Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday at the pet store

The dog is right - this is the only Black Friday sale I was interested in. In fact, it's the only Black Friday sale I've ever gone to. And the only reason I went to this one is because my scruffy little terrier urgently woke me up at 6:00 this morning. This is the dog who, most mornings, would sleep as late as a teenager if we didn't drag her out from under the covers. I guess she knew about the sale.

So I dragged my protesting carcass to Pet Supplies Plus, vowing to come back home immediately if parking was hard to find - and snagged the space right next to the handicap space by the door.

Inside, a check-out line stretched from the cash register to the west wall of the store, angled right and continued to the premium dog foods on the north wall. A second line heading due north looked equally long. I noticed one shopper in pajamas.

No more shopping carts were available, so customers were using toddler-sized customer-in-training carts, stockroom carts, and dollies. No more of them were available either. Never mind. To save 30%, I was willing to schlep a 26-pound bag of Wellness Core Grain-Free Ocean Formula, a 5.5-pound bag of Orijen Adult Dog Food, a tube of poultry flavored toothpaste, and 2 packets of FrontLine Plus from the back to the front of the store.

The experience restored my faith in human nature.

Nobody was trampled. Nobody shoved. No voices were raised. Even the two dogs in line near me sat patiently - for 50 minutes, which is how long it took to get to the head of the line.

The man in front of me kindly held my place while I went in search of doggy toothpaste.

At 7:45, he commented that the sale was likely to be over before we made it to the cash register. At 7:50, however, an employee distributed cards marked "30%" to all of us in line.

I waved to a friend who was about 10 people ahead of me. After she checked out and unloaded her purchases, she brought her cart back into the store and gave it to me. I then shared it with the man in front of me, whose dog food bag was even bigger than mine.

The check-out clerk was efficient and pleasant. A smiling shopper came up to me as I headed for the parking lot and said, "I'm going to follow you and take your cart when you're done with it." I was happy to give it to her.

Everyone was so helpful and agreeable, in fact, that it felt like the way neighbors bond after a major snowstorm, or survivors after a disaster. Were we all thrilled to have escaped Black Friday unscathed? Or are animal lovers just really nice people?


JJBHewes said...

Beautiful! Would that more people would focus on the positive, rather than focusing on the negative experiences! :-)

Mark Moring said...

We had a similar experience at Wal-Mart last night, waiting in line for one of their TV deals. We had ticket No. 20, and struck up some nice conversations with parties 21 and 22 for almost two hours. Never learned their names, but 21 and 22 were good enough for us. And Wal-Mart was surprisingly ready for the crowds, cutting what could've been chaotic madness down to a very civilized process. Kudos to Wal-Mart, and to 21 and 22.

Annie Wald said...

One of my all-time favorite things about the United States [right up there with orderly de-planing after a flight].