I am never disappointed in being shocked by people and this Black Friday sales event was no exception. Our refrigerator went out on Thanksgiving, so we're trying to find another one. We figured that Best Buy in Sanford, Florida was on our way home from Thanksgiving meal and since they were open, we would stop in.
Oh my land! It was complete pandemonium there. Yes, I was crazy for even thinking about going in a store to look for another one on this day. Go ahead, call me crazy!
Dozens of cars were circling the parking lot looking for a place to park. People parking anywhere they could and walking a distance to the store. I guess, I should have known by that moment, but no - I had to go find a distant parking place and walk to the store. I ignored all the things that were telling me, this was not a good idea!
You couldn't see it until you were in it...
Once I got in the store, it looked like just a lot of people shopping. However, as I made my way through the crowd that didn't seem as bad until I got in the middle of it, I realized that the store had the isles blocked with merchandise routing people around the store to their specials and the checkout lanes. Of course, until you were in the middle of this, you didn't fully realize what you were in the middle of at that moment. You couldn't see it until you were in it.
Realizing that about 30 people were standing in front of the appliance isle I needed to go to, I quickly determined there was no reason to stay and I started to leave. Now, I'm claustrophobic and this type of scene dramatically increases my anxiety. The walls were closing in quickly and all I wanted to do was get out of this store. It was the moment of my anxiety where it was either me or others that were not in a good place and I knew I had to get out quickly.
I started to panic...
As I looked up and saw just what a mess it was in the store, I started to panic. It was then that I almost put the football pads on and went plowing through people. I knew I had only minutes before the anxiety would completely take over me and take me down. Fortunately, I made my way out of the place before that happened. I'm still shocked and stunned by what I saw.
If there would have been a fire in the store or some crazy person loosing it with a gun, there is no way anyone could have gotten out of their. I can't believe the Sanford Fire Department would allow this type of behavior, but either they didn't know, they didn't care, or they just didn't want to be bothered. Best Buy should have done something (anything) to deal with crowd control, but I'm guessing the all-mighty dollar of Black Friday sales is more important than worrying about the safety of their customers. After all, if something bad doesn't happen - then what's the worry?!
This morning though, I saw the Orlando Sentinel with the headline, "Thanksgiving Day Shopping Falters On Shrinking Crowds". Really? Exactly where did they go to determine the facts for such a statement? I mean, if you looked at the closed stores, sure I would agree with you. There were no cars there.
According to the Orlando Sentinel...
Quoting their newspaper article, "But judging by crowds at Central Florida stores Thursday, Thanksgiving shopping just doesn't draw the same interest it once did." Really? Obviously they picked stores and places we were not at. I mean, every open store we saw was jam-packed. The roads were packed. The interstate was bumper to bumper. Exactly what part of "Central Florida" did the Orlando Sentinel travel to for this article?
It irks me when the media just flat out doesn't do their homework. Some might call it dishonest and lying. To make a statement as they did in this headline is beyond belief. It isn't backed up by any facts other than trying to make a sensationalized headline to grab someone's attention. Facts aren't necessary. All you need for the media is hype and people will buy it.
So last night, not only did Best Buy fail their customers, but so did the Fire Department and law enforcement of this area. And - so did the Orlando Sentinel for reporting bogus facts to make a bogus story. That's what keeping Christ in Christmas is all about? That's celebrating the season of peace and joy and love? This is how we are human?
And no - its not all the other people out there. Don't let yourself off the hook that easy. It is everyone that gets caught up in the greed and "I have to have this" type of behavior. It is everyone that gets caught up in being hoodwinked into reading news that isn't true.
Maybe we all want to ask ourselves a very hard question - is this what it means to be human? Is this what Christmas is about? What is our role in all of this - and don't let yourself off the hook! I saw far too many that would be standing on the street corner claiming we need to keep Christ in Christmas!
Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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