Black Friday Bites Back

Black Friday bites – literally – back to that it a minute.

According to articles in USA Today and National Retail Federation, I’m an atypical American woman because:

  • I only own 4 pairs of shoes
  • I don’t like shopping.

As a full-time TSA, my shoes serve to get me out the door in under 10 seconds when summoned, so those highly coveted higher than high heels are out. I have two pairs of not very high heels that I only wear on vacation, one pair of sandals I’m saving for my future life at the seaside and a pair of Nike’s that meet my faster than fast need.

Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.  ~Erma Bombeck

I’ve never really  liked shopping. I like the giving part but not the shopping. I especially don’t like shopping in frenzied crowds. But for some (I think men should be included here, too) shopping, particularly during this time of year, is a competitive sport. They’re calling it Brick and Click.

Today is Black Friday – historically THE BIGGEST SHOPPING DAY OF THE YEAR. Some folks love it! I don’t get it, but that’s OK. I know they’ve Gotta Go.

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Black Friday, which I guess began yesterday, has not only claimed Thanksgiving but is stretching on through Monday (which already had its own special name). You can camp out overnight at the few stores that aren’t already open and be the first to race down the isles for a giant TV or a Furby. That’s Brick. Or you can shop on-line. That’s Click. Today you can shop on-line at places like CyberMonday.com, which will be offering a Deal of the Hour on Black Friday.

How weird is that? A site called CyberMonday.com featuring hourly deals on Black Friday.

I tried shopping on Black Friday –  once. This was maybe 10 years ago when it was safer. I stood in line forever to buy my Mom a present that she didn’t ever use. It was something for the kitchen that for some reason I thought she would like and would be worth the bruised ribs and the $8 I saved. It wasn’t.

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I honestly just didn’t have that keen eye and savvy killer instinct needed to be a successful Black Friday shopper. (Clearly, since I got up at 4:30, stood in line for 2 hours and bought one unwanted gift.) But for those of you who are keen on Black Friday shopping, I’m passing on this warning I just heard on the news:

“If you plan on shopping on Black Friday we urge you to leave your children at home to protect them from possible injuries such as being trampled or bitten.”

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Seriously? Well, something to keep in mind, all you Black Friday Brickers.

Only one shopping day left ’til tomorrow.  ~Author Unknown

Back When I Knew Everything: A Cautionary Tale About Advice

Hey folks!

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I’m going digress from my normal story-telling mode in an attempt to answer some of the questions that I’ve been getting via email re: gate guarding. On RV forums and in a smattering of blogs, you read the words Always and Never quite a lot. Always and Never are two absolutes that beg for contradiction.

The one thing people are the most liberal with, is their advice. ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Here’s my advice:

  • 1. If you want to get a feel for the job, read a variety of blogs
  • 2. Don’t pay too much attention to advice  😉

Some people are natural advice givers. You won’t have to travel to very many gates in your reading before you see that many of the most highly opinionated folks contradict each other in the way to do almost every aspect of the job. That’s perfectly fine. They’re just sharing their opinions and they have different ones.

When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway. ~ Erma Bombeck

Most of us, although I’m sure there are exceptions, would advise you not to drink the potable water, unfiltered from the tap. That may be about it for universal gate guarding truths. No matter how firmly or strongly stated, we’re just sharing our opinions. As in most of life, the majority of things that come up each day are a matter of taste, opinion, conviction, constitution and circumstance.

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There is no Holy Grail for gate guarding. No one person speaks for all. You may find that you learn as much from someone who’s been gate guarding  for 3 months as you do someone who’s been doing it for 3 years.

I think the thing about being a gate guard is so that it’s so out of the norm for most of us. We’ve  generally had altogether different kinds of careers and have lived in altogether different kinds of environments.

Then, one morning, you find yourself standing at a gate – or just in the middle of the road – with an orange vest and a clip board and usually very little to no instruction.

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We turn to each other for tips and that helps. Just keep in mind that we’re all  just sharing what works for us. It may or may not work for you.

Know when to tune out, if you listen to too much advice you may wind up making other peoples mistakes. ~ Ann Landers

It reminds me of the Montgomery Gentry song, Back When I Knew Everything

Back when the world was flat
And Mom and Daddy didn’t have a clue
That was back
Back when a pitcher of beer
And a couple shots made me bulletproof
Back when “God” was a name I used in vain
To get a point across when I got ticked off
Lord, I’m learning so much more than
Back when I knew it all

When we started in December of 2010, I didn’t know anything about gate guarding or the industry or Texas.

Now I know a few things. 😀

I’ll write a some posts in the days ahead about what I’ve learned and how we handle certain situations. Take what works for you and toss the rest.

I found out credit cards don’t mean you’re rich
And beer and gasoline don’t mix
Yeah, and step side trucks can’t jump a ditch
And those “big house” rooms sure are small
I’ve learned that love is a woman that’ll settle you down
A Sunday sermon can turn life around
And I can’t believe answers I’ve found
Since back when I knew it all

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If you have something specific that you’ve been wondering about that you’d like me to address, feel free to write to me @ branson.debbie@ gmail.com and I’ll gladly share my opinion. I’m hoping other gate guards will hop aboard and share their experiences.

The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all. ~ Harry S Truman