Monthly Archives: November 2010

Do You Park Like an A$$hole?

It’s happened to everyone.  You are searching for a parking spot in a crowed lot (especially this time of year) and then you see someone who parked like, well, like an asshole.  Maybe they tried to fit a large SUV into a “compact cars only” space, or they parked too far to the side that no one will ever be able to open a door next to them, or my personal pet peeve – they used two spaces to park.

Well, now there is a website that you can use to let these drivers know that they park like assholes.  YouParkLikeAnAsshole.com has features that include a printable “notice” that you can leave on a windshield to alert the offending driver of their poor parking choice, as well as a gallery of some truly amazingly parked vehicles.

Check out YouParkLikeAnAsshole.com and remember, never use two spaces to park your car!

 

Black Friday Horror at Target Store in Buffalo

On Friday I wrote about about Black Friday shopping in my area. There were crowds, of course, but I saw no aggressive behavior in any of the locations I visited. That was not the case at a Target store in Buffalo, NY. After waiting in line for eight hours for the store to open at 4am, Keith Krantz was trampled by shoppers entering the store.  Kranz was taken to the hospital where he was given a CAT-Scan.  Target management has stated they will pay the customer’s medical bills.

Target’s home office released this statement later on Friday:

The safety of our guests and team members is a top priority. We take this incident very seriously. Target plans well in advance of Black Friday and employs numerous crowd management tactics to prevent incidents. We continually analyze and improve those plans, and will do so in this case, to help ensure a safe and enjoyable.

The video of the incident is below. Kranz is seen staggering and hunched over after being trampled.

Black Friday Shopping

Last year I wrote about the scene at my local mall on Black Friday on the American Currents site.   The mall opened at midnight again this year, and I was there.  But, I also checked out a few other spots. I was curious if the slowly improving economy would trickle down to my local retail outlets, bringing more shoppers than in 2009.

My first stop was the mall.  I was there by 11:50pm and I found a line of about two hundred people waiting at the main entrance.  There were fewer people lined up at other mall entrances, but security guards were going to each entrance to inform shoppers that the only doors opening at midnight were the ones at the main entrance.  I asked a few people how long they had been in line and no one – not even people toward the front of the line – said they had been there for longer than an hour.  The weather forecast had brought predictions of a chilly and rainy Thanksgiving Day that would continue into Friday, but rain gave way to clouds early Thursday afternoon and by 11:55pm the temperate was a comfortable 53 degrees.  As I was checking the weather on my cellphone, the doors to the mall opened and people began to rush inside.

11:50 pm: Shoppers wait in line to get into the mall.

 

The crowd this year was not as frenzied as last year.  Again, shoppers voiced their disappointment upon entering to find very few stores had opened at midnight.  Just as was the case last year, not one of the “anchor” department stores had opened early.  Even some of the old Black Friday standbys such as Radio Shack had their gates pulled shut. The midnight opening was for “select” stores. Others would open at 2am, and the entire mall would be open by 4am. At midnight, GameStop was a popular destination, but the shoe store only had a few people browsing.  The candle store was completely empty, but I don’t know many people who’d venture out at midnight to buy a candle.  Most of the people in the mall were around the booth set up by a local radio station, where disc jockeys were broadcasting live as they gave away prizes to mall customers who correctly answered trivia questions. While there were more people in the mall this year compared to last, there didn’t seem to be as many shoppers.  This year the mall seemed to be populated mostly by teenagers who were congregating near the entrance or the food court, but none of them were carrying shopping bags.  Maybe they were waiting for the candle store to start slashing prices.  I started to wonder were the real crowds were.

12:15 am: Lots of people, but not a lot of shopping at the mall.

 

After a short drive across the street, I found those crowds – at WalMart.  The parking lot was packed, which was to be expected.  My local WalMart never closed on Thursday, but instead stayed open and started some of their Black Friday sales at midnight.  The scene outside was hectic.  The line stretched down so far I could not see where it ended.  Police stood by metal stanchions as a female WalMart employee stood in the bucket of a crane (yes, a crane) and counted the number of people leaving the store.  As people left, she shouted out the number of people exiting so the police could allow that same number of people into the store.  Oddly enough, the people leaving the store weren’t pushing shopping carts overflowing with purchases, but instead were only carrying one or two items out of the store.  One woman left with only a blender. I hope she likes it, because I doubt I would have waited in line to have a woman in a crane tell me I can go inside a WalMart just to buy a blender.  I snapped a photograph of the line then tried to get a picture of the crane and stanchions, but a friendly police officer suggested that I “get in line or get out.”  I chose to get out.

12:35 am: WalMart looking more like a crime scene than a shopping destination.

 

Toys R Us is located in the same shopping center as WalMart, but there were so many cars trying to park in their lot, I gave up trying to see what was going on over there.  Instead, I drove around the block to another shopping center that has a Target and a Best Buy.  Because of the parking lot structure in that shopping center, I wasn’t able to get any photos, but I saw about 75 people waiting for Target to open (this was at 12:45 am and the store wouldn’t open for another three hours and fifteen minutes), many of them bundled up and sitting on lawn chairs.  The scene at Best Buy was similar, but there were about 150-200 people lined up to get into the big box retailer.  Again, many of them in lawn chairs – some were even in tents.

By 1am I was ready to go home.  I hadn’t bought a thing, but I observed that while more people appeared to have ventured out this year, fewer of them seemed to be buying anything.