Okay, call me crazy.
I stayed up all night (finally caught up on Sanctuary and Glee!) in order to go to a 4am opening.
Our family hasn't gone to Black Friday sales in years, and I decided I needed to remind myself how horrible it is. I was pleasantly surprised at how not-horrible it was.
Sure, I had to park in the parking lot of the store next door. Yes, I had a hard time finding what I went for. And okay, I spent most of my time waiting in line as the computers were overloaded... But everyone was very polite, there were no screams or pushing and shoving, and I was in and out in under 40 minutes with exactly what I went for.
I was even helped out by a courteous fellow customer (an older gentleman [perhaps late 30's/early 40's] wearing [yes] a Santa hat) who was browsing in the aisle next to me. I realized that I had forgotten to grab a SD camera card and was already in line and asked if he could pass me one. After a moment's confusion, he kindly picked one and passed it over. Thank you, kind, tall stranger in the Santa hat!
Now that my mood had lightened, I decided to try and pass along the good wishes by making friendly conversation with the cashiers. I asked jokingly if they were keeping tally. A confused look, then, "Um, of what?" Of the sales you've rung up! "Oh... No. Too busy for that." But he did smile all the same. And a minute later (as the computers were still having issues) he turned to those waiting in line and explained the situation, assuring them that he would get them through shortly. And I think he was still smiling.
Then, as I was walking back through the parking lot to my car, I noticed a shiny something on the ground. As I walked past, I realized it was an American Express card. About 10 steps later I turned and went back for it. Though I had no intention whatsoever of going into the store, I walked up to the greeter and handed them the card, saying I'd found it in the parking lot. "Oh, yes, I bet someone'll be looking for that." And while he was still examining the card, I went ahead and proceeded to my car.
So, it's Black Friday. Things can get crazy out there. That doesn't mean it's not worth showing a little civility, or even gratefulness. Thank your cashier, wish them a happy/sane rest of their day. If you see someone having trouble, trying to reach something, or find something you just saw, help them out. One good deed can brighten someone's day.
Now I just have to wait for the other stores to open so I can go out again... Happy Holidays!