If you've been a long-time reader here at Free Money Finance, you'd probably say that I'm "frugal." You might even say that I'm "cheap." (That’s ok, I can live with it.) :-)
People who know me better range in their descriptions of my cost-awareness as well. They range from "wise" (from my wife, who's cheaper that I am believe it or not) to others that kid and tease me about being "tight."
One person who often teases is both my boss and a good friend. He teases me and another guy in our office about being too frugal quite often. So imagine our surprise when my boss revealed the following to us the Monday after Thanksgiving:
- On Thanksgiving at 10 pm, he had dropped his son-in-law, his son, and another friend off at Walmart to wait overnight for the Black Friday deals (that were available for sale at 5 am).
- He went inside (they didn't have to wait outside -- the store was open) and they had lines set up for each big deal. My boss and his co-horts separated and took different lines.
- The store provided chairs for them to sit in and handed them tickets to buy the big-deal items (for instance, if Walmart had 30 of one deal, they handed out 30 tickets and told everyone else they were out of luck.)
- My boss was #7 in line for a computer that they had 33 of. Once he got there, he got caught up in the "excitement" and decided to stick it out for the night.
- So he sat there for several hours, until 5 am the next morning. His seven hours of waiting got him a laptop for $290 (or something close to that).
- He didn't have a book or anything to do, so the seven hours were a bit boring.
- He said the lines to pay started forming at 3 am and they snaked to the back of the store. They avoided them by paying in the jewelry department (good tip!)
- If they wanted to go to the bathroom, they got a 10-minute line pass. After 10 minutes, they had to be back or they lost their spot.
- My boss said the employees assigned to watch the lines loved the power. Great, just what you want -- to be under the thumb of a power-hungry Walmart employee who probably didn't graduate 8th grade!
- He said there were a couple fights/heated exchanges -- especially once the "late arrivers" came at 3 am or so and tried to cut into line. Yikes!
- He told the story of one guy that had waited for a TV and was then intimidated into giving it to two big guys in the morning. Ugh.
- In his defense, he said it was "fun" and "exciting", that's why he did it. I'm not buying it. I think he's a closet cheap-o.
We were stunned to hear this news. Stunned because:
1. He calls us cheap! Is there anything cheaper than waiting seven hours overnight for a "good deal"?
2. Walmart. Of all places, Walmart. Waiting for snobby Macy's or even Best Buy to open is one thing, but this guy hates Walmart (or has at least made past comments about how poor their stuff is.) And this is where he chooses to go?
There is NO WAY I would do this, even if it saved me $100 on a laptop. My time is much more valuable than that -- not to mention the boredom, frustration, and potential for a riot. I may be "cheap", but even I have my limits!!!!!