems!)”
But, if this was my flip-phone, I wouldn’t be able to FaceTime, Snapchat and tell Siri what to do.
Anyway, the take-home message here is that Black Friday is called Black Friday for a reason. And, if you can avoid an electronics store on this one day of the year, I would advise you to do so.
Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.